I was in a Mexican restaurant with some co-workers recently and noticed that many of them ordered a "burrito." What's the difference between this and a tortilla? I thought that's what they were called.

  • 1
    Funny trivia: "burrito" == "little donkey" Nov 5, 2010 at 18:25
  • 13
    burrito : tortilla :: sandwich : bread Nov 5, 2010 at 22:56

3 Answers 3


Depending on where you are, the word tortilla can mean a few different things. In Mexico it refers to a flatbread made of either wheat or corn and a few other ingredients. These flatbreads tend to come in standard sizes in the United States at least, one of which might be labeled the "burrito" size.

A burrito is one use for a tortilla. A burrito consists of a wheat flour tortilla wrapped around a filling. Often the filling might include beans, cooked meat, rice, and perhaps vegetables.

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    It seems to me the more authentic the Mexican food the more likely you can order tortillas as you would any other side. Nov 5, 2010 at 18:24
  • Oh. Well that's very interesting. Nov 9, 2010 at 13:55
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    Many mexican restaurants I have been to will give you some tortillas on the side when you order an entree (Arroz con Pollo, Fajitas, Carnitas, Carne Asada, etc.). This would be the equivalent to getting garlic toast with an American meal, or Naan with your Indian dish.
    – JSM
    Jul 10, 2014 at 17:27

A burrito is usually wrapped in a (flour) tortilla. Tortilla is just the bread; burrito, taco, fajita, etc. is how you use it/what you put in it.


Tortilla is flatbread, burrito is what you do with it.

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