The debate over which Mexican fast food restaurant is the best is one that is all too familiar with college students. After a long night of drinking, a face full of rice, meat, beans, and cheese is often the only hangover cure.

Each weekend college students are faced with the same question: Do we go to Chipotle or Qdoba? We are here to make that question a little easier on you.

We’re offering both Team Chipotle and Team Qdoba’s somewhat biased opinions on what truly is the best Mexican fast food. Speaking for Team Qdoba is Julie Bockman and speaking for Team Chipotle is Juliette Kelly.

For obvious reasons, we have eliminated Taco Bell and Moe’s from this debate because they are not at all comparable in quality to the two masters of Mexican food, Qdoba and Chipotle. 



Photo by Lily Lou

Julie (Qdoba): Guacamole. Doesn’t. Cost. Extra. Those are the four most magical words in human history, and if you disagree, you’re just wrong. To me, guac is an integral part of my Mexican experience and knowing that I’m not paying an extra $1.80 makes me feel less guilty about eating out.

Juliette (Chipotle): When it comes to guacamole, you simply cannot beat Chipotle’s recipe. It is literally green crack. No one tries to replicate Qdoba’s guac recipe because it’s honestly not that great (it tastes like the packaged kind you could buy at the local grocery store).

As far as the price, I am always willing to pay that $1.80 extra because I know that shit is fresh. So go ahead Chipotle man, scoop it on there, because when it comes to guacamole, money ain’t no thang.

Winner: Chipotle



Photo by Mia Oh

Julie (Qdoba): If you’re a burrito person I can understand not caring about queso, but as someone who almost always gets a bowl and is addicted to cheese, queso is near and dear to my heart. It’s warm and a little bit spicy and if Chipotle was smart, they would get it too. I can never taste the shredded cheese, so to me queso is mandatory. 

Juliette (Chipotle): Queso may be the only thing Qdoba has going for them. In the few times I have visited Qdoba, I have never ordered queso because personally, I don’t think the container of crusty cheese looks very appetizing, and I do not think Mexican food needs it.

Winner: Qdoba



Photo by Mr.TinDC

Julie (Qdoba): Let’s be real, as a broke college student, I’m ballin’ on a budget. Qdoba is definitely cheaper and I’d rather spend an extra couple bucks on alcohol that won’t make me vom than on food that I should realistically be cooking at home.

Guac and queso are free (#blessed) and they even offer half-priced drinks with a student ID. That’s some VIP treatment, my friend. I understand that you get what you pay for but when you crave Mexican food as much as I do, you have to make a couple sacrifices.

So what if the chicken’s a little burnt? Get some pulled pork (which they never run out of, unlike Chipotle) and call it a day.

Juliette (Chipotle): I will respectfully have to disagree with that. I would rather spend TWO dollars extra on some high quality, fresh, hormone and GMO-free, top notch grub. If I’m going to splurge on some Mexican food, I want the good stuff, not some burnt chicken cooked earlier that day. Also, offering guac and queso for free seems a tad desperate.

Winner: Chipotle



Photo by Becky Hughes

Julie (Qdoba): Qdoba thinks outside of the burrito. Quesadillas, nachos, a you-pick-two deal—the possibilities are endless.  

Juliette (Chipotle): Don’t fix something that’s not broken. All you need is a burrito, a bowl, tacos, and chips with guac. Boom. Done. Chipotle wins.

Winner: Chipotle



Photo by Xinwei Zeng

Julie (Qdoba): Like most students, I have places to go and people to see. Time is money, money is Mexican food, Mexican food is life. Why would I want to stand in line for 45 minutes when I can wait for ten minutes tops at Qdoba? When I want Mexican food, I want it immediately or someone is going to face the consequences.

Plus, Chipotle closes at 10 pm every night of the week and Qdoba is open until 11 pm or midnight on the weekends. You never know when a craving is going to strike, so the later it’s open, the better for everyone.

Juliette (Chipotle): Yes, waiting in line is annoying but good things come to those who wait, amirite? It is worth the wait, people. Doesn’t a long line mean it’s a good restaurant?

Plus, if you’re really that impatient, use the Chipotle app or have them deliver it to you (yes, that’s now a thing). Or if you’re a lazy PoS like me, drive off campus to another location.

Winner: Qdoba

Final Thoughts


Photo by Santina Renzi

Julie (Qdoba): No matter what restaurant you prefer, we all know that Mexican food is the bomb dot com. Rice, meat, cheese, guac, (queso if you’re cool)—it’s all amazing. I think my New Year’s resolution will be to eat more Mexican food.

Juliette (Chipotle): Chipotle is muh lyfeeeee. 

Overall Winner: Chipotle

After thorough deliberation, we have come to the conclusion that Chipotle simply cannot be beat. While Qdoba has queso and may sometimes be more convenient, Chipotle is exceptionally better in taste and quality.