Anna’s vs. Felipe’s: A Tale of Two Eerily Similar Taquerias
Though I’m going to try to approach the Anna’s vs. Felipe’s debate objectively, I am still a Tufts student and in a lot of ways Anna’s vs. Felipe’s is kind of just a metaphor for Davis Square vs. Harvard Square – or even worse, Tufts vs. Harvard. But let it be clear, there isn’t much difference between the two taquerias. In fact, I had to double check if the owners were the same! When I first visited Felipe’s I was astounded by the ordering similarities. They too had a “super” burrito vs. a “regular” sized burrito, had their meats, salsas, vegetables, and other burrito fillings in the same position, and even had the same whole vegetables that they would chop on request. Certainly differences persisted, while Ana’s did not have a diced red onion topping, Felipe’s lacked Chicken Ranchero, a personal favorite, and in my opinion one of the highlights of Anna’s.
Though I couldn’t get a picture of Felipe’s setup you’re gonna have to believe me that it is basically identical to Anna’s depicted below:
Anna’s Chicken Ranchero: AKA HEAVEN (and Felipe’s biggest flaw)
Let’s do the research. Both Anna’s and Felipe’s are “chains” of sorts. While Anna’s has five other locations in the greater Boston area, Felipe’s interestingly has three other locations… all in New Orleans! It may not be surprising, then, why the only Massachusetts location so similarly resembles the local area competition. Moreover, Anna’s has been around since 1995 while Felipe’s was established almost a decade later in 2004. In my opinion, this looks more favorably on Anna’s, as it seems to be the model Felipe’s was based off of.
Here are several Anna’s locations in the area:
Felipe’s on the other hand…
But don’t take it all from me. Accompanied by some fellow burrito and quesadilla lovers, two of the four preferred Felipe’s. Noting its taste as blending better than Anna’s and preferring its environment, they declared that they’d rather eat at Felipe’s but still loved Anna’s and cited its convenience. Basically, if they were in Harvard they’d gladly choose Felipe’s but Anna’s is still a solid choice that isn’t two T stops away. Also, it can’t be denied that Felipe’s is more of a restaurant. With real décor, and a full salsa bar, you actually feel like this is a place you’re supposed to sit down at as opposed to Anna’s with it’s randomly strewn chairs, chaotic environment, and lack of color or paintings on the walls.
Felipe’s unique salsa bar:
And solid decor:
Anna’s on the other hand does kind of look like you walked into someone’s home kitchen…
However, Anna’s has more impact and more punch. With seemingly larger quesadillas, more flavorful meats, and more filling entrées, it’s clear why Anna’s is more of a sparse restaurant: people aren’t coming for the décor or the ambiance, they’re just there for the solid food. In a lot of ways this is like Davis Square and Tufts: high quality while less glamorous than Harvard Square and Harvard University. What Davis Square lacks in refined beauty, it makes up for in some pretty neat ways and what Tufts kids lack in prestige they supplement with quality – just like Anna’s. Felipe’s is a safer, prettier taqueria where you can get a solid burrito but Anna’s is more flavorful, and quite frankly, more original. Come on, at the end of the day would you rather roam Harvard Square with some knock-off, good-looking Ivy League pal or bum around the neighborhood of Somerville with your good old Tufts friends who have a lot of character? The decision is yours.
But eh, I’m just being facetious, they’re both crazy delicious and you honestly can’t go wrong!
Cover photo source.