Pork Tacos (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Mexican restaurants are almost boundless throughout the Bay Area and especially in San Francisco, with such an ethnically diverse pool of residents and heavy Hispanic and Latino populations throughout. While some of the best Mexican choices are in the Mission District, we take a look at some of the top offerings reaching the Tenderloin, Noe Valley, and Lower Height areas as well, with options of ranging from the traditional taqueria and gourmet sit down restaurants.
292 Divisadero St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
The Little Chihuahua packs a big punch with its fresh ingredients, consciously from sustainable farming, and offers some of the best steak dishes in the Bay Area. With rave reviews for their carne asada burritos and enchiladas, The Little Chihuahua, with two other locations in Noe Valley and the Mission District, also features a fried plantain & black bean burrito and a variety of tostada salads
2317 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
Not only has Mamacita received awards for “Best Mexican Restaurant” in San Francisco, but was also recognized by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the top all-around restaurants in the Bay Area as well. With unique and gourmet twists on traditional standards, duck-leg tacos and jicama and fruit salad to name a few, Mamacita has rightfully earned its accolades. Mamacita also prides itself with its tequila and drink menu, filled from hand crafted and boutique distilleries, offering over 60 house tequilas and mezcals.
1017 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
In the Tenderloin District, Olivo’s Restaurant goes above and beyond the normal Mexican food, offering other Latin American dishes as well. With large portions at a cost that won’t break the bank, the deliciously fresh burritos are their number one seller. With so many other Mexican food places in the area, Olivo’s offers a diverse menu featuring traditional Salvadoran papusas with curtido, which has been praised for its authentic taste.
306 Broderick St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
When most people think of Mexican food in the city, we have a picture of a traditional taqueria. Nopalito takes it to a more traditional restaurant level. With outdoor seating, with heat lamps to get you through the San Francisco weather, or the cozy indoor atmosphere, Nopalito’s menu brings Mexican gourmet at its best. With different offerings from turkey meatballs served with charred japones chilis and a hard boiled egg crumbled on top, to a more traditional chicken tamale, to poblano con pollo kicked up a notch with spicy and sweet mole sauce, Nopalito has something for everyone’s taste.
3349 23rd St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Located in the heart of the Mission District, Velvet Cantina offers fresh ingredient food, also cooking their own chips in house, at reasonable prices in a family atmosphere. Although the menu may look simple, the dishes served are plentiful with a taste to fulfill all your Mexican food cravings. With uniquely blended offerings such as shrimp enchiladas and avocado and cactus enchiladas, you will still find all the traditional comfort food at your disposal as well. The drink menu is impressive, with aged tequilas or margarita pitchers available, perfect for a large party of family or friends.
Andrew Wilson started a music webzine to photograph and write about his favorite artists. He quickly notoriety as both a writer and photographer, and has since been published to a variety of national news sites. Andrew resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and is pursuing a degree in landscape photography.