It’s Mexican Independence Day…aka real Cinco de Mayo. It’s time to get taco libre out in the city tonight! Here are our favorite spots to get your masa on.
1. Pancho Villa – Mission
Their salsa bar is the best in the city, and they’ve got State Fair salsa awards lining the walls to prove it. This assembly-line-style taco bar is a mainstay on the Mission taco scene. Agua frescas abound and simmering meats make everyone that comes through drool. My personal favorite is the carne asada. It’s the perfect place for a super authentic taco evening.
2. Taqueria Vallarta – Mission
This colorful spot on 24th St is known for its taco bar. Its got every taco classic you could dream of: lengua, barbacoa, al pastor. Try them all! If you’re lucky, there will be someone selling tamales in the corner that you can try for dessert (yes, I know tamales aren’t dessert, but these are worth it).
3. Tropisueno – Financial District
If you’ve never tried the orange salsa at Tropisueno, you’re doing yourself a disservice. In the heart of the city, this sit down Mexican joint is also known for some of the best margaritas in town and a slow simmered, complex mole that will make a foggy SF evening better.
4. Don Pisto’s – North Beach
One of Sergio Romo’s favorite restaurants, Don Pistos‘ lineup features more than just tacos, but if you’re in a taco mood, definitely get the Al Pastor taco which comes with charred pineapple and avocado salsa. Not in the taco mood? Don’t worry, their hamburgesa is one of the best in SF!
5. El Techo de Lolinda – Mission
Although tacos aren’t officially on the menu, El Techo serves up chincharrones like you’ve never had before. A huge hunk of roasted and fried pork is served alongside handmade tortillas and salsas. Plus, they have 360° city views on their roof – a perfect place to consume this simple but perfect dish while drowning in Mezcal.
6. Nick’s Crispy Tacos – Russian Hill
If you’re looking for a little party to add on to your taco night, Nick’s is the spot. Half bar, half restaurant, Nick’s is the kind of place where you get a pitcher of margaritas with friends and a side of guac to share. The dish to order is in the name – their crispy tacos are a fried taco shell surrounded in melty cheese and a soft tortilla. The gourmet version of a crunch wrap supreme.
7. La Espiga de Oro – Mission
This not-yet-mass-discovered spot in the Mission is slowly making its way up the Yelp rankings. And for good reason. I almost didn’t want to mention it, because I want it to stay hidden. But I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the place that makes every form of pork a piece of art.
Want more tips for tacos spots in San Francisco? Text our Scouts at 415-915-2421 or chat on the app!
Photo Credits: Garin Fons, Evan Blaser