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Atwater Village’s most famous burrito maker dies

Maria Flores (left) pictured in 2016 with her daughter

Atwater Village –  Maria Flores, whose burritos and tacos had won praise from neighborhood locals as well as the late chef and author Anthony Bourdain, has died, according to her restaurant’s Twitter feed.

Flores and her family have been dishing out Mexican-American fare for more than 20 years out of Tacos Villa Corona, a small take-out stand on Glendale Boulevard.  While the strip has gentrified with coffee houses and gastropubs, regulars still line up for breakfast burritos.

Flores died  late Saturday afternoon, according to a post on the Tacos Villa Corona Twitter account.  “We thank you all for all your thoughts, prayers, and support,” said the post. “She was a great women who loved everyone selflessly. May she forever be in our hearts.”

Bourdain’s visit to the hole-in-wall restaurant in 2012 was recorded for a Travel Channel program. He ordered the chicken and steak tacos. “Oh. Wow. Why are these so awesome?” he said.  He then made some room for a chorizo and papas breakfast burrito. “Holy crap. This is a whole different story. That’s a torpedo … Wow. I could eat this whole thing.”

Three years ago, the stand was forced to shut down for several weeks after Flores underwent major surgery. But she eventually returned to work behind the grill with her daughter, Felicia

“We have the most beautiful customers,” Flores said after returning to the stand.

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6 comments

  1. Such a huge loss for the community and hungry people alike. She was and still will be a legend.

  2. So very sad indeed. My deepest condolences to her family.

  3. I was just thinking of the this weekend as I craved a burrito. She was so lovely, gentle, friendly — and made excellent hot sauce! My condolences are with the whole family who run this wonderful business.

  4. Atwater will not be the same without her. She was like a mother to all of us. My daughter was one when we moved to Atwater. She’s now 22. She was raised on papas burritos . We all loved her 💔and will miss her daily 💔

  5. this is a huge loss, my heart and condolences go out to all the family

  6. We are so sad. She always remembered my son’s name and would give him a free drink or extra papas taco for 13 years. We lost a neighborhood treasure.

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