The Heartbeat of Haverhill

Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA

Battle of the Burritos in Downtown Haverhill

There is a showdown of sorts in that strange stretch of road that sidles up to the Merrimack River. You know that area that is beyond the rail bridge that is both Washington Street and River Street.

It’s a place where Tacos Lupita ruled when it came to freshly made Mexican food. But now, not a mile away, there’s a new kid in town ‘Stuft’.  And it’s easy to see why they both will make that area of Haverhill more interesting.


TACOS LUPITA,  194 River St, Haverhill, MA 01832,  978-374-1839  CLOSED MONDAYS

Tacos Lupita is decidedly old school. No FB page other than one fans put together, no website, family run, very modestly priced, the offerings best described as comfort food. People really like the options here and give the restaurant 4 and 5 stars on Yelp and TripAdvisor despite a much less than glamorous exterior or interior. People like the chance to slide down a buffet-like  counter and pick out their meats, beans, rice, sauces and veggies. Tacos Lupita makes home style food, nothing exotic, not too many options, just good. Check out their selection of authentic non-alcoholic beverages, too, like Jarittos fruit flavored sodas and Horchata Salvadorean style rice milk. There is a long held debate about which is better roasted pork (al pastor) or fried pork. But everyone agrees at less than $6 per well packed, made-to-order burrito, the price is right.

STUFT,  150 Washington St., Haverhill, MA 01832  (978) 377-7981 CLOSED MONDAYS but hours are still evolving

STUFT is many things Tacos Lupita isn’t. It’s trendy, more adventurous with food combinations, new, frequented by hipsters, and more expensive. Stuft does crazy good things with tater tots and offers a french fry based nacho dish. Mexican Street Corn is roasted then topped with a spiced mayonnaise, cotija cheese and herbs. You get a little piece of corn with entrees and can order a full cob to satisfy bigger cravings. Wings are a big part of their menu and there are a good selection of sauces to choose from. The shop was packed on a beautiful Thursday night, so it took a little longer to find a parking space (even behind the Tap was full) and we were advised of a 15+ minute wait for our order. But, they’ve only been open a couple of weeks, so everyone should cut them some slack if service is occasionally spotty. They will work that out; they are still staffing up, and will probably make changes to the menu and their hours that might streamline service. THOH recommends liking their Facebook page to see their full menu and to keep up as they find their groove. The food (according to several people who suggested The Heartbeat of Haverhill check them out) is authentic and delicious.


(c)Alison Colby-Campbell




16 comments on “Battle of the Burritos in Downtown Haverhill

  1. boomerwells
    April 25, 2016

    I can get two burritos at Lupita for the price of one at Stuft, and the quality is terrific without parking issues. Tried and true works for me, TYVM.

    • Brain4Rent/THoH
      April 25, 2016

      Thanks so much boomerwells I love it when people passionate enough to comment!

  2. Chloe Gordon
    April 25, 2016

    Let me just say that STUFT is THE BEST Mexican street food I’ve ever had. It’s authentic and you can tell it’s all made fresh when it gets to your table. Not to mention your mouth will be watering like crazy. I’ve never had anything like the food that I’ve had at Stuft. Everything on the menu is to die for. If you haven’t been you NEED to get there ASAP. No one makes better corn, wings, burritos, French fries, and tacos then the chef at stuft. The wings at stuft stay super crunchy for what seems like an eternity and I will never understand how the chef does it! 100000 stars!!!

    • Brain4Rent/THoH
      April 25, 2016

      Wow Chloe you are the most passionate fan, so I appreciate your sharing review. The way you described those wings made me reconsider my choice to go vegetarian at least for a bit, because wings are a favorite of mine and it is all about the crunch. Is there anywhere else around the Merrimack Valley that claims to serve “Mexican Street food” that you’ve tried. I’d be interested to know what elevates Mexican food to Mexican Street Food. I think my readers would like to know that as well. Thanks again for your comments.

  3. Tereasa
    April 25, 2016

    I always gets STUFT AT STUFT! I LOVE STUFT! The place is always clean and food is fresh and tastes AWESOME ! The best Mexican food is ever had ! For me it’s even better than chipotle ! And yes it’s a bit on the expensive side but hey YOUR GETTING FRESH FOOD ! And always tastes good! So they have a reason to be expensive ! I enjoy spending my money at STUFT! Knowing it will fill me up and I even take to go for the next day ! If someone asked me is say go to STUFT ! Not taco lupita ! I’m sorry taco Lapita you might be cheap and what not but atleast it’s fresh and the place is not a sketch ball like taco Lapita. But it’s not even about how it looks it’s the quality of the food it’s the GOODNESS I HAVE EVERYTIME.EVERYTIME it’s a great experience! Just the food is amazing I can’t say it enough the food is awesome and if you haven’t gone down there TAKE A MINUTE AND GO DOWNTOWN AND EAT ! I promise you will love it ! And if you don’t give it a chance WELL YOUR MISSING OUT ON SOME VERY TASTY YUMMY FRESH AUTHENIC MEXICAN FOOD THE STREET CORN ❤️ CARINTAS burrito ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  4. George
    April 25, 2016

    Lupita is better, service at sruft is horrible! And it’s overpriced.

  5. George Kattar
    April 25, 2016

    Its called stuft for a reason. If you analyze it correctly, you’ll come to terms with paying the difference because you can usually get 2 meals out of one. I am a die hard Lupita fan, and personally know the owner of stuft. I wouldnt really even call it a competition because neither spot is in anyway doing the same thing.
    Lupitas is old school, and there isnt anything that isnt authentic about it. Even the interior decor. You arent going to go south of the border, and find an authentic place that is balls to the wall done up because of the lifestyle where the food originated. The food is simple yet tasty, but the price of the borrito reflects the fact I usually order 2 because one doesnt fill me up. They offer beef toungue tacos, and homemade sauces…which i cant see being any more authentic then that haha. The interior decor does nothing short of promote its roots, and even with a line youre out in 5 minutes or less.
    Now as for Stuft… best place of its kind to hit the area. Its not another chain, and the owners have grown up in this area for as long as Ive been alive. With that, comes more of a personal touch and devotion I feel you couldnt get with a chain. They built this from the ground up. Some people have said the wait for food was a concern, but as for any new place that just opened – its expected. This was a spot that had huge popularity for a number of reasons even before it opened its doors, so I feel once it opened the volume of people was even almost surprising higher then could be anticipated. I could almost guarantee this will be an immediate fix. The street corn is like icong on the cake with this place. Ive been to LA, southern California, and I couldnt tell you any place ive ever in my life seen this to the caliber of Stuft. Unreal. The borritos, the tacos, or whatever you would like to compare to lupitas is just entirely different. Its not you’re everyday borrito (size and taste) and like Lupitas its made from scratch. Its open late night on weekends, which is the kicker for me. There is nowhere around you have that menu variety and food quality at that time of night. He also makes his own sauces and goes above and beyond to keep integrity to the authenticy of what he serves. He enjoys what he does. Like stated prior in the article, its hip, fun, and everything tastes awesome.
    I couldnt sit here and even entertain the idea of comparing the two. But I will say this before I stop rambling….(expletive) Chipotle. I hate it. Its a chain and absolute rip off of what places like Lupita have set up all over the country. Heres why. 1. If 9 out of 10 times I USED to go there there isnt 1 employee who can correctly roll a borrito, im all set. I got a borrito to eat with my hands, not a fork and knife. There is nothing authentic to that place. Knockoff generic seasonings, and authenic names for menu items that are in no way even deserving names. Most places have a 25 minute wait. Its pricey. Guacs exttra. And who wants tobasco sauce on a borrito?! Thats my biggest issue with this place…if your only hot sauce is tabasco..GTFO.
    I could have went on all day about the positives of Tacos Lupita and Stuft, but at the end of the day just go see for yourself. You wont be let down. If you like chipotle over Lupita and havemt been to stuft yet, theres probably no saving you. Youre a follower and know nothing about food.youre opinion means 0 to anything that matters. There isnt one employee who works there for any other reason then a paycheck. They have no incentive to please you. People who say they like mexican food so they eat at chipotle is Is like saying you love Italian food so you eat at Olive Garden, or you love asian food so you eat at mater wok or china buffet.
    -end rant.

    • Brain4Rent/THoH
      April 25, 2016

      Oh my gosh, quite a thorough review and explanation of the differences. PS I hear you on Chipotle

  6. Mark Rudis
    April 26, 2016

    Stuft rules. You get what you pay for and i will pay for STUFT

  7. Annie Taylor
    April 26, 2016

    TACOS LUPITA ALL THE WAY!!!! Stuft seems like the trendy place that comes and goes and has way more than you need. I have never even heard anyone talk about Stuft most arguments I have are Chipotle vs Tacos Lupita and I will STILL fight to the death for Tacos Lupita. I have been in three different restaurants where smoke detectors have gone off and at 2 of them people just got up and left- no questions, not at Tacos Lupita! Customers REFUSED to leave until the fire department showed up and told them to leave while they made sure everything was ok. That is DEDICATION!!!! Tacos Lupita can’t be beat and won’t be beat, they don’t need gimmicks (it seems like that’s what Stuft relies on) and there is a reason Phantom Gourmet has even visited. It is quality, you get more than what you pay for because you don’t have to pay for advertising, or fancy decorations, or waiters. You are paying for the food and the food is delicious!

    …to be fair haven’t been to Stuft yet. I go to school in Vermont and when I am home I have to be very picky about my restaurants but I’m reading that they’re open late so maybe if I want Lupita’s one day but they’re closed I’ll give Stuft a chance.

    • Brain4Rent/THoH
      April 26, 2016

      Stuft has only been open a couple of weeks. I’m sure you’ll start hearing more about it when you return but I love your story about the smoke detectors and Tacos Lupita

  8. Mike Valvo
    April 26, 2016

    Cannot wait to try Stuft.

  9. Chad Dorey
    May 6, 2016


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Alison Colby-Campbell



Full-brain user demonstrating a healthy(?) obsession with marketing, promotion, writing, photography, house rabbits, the natural world, tennis, big and small problem solving, reading, hiking, HGTV and the flotsam & jetsam of everyday life. My three blogs Brain4Rent, The Heartbeat of Haverhill, Alison Colby-Campbell Photography are Wordpress based.

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