Bell Street Burritos, recently voted best burrito by the readers and declared the critic’s pick in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Best of the Big A, has a new location inside the Irwin Street Market in the Old Fourth Ward.
Bell Street owner Matt Hinton opened his first location in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, and had a short-lived outpost on the Westside, until he lost his lease. Hinton makes no secret that his places pay homage to Tortillas, Atlanta’s original and much-loved San Francisco Mission-style burrito joint, which closed in 2003.
The look: Irwin Street conjures the look of Sweet Auburn with white subway tile walls and signature signage. But the airy, window-lined dining room, mix-and-match wooden tables and chairs, and antique knick knacks give the space a warmer glow.
The scene: One recent afternoon, the scene recalled the heyday of Tortillas on Ponce, as cars packed the small front parking lot and lined nearby streets, and a long line stretched out the front door. Inside, Hinton was at the order counter, greeting old friends and regular customers and patiently guiding newcomers through the menu.
The menu: Of course, burritos are the centerpiece of Bell Street’s offerings. The base pinto bean burrito ($4.95) comes with melted jack cheese, rice and salsa fresca in a large flour tortilla. You can add anything from green chiles, potatoes and broccoli to pork, shrimp and steak, plus a variety of extras such as sour cream and guacamole. There are also quesadillas ($3.95-$5.75) and tacos in double-wrapped soft corn tortillas ($2-$2.95)
The drinks: To sip on, you can grab self-serve fountain drinks ($1.99) and iced tea ($1.50) with free refills or bottled Mexican Coke ($2.25) and Jarritos Mexican sodas ($1.50). On the sweeter side, there are hand-dipped milkshakes ($3.99) and ice cream floats ($3.75).
The extras: On Fridays, homemade corn husk-wrapped pork or chicken tamales ($3) are the crowd-pleasing favorite.