Willy’s Mexicana Grill marks 25 years of burrito business

1995 was a busy year here in Atlanta.  The Atlanta Braves won the World Series.  LaFace Records singing group TLC topped the music charts with the hit song “Waterfalls.”  And as the entire city prepared to host the 1996 Summer Olympics, a guy named Willy Bitter decided to open a burrito restaurant in town.

25 years later, Willy’s Mexicana Grill has grown into one of the most popular chains in our area, with more than 30 locations stretching from Columbus to Athens and a loyal fanbase that just can’t get enough of the restaurant’s famous burritos, bowls, tacos, and nachos.

We spent the morning with Willy Bitter and the team at the original Willy’s Mexicana Grill in Buckhead, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the business and getting a first taste of the brand-new Willy Philly Burrito.  The story of Willy’s Mexicana Grill stretches back to the founder’s time spent in San Francisco’s Mission District (or, as he calls it, Land of the Burrito Gods), where he fell in love with the region’s big, delicious burritos and decided to bring them to the hungry masses here in the south.

For a look at the full Willy's menu and locations, click here.  And click the video player in this article to see more from our morning at the original Willy’s, including our burrito-rolling challenge with the man himself!