I sent out a poll to a UGA Facebook group, asking them which Athens Tex-Mex place they liked best. I expected a lukewarm response at best. 107 replies and several heated debates in the comments later, I realized just how much we care about our Tex-Mex. Ranked from the lowest to highest votes, I compared Chipotle and Moe's with two local chains, Willy's and Barberitos.

Last Place: Moe's

chicken, corn, burrito, tacos, cheese, salsa
Rebecca Buechler

Moe’s has been Chipotle’s long-standing rival for years, but it came in last in my poll with only 10 votes. Moe's has one clear advantage over its rival: queso. They also serve chips with each meal and a free salsa bar, including their famous seasonal salsas.

Moe's also offers more topping options than Chipotle, so you're more likely to find a combo you love. Their protein options include chicken, two types of beef, a pork, a tofu, and fish. And, unlike Chipotle, guac is included with burrito bowls. Their unique menu items have an option called a “stack,” which is essentially a build-your-own crunchwrap supreme.

Come here for: Queso

3rd Place: Barberitos

burrito, salsa, chicken, tacos
Rebecca Buechler

Barberitos is the only Athens Tex-Mex on the list with a location on campus.They have 7 locations in the Athens area, with more spread across the South East.

They offer four different tortilla options for your burrito (flour, wheat, spinach and chipotle) and several uncommon toppings, like fresh sliced avocado and raw green bell peppers. At some locations, they'll even grill your vegetables to order. 

Protein options include two types of chicken, steak, tofu, ground turkey, and fish available on Fridays.

Similar to Moe's, their seasoned chips and salsa bar come free with your order. The people I surveyed were divided, however, on the taste of the chips: some told me their chips are often too oily, while others argued they are best chips around. They also have cheese dip for your chips or entree, which certainty helped slide them into third place with 17 votes.

Come here for: Convenience and Options

2nd Place: Willy's 

chicken, cilantro, tacos
Rebecca Buechler

Willy’s barely beat Barberitos with 18 votes. While it reaps the same benefits as Moe’s and Barberitos—queso, free chips with entree, salsa bar—many will say that Willy's claim to fame is their lemonade bar. Try washing down your next meal with classic, mango, raspberry, or prickly pear lemonade. And some locations even offer ritas. 

Their specials include the Frito Burrito, stuffed with frito chips, and the Baja Burrito, smothered in chipotle sauce and cheese dip and served with rice and beans on the side.

As a local Georgian company, they serve King of Pops as a sweet way to end your meal. Willy’s even offers breakfast options (at the Peachtree Center and the Hartsfield Jackson locations), adding egg, sausage, bacon, and hash browns to their menu.

Come here for: Lemonade

1st Place: Chipotle

chicken, salad
Savannah Tully

Chipotle wins the battle, taking just under half the votes. In response, a disappointed Moe's fan commented that this was to be expected, because Chipotle is the most widely available of all the options, so people who were not from Georgia or Athens wouldn't have grown up with the other options.

Advocates praise Chipotle's fresh veggies, cilantro-lime rice, and better-tasting guacamole than its competitors. They also serve alcoholic beverages at most locations, like margaritas and beer.

While some may still be hesitant to trust their ingredients, and while they don’t offer as many options, people argue that their ingredients taste fresher.

Unlike the other options, chips and salsa must be purchased separately. However, Chipotle finally added queso to the menu at some locations.

Come here for: Fresher ingredients

Note: The last 19 votes went to other Athens Tex-Mex chains, such as Qdoba and Cafe Rio.