El Tepeyac

Los Angeles, CA

Overall Score
based on 14 reviews
5.1   not recommended

Editorial Reviews (1)

  • Mark's Score: 5 / 10   full review...

    The menu was pretty complicated so I asked advice. Most of the differences seem to involve topping (none, cheese, meat & sauce). I saw some good looking pork chile verde simmering on the stove so I ordered a pork Hollenbeck (topped with meat & sauce) burrito.

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13   (most recent reviews shown first)    

Score: 8 / 10    Reviewed by: VeeLicious

Their Chili Verde Nachos were delish. It was like a wild party in my mouth O.0 The menudo is good. Burritos are huge compared to King Taco's. God why couldn't King Taco's be bigger :/ Sure you can find better mexican food than El Tepeyac but if you're in the Boyle Heights area, stop by. It's an experience....

posted by VeeLicious on 7/31/2011 3:21 PM #

Score: 3.5 / 10    Reviewed by: karaokesansei

I don't know why I go back to El Tepeyac since it is not as good as it was in the 70's when I attended CSULA. I suppose it's for the nostalgia. When we were in school, I would eat there regularly with friends. It was a reasonably priced local diner with a large menu so everyone could find something. Sometime in the 80's they bought the house next door for a parking lot, doubled the prices and lowered the quality, if not the quantity. I can't understand why I would pay eleven dollars for a burrito of five dollar, or lessor quality. I know there are better burritos out there for half the price, such as, King Taco. Manny's has been gouging his patrons based on the reputation of his early years. I feel foolish since I am not paying for the quality of the food, but for memories of what it once was. This place has been coasting on its reputation of its early years. It's really a shame they got so greedy but who can blame them. It's not their problem if people are willing to stand in line for the chance to over pay for a reputation that expired decades ago.

It's a lot like having a chili dog at Pink's for three dollars. You could have the same thing at home for a fraction of the price. People go to some places because they have somehow become monuments to ancient history.

posted by karaokesansei on 1/2/2011 1:33 PM #

Score: 4 / 10    Reviewed by: JoeTotoroto

I remember standing in line as a kid in the 70s, the burritos were oh so good. They actually had flavor back then. I no longer think Manuel has a say in the quality of the product that has his name attached to it, but in fact his greedy family is. They cut costs at the expense of the faithful consumers who yearn of what used to be, I wouldnt doubt it if they used canned beans and salsa. I have a friend who married into the family and he tells me of some of the inner workings. The family has restaurants in West Covina, Monterey Park, Alhambra, and So El Monte, they are all owned by someone related to Manuel. I stopped patronizing them when I paid Five Dollars for an Horchata in the Monterey Park location. Its too bad.

posted by JoeTotoroto on 10/31/2009 4:36 PM #

Score: 1 / 10    Reviewed by: bill2154

After reading so much hype about this place over the years my wife and I tried it this morning. At 9:00 am on a Saturday morning there was about a 30 minute wait. After talking with the others waiting outside, we thought we were in for the experience of a lifetime....We were Right!

I ordered a chorizo burrito and my wife ordered a scrambled egg burrito. Both were a bland tasteless homogeneous mess inside of a rubbery flour tortilla. No flavor whatsoever.

Chips tasted like they were fried in rancid grease and the salsa was mediocre.

Stay away.......unless changes are made.

I would have rated it a 2 (see #2 guideline) but I rather had eaten at a Taco Bell.

posted by bill2154 on 2/28/2009 3:37 PM #

Score: 6.5 / 10    Reviewed by: burritowizard (Los Angeles, CA)

For years El Tepeyac has been considered one of the best burrito joints in Los Angeles, it may be time to knock them off that hill. Famous for making the largest burritos in L.A., but bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Their burritos are large, expensive and generally impractical. A family of four can eat their giant $22 burrito, but why would they want to? Go to most other burrito stands and get everyone in their family their own burritos and walk away with for $18. And, burritos are not a great “share” food.

For burritophiles this place is guaranteed NOT to please. Don’t believe the hype. And, for vegetarians the place is doable, but nothing special. The menu is extensive almost exhaustive, with all sizes, prices and configurations imaginable (they even have a temporary Lint menu). Their salsa is disappointing, their hot sauce is O.K., but the place is always crowded. They offer table service inside or outdoor via window and picnic tables both are very slow. There is a charm to the place and it is an East Los Angeles institution. For anthropologists it’s worth the trip.

posted by burritowizard on 2/26/2009 4:53 PM, updated on 3/31/2009 3:26 PM #

Score: 5 / 10    Reviewed by: antzona

I was so disappointed with my first visit to El Tepeyac Cafe. I had heard about this place for years. Seeing it on Man v. Food convinced me that I had to make the drive to Evergreen Avenue to have my first Hollenbeck. I was shocked with how bland and flavorless this burrito was. It sounded so good and looked so good on television. How good it not be good? It wasn't! The chile verde was flavorless. It's not that it wasn't spicy enough, it simply didn't have any flavor at all. I was tempted to reach for the salt shaker, which is something I have never done in a Mexican restaurant. Manuel was very friendly and lived up to the hype. I even got a shot of tequila on the house, but it didn't save the bland and watery burrito I was served. I hope there is something else on the menu that is actually good, that I just missed, because I don't want to face the reality that this place is as bad as the burrito I ate. I ended up paying for my friends because I felt guilty dragging them along. I live in Bakersfield, and I can name five places within a couple miles of my house that serve far superior burritos. What a disappointment...

posted by antzona on 2/23/2009 11:21 PM #

Score: 1 / 10    Reviewed by: togo

BLAHH-yuk! The WORST burrito, chips (stale and greasy), hot sauce (tasted stale and canned) & service I ever had. Del Taco would have been better. I have eaten in Texas, Detroit, Chicago, SF, LA, SD....this is the worst!! Ordered a veggie burrito-it had NO vegetables -only rice and canned pinto beans, 1 sliver of avacado. The cheese was half melted. (they actually acted surprised I inquired about "cheese". I noticed ti was not really hot when it immediately arrived (?) Odd-no preparation?? No spice, no jalapenos, no taste. Mexican food with no heat or spice? Wierd. I had the chills and heaves all night as soon as I got in my car-then vomitted it up early am. I found out from the health department they wash hands with uutensils and "re-use" hot sauce among customers, which is illegal. Dont waste your health or money. Sorry to say the original owner of the 1950's probably trust the WRONG people to run it...Too bad.

posted by togo on 1/4/2009 8:18 PM #

Score: 2.5 / 10    Reviewed by: bigmercury

The burritos at this place used to ROCK ! but...sad to say.... they rock no longer.( a tear is now making its way down my cheek) i didn't mind paying three/four times as much for a burrito that was the best in the world. but i guess they got greedy and instead of all the usual fantastic ingredients they used to stuff in those giant glorious monster burritos they replaced it with rice. so if you want a giant expensive rice burrito go check out the tepeyac !

posted by bigmercury on 7/7/2007 3:58 PM #

Score: 10 / 10    Reviewed by: Tocamelo

Based on the very low scores some of the previous reviewers I paid this icon a visit. Yes, El Tepeyac is truely an icon. Thats not to say that they have not had a few bumps along the way, with time and succes the size of the staple burrito 'Manuals Special" has come come down. As a kid I remember going to pick up this burrito and I would walk out of there with a burrito as the size of the case of beer it was being transported in. Like I said the size may of come down but the taste is still great.

They menu now has the prices back on the board, from the looks of things prices have gone up from $.50 to $2.00 on the items still very cheap for the quality of quantity of food provided.

The menu is only as complicated as you make it. First section are the staples, the Manuals, Hollenbeck, and the Okie. To keep up with a changing market they have added vegiterian Hollenbecks, chicken Hollenbecks witch are not as great as there cousins.

The other sections on the board, are appitizers, tacos and dinner plates. I can only comment on the quesadillas and the guacamole, which are top notch.

I don't know exactly what the few people who have given low reviews where looking for, they maybe used to commercial mexican food, from the likes of Acapulcos or the likes. Going to El Tepeyac is an experiance, all in its own.

posted by Tocamelo on 5/20/2007 9:10 AM #

Score: 2.5 / 10    Reviewed by: roccojp

This place truly does suck. Price was not an issue for me, but they serve you a pile of vile slop along with a tortilla. The tortilla ends up swimming in a pile of what looks to be grease, water, VERY runny refried beans, and in the case of meat choice, Chile Colorado beef, which I think is based with some sort of Hunt's Tomato concoction. Sure smelled like it, plus I saw the cans behind the counter. People in LA think this place is good? It was one of the worst (and most disappointing cuz just like the 4.5 review I was expecting to find "IT" here) burrito experience of my life- and there have been cold ones, small ones, disgusting ones. This one took the cake.

posted by roccojp on 2/4/2007 8:44 PM, updated on 2/4/2007 8:45 PM #

Score: 4.5 / 10    Reviewed by: nogoodburritos

Today me an a fellow burritophile voyaged to El Tepeyac. We both come from different parts of the country and were hoping to find the best Burrito, not Mexican food, but best burrito in Los Angeles.

Having been to at least seven or eight burrito joints in LA we both seemed lost for words because the lack of quality and consistency. Needless to say after reading some reviews El Tepeyac sound like the perfect place.

Unfortunately it was a false idol. Our burritos cost eleven to thirteen dollars. Lame. They had even taken the prices off the wall so we didn't know what we were getting into.

The negates:
I didn't see them make it.
It was grotesquely big to the point where the tortilla could not wrap around the contents. This is not a big make, quality before quantity always. It also makes one wonder how the great the ingredients could be if they could afford to stuff the burritos so big.
The ingredients were inconsistent and poor. I am willing to be that one burrito was literally canned chicken. No other chicken is in crumbles and looks like tuna.
The price is ridiculous a 13 dollar burrito is absurd, it better have Kobe beef for that price.

The positives:
quick service
they tried
the carnitas were descent
it appeared authentic

Would i recommend it?

No. the price is absurd, and it not equal to the quality of the food.

posted by nogoodburritos on 2/1/2007 1:47 AM #

Score: 9.5 / 10    Reviewed by: MasHambre

Mark, you got to be kidding.

El Tepeyac is the patron saint of Burritos. You should get down on your knees and thank the Burrito Gods that Manuel started this East LA Burrito cathedral. There is no substitute and no real competition. Back in the old days if you were able to eat a Manuel Special, you got one free.

There is nothing better than to go during Christmas and have Manuel pour you a plastic cup full of Tequila to celebrate on the sly.

But then if you give El Tepeyac a 5 out of 10 you should keep your butt in Santa Monica, and not take my table. In fact all you guys should eat at Taco Bell so I can get a seat without waiting so long. Yep, take my word for it stay away, El Tepeyac is not where you want to go, it is where I want to go.

posted by MasHambre on 1/18/2007 10:15 PM #

Score: 8 / 10    Reviewed by: gallegosjen

What can I say negative.... NOTHING! The food is terrific. The burritos are huge, filled with cheese, meats, beans, rice and simmered sauces that have been prepared for hours. The burritos are not your normal size, these burritos can feed anywhere from 5 to 6 people.

My favorites, are the Hollenbeck and Manuel Burrito. But along with these terrifc burritos comes many other indulging food items, such as taquitos, enchiladas, chorizo and eggs, tacos, and menudo. The items on the menu are not hard to read, you just need to know what you enjoy and crave at the time. Go by and try this resturant you won't be sorry.

posted by gallegosjen on 12/15/2006 11:13 AM #

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Photo of El Tepeyac

El Tepeyac
812 N Evergreen Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 267-8668

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