Mexican Restaurants San Francisco
This section gives recommendations for where you can find great Mexican Restaurants in San Francisco.
Locals love to have verbal battles over which places are best, and with the help of this list, you can get in on the conversation...
Cheap and Fast, But Tasty
Pancho Villa Taqueria
The food here is cheap and good quality, and that is why you will almost always see a long line forming towards the door. Don’t worry though, it moves quickly. The setting inside is a bit like a cafeteria – but it’s not the ambiance that you come for. The service is fast, and it's one of the best places in town to get a burrito - at least in my humble opinion. That said, I feel especially confident in recommending this place, because it is gotten the approval of both my American and Mexican friends.
Stand in line and wait for one of the (many) staff members to ask you what you would like to order. Pay attention to his or her face, as this person will be making your meal and checking in with you about any specifications. If you know that you want a burrito without beans in it though, try to tell them right away.
Try the burritos or their quesadillas, and definitely get one of the many agua frescas that they have available, such as watermeleon or the sweet rice drink "horchata". Also, don’t miss out on the salsa bar, which has a variety of tasty dips to choose from.
You can also give their brother taqueria, El Toro, which serves similar food, a try – located at 598 Valencia Street @ 17th.
Address: 3071 16th Street, between Mission and Valencia
Hours: open daily from 10:00am – 12:00pm
This is another great taqueria where you can get quality food at a decent price. There are actually two locations, one in the mission (many of the best Mexican places are located in this neighborhood), and a second location in Glen Park. The interior is colorful and more pleasant than at Pancho Villa, and the seating options are more comfortable. There is also occasionally live music on weekends.
Address:2731 Mission Street, btwn 23rd & 24th
Hours: daily 10am - 10pm
This is not a destination spot. It’s an unattractive hole in the wall, but if you happen to find yourself out at Ocean Beach, and you want to have a cheap filling meal, the burritos here are super tasty. In fact, I would argue this it is the best place to get Mexican food on the west side of town.
Try getting a quesadilla here – you can get all the same fillings as a burrito, but they toast the tortilla on the grill first. Yum!
Neighborhood Outer Richmond
Address: 3416 Balboa btwn 36th & 37th
Hours: daily 10:30am-10pm
Finer, but still Affordable
This place offers excellent Mexican food (and cocktails!), with a focus on local, sustainable, and organic ingredients. And since it is situated next to the quality grocery market Falletti's, you can stop by for lunch and then pick up some goods to take home for dinner!
Try their signature Carnitas dish or their grass-fed beef Empanada, and if you're a fan of arroz con leche like I am, definitely leave room for their brown rice version of it with cinnamon, raisins, and Mexican dark chocolate! De-lish!
Neighborhood: North of the Pan Handle (or NOPA)
Address: 306 Broderick Street (btwn Fell and Oak)
Hours: 11:30 am - 10 pm, daily
Green Chile Kitchen
This is another spot that is great for if you are looking for Mexican food with a focus on sustainable, local and organic ingredients, and they have a breakfast menu as well.
Their stews are comforting with a little spicy kick, and I love their blue-corn, hard-shell tacos. They also have a bar serving beer on tap, and you can order tamales here, or xocolatl hot chocolate – a hot chocolate beverage with cinnamon and chile! Great on a foggy day!
Neighborhood: North of the Pan Handle (NOPA)
Address: 1801 McAllister at Baker
Hours: Weekdays 11:30am-9pm; Weekends 11am-9pm
Located in North Beach, this is a welcome new addition to a food scene dominated by pizza and pasta. Serving a simple menu with fresh, high-quality ingredients, this place has a cozy and warm, yet modern, atmosphere with wooden tables and brick-lined walls. You can order oysters on the half shell, a plate of tacos or perhaps try their delicious tortilla soup!
Neighborhood: North Beach
Address: 510 Union St. (at Grant)
Hours:5:30pm-12:30am Tues-Sun, 11am - 3pm Sat & Sun, closed Monday
Late Night Hole-In-The-Walls
Taqueria Cancun is a polarizing place, people either love it or hate, but those who love it are very devoted fans. The portions are enormous, and the prices are cheap, so it is inarguably a good value. Every San Franciscan has their favorite taqueria to get a burrito in the Mission, and this one is on the list. Give the burrito mojado a try.
Address: 2288 Mission at 19th
Hours: Mon-Thu 10am-1am, Fri-Sat 10am - 2am
Another place where huge portions and cheap prices reign, this is a place that will have a line out the door at 2:30 in the morning after all the bars and clubs close.
Address: 2779 Mission St, btwn 23rd and 24th
4817 Mission St. btwn Russia & Onondaga Ave
2950 24th St. at Alabama
Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 10am - 3am, Fri-Sat 10am - 4am
For Excellent Margaritas
Tres Agaves is located close to the ballpark, and is a great sit-down restaurant to stop in for some Mexican food and yummy margaritas, before or after a game. They have a wide selection of tequilas, and even their most basic margarita is a smooth and tasty treat. They only use fresh lime juice in their margaritas - none of that tangy sweet and sour mix - and the interior is warm, inviting and urban with wood, brick and steel.
Neighborhood: South Beach, by the ballpark
Address: 130 Townsend, at 2nd
Hours:Sun-Wed 11:30am-10pm, Thur-Sat 11:30am-11pm
Tommy's is a historic establishment, serving up Yucatan-style Mexican food since 1965, and providing the outer Richmond district a great place to go for quality margaritas. The food here is ok, but it's the selection of 300 Tequilas on their menu that draw people in. They don't take reservations, so if you come on a weekend make sure to come early, otherwise you might have a long wait.
Neighborhood: Outer Richmond
Address: 5929 Geary btwn 23rd and 24th
Hours: noon-11pm, closed on Tuesdays
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