By Anna Duckworth

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — For the first time, a mobile food truck is in the Zagat restaurant guide for the Bay Area.

In a survey of 10,000 people, El Tonayense – parked daily outside the Best Buy on Harrison Street at 13th in San Francisco – ranked number one in Zagat’s 2011 Best Bang for Your Buck category.

“People are choosing a quality meal out of a truck, versus a typical fast food joint because the value is definitely a nice niche to be in,” said Ken Lo, a regular, who also owns a sushi restaurant in the Marina District.

“Everyone is looking for value these days, and here you get a quality meal for the price, and you don’t have to sit down,” said Lo.

The El Tonayense tacos are $1.75, and the burritos are $6. Lo says he considers El Tonayense’s husband and wife owners pioneers of the growing food truck trend.

“As opposed to opening a $500,000 restaurant, these chefs can start a taco truck for a fraction of the cost, and still offer the kind of quality cuisine you can get at a neighborhood restaurant,” said Lo.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (15)
  1. not2 wicked says:

    Best burritos. Fresh and tasty ingredients. Yum.

  2. The Epicure says:

    “Top Ranking?”
    I just checked, and El Toyanese is rated 24 out of 30 for food, far behind at least 100 restaurants in the guide. It is rated “Best Bang for the Buck” … not “Number One” overall. Article needs to be better-written.

  3. szaza says:

    YES! I have been a devout fan for years.
    Al Pastor burrito and cabeza tacos! Mmmm…

  4. obbop says:

    Across the bay in Concord every weekday morning around 10:30 am the “roach coach” pulled into the parking lot.

    They had an outstanding wonderful delightful oh-so-good bacon cheese burger on a sourdough roll.

    Mayo and onion only, please.

    Two large burger patties that covered the roll. Always fresh and, as so aptly described by the boss….. everything that comes off that truck has at least a slight “oriental flavor” to it.

    He was right. Not overwhelming on non-oriental-type foods but still present, from fries to hot dogs to deliciously delightful bacon cheese burgers.

    I cry aloud from atop the Ozark Plateau, hillbilly heaven where road kill is haute’ cuisine.

    It’s been 18 or more years since I reveled in that bacon cheeseburger.

    Oh how I miss it. Long for one. Pine to shovel one into my gaping maw and emulate a Great White (is that PC?) shark and engorge myself upon one of the greatest burgers ever concocted by a roach coach. Or any source of burgers.


    Fleeting memories of a happier time, a more comfortable clime, and the awesomeness of that roach coach.

    I miss you.


  5. harry johnson says:

    I got a really bad GI infection from that truck…nothing a quick dose of Cipro could not cure.

  6. raygel says:

    you wanna see real trucks? go to “off the grid” at fort mason on fridays.

  7. Wally says:


  8. mike g says:

    Tonayense? Really??? That is one of the worst taco trucks in the city. Always really dry burritos and overpriced. I have sworn never to eat there again. Forget Zagats, that is a joke

  9. MM says:

    iIts a good idea to get the tacos .. it is a TACO TRUCK.Their Tacos are yummy!! Burritos are a below average not the place fo a good burrito, if you want a great Burrito go to El Farolito on Missiona 24th!!

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