Related: Best Mexican Cuisine
1788 4th St.
Berkeley, CA 94719
Tacubaya is a taqueria in Berkeley’s popular 4th Street shopping district that gets high ratings for its traditional Mexican dishes. The restaurant, which is named after the Mexico City neighborhood where famed architect Luis Barraguan lived, wanted to create a tacqueria to pay respect to traditional dishes, just as Barraguan’s pure architectural style paid respect to Mexican tradition. Tacubaya serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, highlighting traditonal plates such as sopa de tortilla, tacos al pastor, tortas and tamales con verduras. But it is Tacubaya’s tacos, particularly the fish tacos, that get high marks from its fans.
Oakland and San Francisco farmers’ markets
Serving some of the best tacos in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Cholita Linda owner grew up with food made with love by her Peruvian-born mother and grandmother who had a garden full of fruits and vegetables. Exotic ingredients were a common part of the fresh food on the family’s table. Growing up under the guidance of her grandmother, shopping and cooking together for the family made her feel special. Today, Cholita Linda is a mobile kitchen found at many Bay Area farmers’ markets and local events. The menu features tacos and fresh juices – aguas frescas. Fresh tacos include Baja fish, braised beef or pork and roasted chicken. A vegetarian taco is here too. Cholita Linda will open its first restaurant in Oakland’s Temescal district and focus on Latin America’s street and comfort foods, along with regular items its loyal customers enjoy. Visit the Cholita Linda website for a full schedule of its farmers’ market stops.
La Calaca Loca Taqueria
5199 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94609
A long-time favorite for yummy food, good portions and moderate prices, La Calaca Loca has a lot to satisfy taco lovers. Serving Niman Ranch pork and beef, Fulton Farms chicken and line-caught mahi mahi, La Calaca Loca is definitely listening to its customers. The taqueria’s long list of choices will satisfy any taco cravings or dietary requirements. Carne asada, pollo, carnitas, Baja pescado, grilled pescado and vegetarian options make the list. La Calaca Loca serves breakfast on weekends and lunch and dinner during the week.
The Taco Guys
The Taco Guys, Jason Hoffman and Justin Close, are traveling chefs as their truck moves through Marin County, Alameda County and San Francisco, cooking and serving up some of the most original tacos around. The Taco Guys are a regular staple at Off the Grid North Berkeley, with scheduled stops every other week. Taco selections rotate daily, taking menu-planning prompts from nature. A general schedule of hours and locations that do change is listed on the Taco Guys website, so visit the truck’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date schedule and the day’s menu selections. A sampling of rotating selections include carne asada, pollo verde, lamb, grilled Kampachi, veggie, grilled duck breast and more. Although a bit pricey at around $5 per taco, most of the truck’s loyal fans are willing to shell out for their favorites when the Taco Guys make an appearance.
Tacos Mi Rancho
1434 1st St.
Oakland, CA 94606
Here is the hands down favorite taco truck for the partying crowd. Open until 2:30 or 3 a.m., and with a security guard close by, Tacos Mi Rancho always draws the late nighters. Fans rave about the carne asada and carnitas tacos, and the $1.50 chicken taco is a winner. Tacos Mi Rancho gets points for being convenient, inexpensive, quick and delicious. Although the area can have a shady feel, customers report feeling safe, as everyone behaves themselves to keep this late-night gem open. Burritos are huge and highly recommended, plus good veggie options too. At $1.25 for a regular taco and $2 for the super, the tacos are priced right and so delicious.
Related: Best Burritos In The East Bay
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.