Walking up to Bebe’s Burritos, nestled among the retail shops in downtown Biddeford, you know you are in for a fun experience. I mean, have you ever been to an establishment with thousands of twinkle lights hanging above the outside cafe tables that wasn’t a great place to hang out?

Upon entering, my mind experienced a slight state of confusion at the explosion of colors, decorations and bubbly murals on the walls, mixed with the musical stylings of Britney Spears. Though slightly overwhelming, the style quickly grows on you. Plus, you don’t have to listen to mariachi music for two hours, which is always a welcome relief in Mexican restaurants.

Bebe’s Burritos was already a landmark in Biddeford when owner Pamela Francis took it over a few years ago. At the time, it was a takeout burrito place with picnic tables, and about half the size it is now. In just a few short years, it has transformed into a “cantina” where you want to sit down, order lots and hang out.

As we walked up to the bar, the tanned bartender (complete with sparkling smile and unpopped-collared polo) encouraged us to pull up a suede swiveling barstool. “Most comfortable seat in the house,” he mused. (I wonder if every cantina-style bar is supposed to have a bartender like him.)

We started with chips and homemade salsa ($4). Amanda, the manager on duty, told us that the salsa is made daily, and the nominal price gets you a huge basket and bowl. A pretty good selection of microbrews and domestics on draft helped start the evening.

The Back From Iraq Burrito ($8.99) was inherited when Pamela took over, and it absolutely did not disappoint. Much like a bar with twinkle lights, you just can’t go wrong with a homemade burrito smothered in chili.

Amanda is a fan of the Bebe’s Tostada ($9.99). With beans, chicken, Jack cheese, guacamole, red salsa and a deliciously fruity pineapple mango salsa, it was definitely too much food to eat in one sitting. Which, of course, meant leftovers for me.

Knowing that you can’t go to a burrito place without trying the margarita, we were soon mesmerized when the bartender pulled out a wooden rack and set up four little margarita glasses. The small Margarita Sampler ($8.75) consists of one casa (house) margarita, and then three flavored margaritas, usually chosen by the bartender on duty. They have a few different sizes, right up to a Mucho Grande ($36) that holds eight double sample-sized glasses. Trying out the different flavors is not only entertaining, but also quite yummy.

Although fall means the end of beach season and a slowdown for most of the Old Orchard Beach-Biddeford-Saco establishments, Bebe’s Burritos is definitely one that you’ll want to add to your list of places to visit for a great burrito, delicious margarita and laid-back, colorfully fun atmosphere. 

Elisa Doucette is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.