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Readers' Choice: It's a Tie! Azteca and Ooba Tooba Have Great Burritos

Bellevue Patch readers voted Azteca and Ooba Tooba to a tie. Many readers also said that Chipotle was the best.

Two restaurants tied for having the best burrito in Bellevue, and they are both locally-owned chains -- and !

Azteca was established in Burien in 1974 by Jose Ramos and his family, according to Azteca's website. Ramos, originally from Cuautla, Mexico, a small farm village in the state of Jalisco, founded his first 24-seat restaurant after saving $1,000 working at his cousin's restaurant in Seattle. By 2001, the Ramos family expanded the chain to 35 locations throughout Washington, Oregon and Florida.

The Bellevue Azteca restaurant is right next door to the Sheraton, which makes it popular with out-of-towners and businessmen and women. The restaurant offers something for everyone, including a Cantina that sells beer and cocktails, including margaritas and sangrias, and ample seating suitable for families and large parties. 

Ooba Tooba owners Craig Johnson and his wife Lisa Tarleton set out to create a casual “cantina feel” for their restaurant, according to their website. Unlike some Mexican eateries that cater to the Friday-night margarita crowd, Ooba Tooba aims to be family-friendly. 

The flavors, too, are unique and authentic. Johnson and his wife, Lisa, spent six months traveling throughout South America, learning about the regional cuisines, before opening the first Ooba Tooba in Redmond 15 years ago. They now have restaurants in Bellevue, Woodinville and are planning to open a restaurant in Seattle.

Ooba Tooba has two locations in Bellevue -- and Factoria.

Chipotle, the fast-food fresh-ingredients Mexican restaurant, got a lot of love, too, in our comments. The Denver-based chain is known for its commitment to the environment and healthful on-the-go options, as well as making food quickly. While the menu is short -- burritos, tacos (soft and crispy), salad and chips -- diners can customize most features of their meal. Chipotle has locations in and shopping center.

Carol S. wrote:

At Chipotle, you can request the burrito exactly the way you want it. If you are watching calories, or don't eat a particular item, it's not a problem. They make it the way you want it!

Coming Monday: Pick the top tax preparer in Bellevue.

 Do you have suggestions on which places should be included in the poll? Email Patch Editor Venice Buhain at venice.buhain@patch.com with your ideas.

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