FRIJOLES: THE CHIPOTLE OF TOKYO
Chipotle is the second fast food that I miss the most from the United States after Smash Burger, and I’ve been looking for shops like Chipotle in Tokyo, but most Mexican restaurants in Tokyo serve burritos on plates. Yes, I want the huge grab n go burrito for my lunch, not the fancy one; the one that comes wrapped in foil, which I can eat with my hands while I’m walking, breaking the Japanese rules of etiquette (in Japan eating while walking is not good manners).
I was pretty hopeless until I found Frijoles, a burrito fast food chain store that is pretty similar to Chipotle, which became my favorite place to grab burrito in Tokyo. The quality of the burrito at Frijoles is excellent, and the friendly English speaking staffs are the added value of Frijoles. I’ve never had any problems ordering my food at Frijoles, and I’ve always satisfied by the quality of the service.
The menu at Frijoles is very simple: you can have your burrito wrapped in a tortilla or dumped naked in a bowl, yes, very similar to Chipotle again. The other menu that you can find at Frijoles is the fajita burrito, tacos, salad, and quesadillas. The differences between burrito and the fajita burrito are the fillings. Burrito at Frijoles contains beans, and the fajita burrito contains sautéed green peppers and onion.
Ordering food at Frijoles is not difficult at all, as when you reach the counter the staff will ask you what you would like to have (burrito, fajita burrito, burrito bowl, tacos, or salad), followed by which meat (chicken, carnitas/pork, steak, or vegetarian). After choosing those options, you will shuffle along the counter to choose the rest of the free toppings that you want inside your burrito.
– Burrito Bowl – Image Source: Tabelog
Frijoles has four types of salsa with different level of spiciness, and I usually ask for the spiciest one, which is very spicy. I have tried all the meats that Frijoles offers, and my favorite are carnitas and the steak. I usually order carnitas or steak burrito with no rice and with the spiciest salsa (sometimes I order my burrito naked in a bowl when I’m limiting my carbs intake). The other thing that I like from Frijoles, is that it has two different sizes for burrito and salad: regular and grande. The regular size is big enough to fill up your empty belly, so I suggest you to get the grande size only when you are extremely and desperately hungry.
– Burrito – Image Source: Tabelog
All of the toppings at Frijoles are free of charge, except for the guacamole, which costs extra 260 JPY. It is pretty pricey for a portion of guacamole, but I believe you can get the double portion of guacamole for free if you order the vegetarian burrito. In addition to guacamole, you can also order for extra chips or single taco if you want to. Frijoles offers you both soft drinks and alcohols, and there are plenty choices for the soft drinks. For the alcoholic drinks, you can either choose beers or margaritas to drink with your meal.
– Frijoles Roppongi – Image Source: Tabelog
The atmosphere of Frijole stores are just like cafeterias, designed with silver furniture and counters. It gives you clean and warm feeling, as the staffs there are friendly to the customers. You can seat near by the windows to enjoy the outside view while eating, or the counter seats near the kitchen where you can eat while having some chit chats with the staff. You can also eat at the terrace seats if you want to.
The price of Frijoles is not as cheap as Chipotle, as your expense will be ranging from 1,000 JPY to 2,000 JPY, but Frijoles offers you excellent burrito with better taste. I highly recommend you to get the frequent-diner card (stamp card), as Frijoles will give you free guacamole with 10 stamps and a free meal with 20 stamps. In addition to the stamps, Frijoles will treat you for a complimentary meal on your birthday, and it will double – stamp your card when you visit the stores on rainy days.
I highly recommend you to visit and try one of the menu at Frijoles if you miss the American style Mexican food, or if you want something like Chipotle or Qdoba. Frijoles doesn’t put the burrito on plates, yes, you can enjoy the mess of eating burrito only at Frijoles!
For more information about Frijoles stores, click here!