Best Rumor Ever: Baja Fresh is Coming to Midtown

Step aside Chipotle and Qdoba, rumor has it a far superior option is coming to town. A manager from a recently opened Midtown Lunch’ing spot told me the other day that three of his friends have a franchise license from Baja Fresh and plan on bringing a location of the chain to 8th Ave in the 50s.  That’s Midtown people! No word on timetable or exact location…

Why I like Baja Fresh 10 times more than Chipotle and Qdoba, after the jump…  

Is Baja Fresh an “authentic” Mexican burrito? I don’t necessarily know what authentic means, but the answer is probably no.  It’s a freakin’ fast food chain, and still has more in common with places like Qdoba and Chipotle than it does with a real Mexican burrito place… say on the West Coast (or even Anna’s Taqueria in Boston).  But if I had to pick one large national burrito chain, it would be Baja Fresh.  And I base that on one menu item, and one menu item alone:  The Baja Chicken Burrito.

Unlike Chipotle and Qdoba, the Baja Chicken Burrito keeps it simple. No cilantro and lime rice. No overdoing it on the seasonings.  Grilled chicken.  Pico de gallo. Guacamole. Done.  Simple. Perfect.  A handful of *free* tortilla chips (places that charge should be ashamed) and of course the salsa bar; which has a real version of salsa verde made from tomatillos.  I still don’t know what that sauce is Chipotle tries to pass off as salsa verde.  And even more than that, it’s the burrito you can eat every day- and when I lived in L.A. I practically did.  It was my go-to lunch.  Sure, when I wanted a real burrito I had my dirty spots.  But it’s tough to eat one of those every day (even for me), and for the day to day burrito, it was the Baja Chicken Burrito all the way.  I’m sure there are some who will disagree, and I know there are Chipotle lovers out there who I will never convince.  But that’s ok.  The one thing we can agree on… more burritos is always a good thing.  And a Baja Fresh in Midtown will be a welcome addition to the Midtown Lunch’ing scene.

The Midtown Lunch Ultimate Burrito Theory (and how it relates to Chipotle sucking)
Basic Math Blows Holes in Chipotle’s Absurd “Calorie Range”


  • La Paloma..used to be my FAVORITE place..until my co-worker and i saw rats running rampant. ::shudder:: everythings ok until you see grosses me out to think about it; no lunch for me for a few hrs..ugh

    but i love baja fresh. bring it!

  • Rudy, don’t misunderestimate Susan

  • Taco Cabana anyone?

  • @Mamacita – I’m underwhelmed at your response to Rudy.

  • All I gotta say is … Wahoo Fish Tacos

  • WOOOO HOOOOO!!!! Am soooo excited!!!!!!!

  • I’m sorry but I LOVE Chipotle. I must try this Baja Fresh place though.

  • I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one who could eat a burrito for lunch every day.

  • Baja is my favorite, those fish tacos are amazing. My old building in Foster City, CA had one and I ate there 3 days a week. Baja is owned by Wendy’s Quboda is Jack in the Box and Chipolte is McDonalds. Baja is by far the best. Given how awesome Jack inthe Box tacos are wish Quboda was better.

  • Baja Fresh used to be good…before they sold the business to Wendy’s, who promptly cut costs by cutting the quality of every ingredient used in their food. Yes, Chipotle is owned by McD’s but the ingredient quality is still superior to Baja Fresh.

  • Wendy’s sold Baja 2 years ago

  • I agree with alaina! I would much rather see Rubio’s first… Baja Fresh USED to be good (like every other place that first opens) but then the prices went up and quality and size went down. I could go for their mexican burrito or baja chicken salad now though!

  • OMG. Baja Fresh is amazing. I use to go every week when I lived in Washington DC. I hope this rumor is true!

  • I just moved back to NY from LA and the last place I want to see is another mediocre generic LA chain resturant. Don’t support these places and stop the mallification!

  • The rumor is CORRECT! My firm Newmark Knight Frank did the lease for Baja Fresh in Midtown and they are soon to be coming to NYC!!!

  • Yeah, I saw in The Real Deal that Newmark did the lease for the space on Lexington somewhere in the 40s. I didn’t see the one mentioned on 8th Avenue. As a fellow leasing broker from Los Angeles, I can’t tell you how freakin awesome this is! Get one over here in Brooklyn now.

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