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Tacos are a great fast food alternative and can be piled high with healthier ingredients. Taco ingredient options are close to endless as Mexican tastes are no longer the only way to go. Although Taco Tuesdays generally spotlight south-of-the-border flavors, many Bay Area restaurants have gotten creative with what goes inside a warm tortilla. Read on for five Bay Area locations where Taco Tuesdays live large.
The Taco Shop @ Underdogs
1824 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA 94122
Here is a taco shop that calls itself “a fusion experiment combining a modern taqueria with sports,” so you know you’ve got to check it out. This taqueria serves breakfast (weekends only), lunch and dinner, and sets aside time for “Happy Hour and 1/2” from Monday to Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. While there is a full menu with favorites like nachos, chicken wings, quesadillas and sopa de torilla, folks come for the tacos and burritos that are spotlighted here. Have your tacos Street Style, Nick’s Way, Baja Style or create your own; burrito options are San Francisco, Mexican, San Diego, California and Baja Style. Whenever possible, The Taco Shop sources its food from local and organic family-run ranches and farms, so everything is as fresh as can be. Tuesday is definitely taco night with $2 street tacos and $3 Tecates served 5 p.m. until 12 a.m.
1520 Lakeside Drive
Oakland, CA 94612
Located on the shores of Oakland’s Lake Merritt, the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill is a lovely spot to eat, drink, get romantic or enjoy a casual spin on the evening with family and friends. While the restaurant is noted for its fresh seafood, including a raw bar, Lake Chalet kicks the enjoyment up a notch or two with a weekly rotating menu plus a double-the-fun daily happy hour. Taco Tuesday at the Lake Chalet is a classy affair, with a two-page Chalet Happy Hour menu to prove it. In addition to specialty tacos such as braised chicken, grilled jicama and fresh fish, each at a mere $2.50, enjoy the Chalet Happy Hour that happens every day, twice a day. Tuesdays offer a Taco Tuesday Margarita, $4.50, along with Happy Hour half-priced margaritas and $4 Chalet beers all night. See the Taco Tuesday menu here.
741 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Tacolicious is not your typical taqueria – the restaurant doesn’t serve burritos. This Bay Area mini-chain with four locations began as a little taco stand at the City’s Thursday Ferry Plaza Market and has grown into a cocktail-driven, taco-centered, sit-down spot that also serves upscale plates such as squid Veracruz-style, tuna tostadas and toasted coconut flan. With a menu dedicated to using local, sustainable and organic ingredients, is there one thing that could make Tacolicious even better than it already is? Yes, Taco Tuesdays: $12 for six taco shells, cooked beef, lettuce and fixings to make your own tacos tableside. These tacos are available from 5:30 p.m. until 12 a.m. with vegetarian options also. Visit the website for additional locations.
Golden Gate Park
1000 Great Highway
San Francisco, CA 94121
Located in San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Park and near Queen Wilhelmina’s Windmill, surrounded by the beautiful Dutch Tulip Garden, the Park Chalet Garden Restaurant is a special place. With a varied California cuisine-inspired small-plate menu sharing space with flatbread pizzas and hearty BBQ dishes, plus a full bar and house-brewed beers, there is definitely something for everyone and for every occasion. There is a Sunday brunch buffet, live local bands on Tuesdays and movies every Friday. Adding to this mix is Taco Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., a time to enjoy tacos along with the live music (6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.). Tacos are $2.50 each, and the regular menu is available as well. Check out the Taco Tuesday menu here.
21 N. 2nd St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Angelou’s Mexican Grill is a cozy café in downtown San Jose with a big fan following. A family-owned spot run by married couple Teresa and Sergio Lopez, it was always their dream to open their own restaurant to highlight their love of cooking and share great recipes with their customers. In 2007, Teresa and Sergio’s dream became a reality when Angelou’s Mexican Grill opened its doors. Angelou’s has become such a popular spot that it stays open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate the hungry weekend crowds enjoying San Jose’s downtown nightlife. Customers say the food is fresh, plentiful and delicious, and the warm and friendly ambiance makes the dining experience one of their favorites in San Jose. Tuesday is taco day, all day, at Angelou’s Mexican Grill. From 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., for $7.95 you get three tacos served with rice, beans and a small soft drink; vegetarian options are also available. Note: the website hours are not correct. Angelou’s Mexican Grill is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.
Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.