It has been said that we eat with our eyes first, but there is something to be said for the sizzling sound that freshly made fajitas make when they are served to your table. Fajitas have become a staple on the menu at most Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in the San Francisco area. These five North Bay Restaurants will put the sizzle and pop into this delicious dish.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

The Cantina
651 E Blithedale Ave
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 381-1070

Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

The Cantina in Mill Valley has been a staple in the community for over 25 years, and it recently got a facelift. With ample outdoor seating in its front and back patios and a fire pit, The Cantina is a choice ambiance for enjoying Mexican fare. While the restaurant boasts all the typical Mexican dishes, the fajitas have become a signature dish on the menu. The Cantina served its fajitas blazing hot with sautéed onions, bell peppers, cheese, salsa fresca, guacamole, Mexican rice, sweet corn cake and your choice of beans. If that wouldn’t be enough, diners can add chicken, skirt steak, blackened shrimp or portobello mushrooms.

Photo Credit: Pancho Villa's Mexican Restaurant and Bar

Pancho Villa’s Mexican Restaurant and Bar
1625 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Fairfax, CA 94930
(415) 459-0975

Hours: Mon to Thurs – 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri – 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sat to Sun – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Pancho Villa’s legacy stretches back for more than 35 years. During that time, it has become well known for its margaritas and large portions that don’t break the bank. To stick with authentic Mexican cuisine, the restaurant’s current owner Kelly Medina has traveled throughout Mexico to hone her culinary skills. The real star of the show is the fajitas, which start with homemade, fresh tortillas made in plain view of customers. The diners can choose from steak, carnitas, chicken or the three amigos: steak, carnitas, chicken, scallops, red snapper, tiger prawns and vegetables. With its fresh local ingredients, customers can be sure they are getting quality dishes at Pancho Villa’s Restaurant and Bar.

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Photo Credit: Mi Pueblo

Mi Pueblo Taqueria
208 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
San Anselmo, CA 94960
(415) 460-1027

Hours: Daily – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Mi Pueblo’s owner comes from San Gabriel, Jalisco, and first arrived at the North Bay culinary scene in 1997. He has since expanded to five locations throughout the area. Within that time, Mi Pueblo has built its foundation on choosing traditional ingredients of the highest quality and freshness. This includes the handmade tortillas, which are the foundation for its sizzling fajitas. The servings of beef, chicken or seafood are plentiful and keep customers filled and frequent. With its roots firmly grounded in authentic cuisine, diners can be sure they are getting all the traditional fixings at Mi Pueblo.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Taqueria Maria
640 3rd St
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 257-6925

Hours: Sun to Thurs – 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Fri to Sat – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Taqueria Maria bills itself as traditional Mexican with a Southwestern flair. The restaurant just opened in 2010, but has been getting a lot of buzz from locals for its authentic Mexican cuisine. With reasonable prices and indoor or outdoor patio seating, it has been a welcomed addition to the area. It also offers smoking fajitas, which come with the option of chicken, steak, prawn or a sampler of all three. The proteins are accompanied with grilled onions, bell peppers and tomatos, and served with rice, beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa and tortillas on the side. Besides the fajitas, you can find all the usual suspects on the menu like quesadillas, burritos and tacos.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Taqueria Real
354 Bel Marin Keys Blvd
Novato, CA 94949
(415) 382-0522

Located in Novato close to the area’s office district, Taqueria Real has become a favorite for hungry workers. Diners can enjoy the fresh salsa bar and tortas made from freshly baked bread, or chow down on the Burrito Gigante, which is more than a foot long. Taqueria Real also offers fajitas fit for a king. This satisfying entree can be ordered with chicken, steak or spicy shrimp, and is served with onions, peppers, tomatos and fresh avocado. The dish runs under $10 and packs substantial flavor and spice to keep diners satisfied.

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Jenna Broughton can frequently be found exploring the streets of San Francisco looking for her next adventure and gastronomic delight. She has traveled far and wide, from Paris to Savannah, GA, to satisfy her adventurous palate. Her work can be found at