20 New Chain Burrito Openings in Under 3 Years A Sign of the Apocalypse?

Word has come that in addition to the two new Baja Fresh locations, we’re also getting another Chipotle on 7th Ave. btw. 37+38th and another Qdoba on 3rd Ave. and 40th Street.  That will bring the total to almost 20 new burrito chains in less than 3 years!  Don’t get me wrong… I’ll admit to getting excited about Baja Fresh (Is it real Mexican food? Of course not. But it was my goto lunch when I was broke and living in L.A. for two years.)  But overall this trend is kind of worrisome.  The chain-i-fication of Manhattan food has been slowly happening for years now, but the bad economy looks like it’s accelerating the whole process.   With so much real estate open around the city, big chains are the only businesses with the kind of money you need to expand, and survive through this crappy economy. Sure, I want In N Out Burger, Chick Fil A, and Panda Express to open in Midtown. But not at the expense of Blarney Stone, Cafe Cello, and Hing Won.  Can’t we have it both ways?

Thanks to Lunch’er Rebecca for sending along the photo.


  • Chipotle and Qdoba are like Cancers. But we (mostly thanks to you) still manage to find those little hole in the wall places that still make us smile. I don’t think I’ve ever walked out of Chipotle thinking “that was a good idea.”

  • I once walked out of Chipotle thinking “that was a good idea.”
    Sadly, I was wrong. So very wrong.

  • I haven’t eaten at a Chipotle since they 1st opened in Manhattan. In this case, size isn’t a good thing.

  • Man, we don’t need that many Chipotle’s or Qdoba’s i nthe city. They’re just going to end up like Starbucks, saturating the market then closing several branches due to losses of profit. How about getting rid of a few of them and replacing them with Baja Fresh and El Pollo Loco instead.

    I want In N Out Burger here too. Get rid of one of the Five Guys and make it happen. Haha.

  • balls! i recall one of your readers actually getting heat for inventing the word “chainization.”

  • Facts are facts: the food at Chipotle is not terrible. In fact, I think it’s pretty good considering it’s national chain status. Their practice of dumping stores on every corner is just plain obnoxious, but the food is just fine.

  • Chainization is not a word.

    Stop it America.

  • Colour doesn’t need a “u” either.. Plus you invented American Idol, so sod off..

  • @deanlo – yes, indeed I did get heat for it (and I was thinking the same thing when first reading this post) – I guess chainification is OK while chainization is not.

  • i thought it was the french who had the language police.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    All you naysayers suck. I work on 37th and Bway and the nearest Chipotle is the most overcrowded ever on 42nd during lunch. I think it’s AMAZING that they are opening on up right here!

  • LOL. It’s not anyone can eat Chipotle everyday. Waiting on line like everyone else won’t kill you. I think ingesting one their 1,000+ cal. bombs is another story though.
    Bring on the Baja Fresh, El Pollo Loco, and In N Out Burger instead of wasting more commercial real estate.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.