The Best Mexican Restaurants in San Francisco and the East Bay

Eat your way through the region’s legendary tacos, burritos, and more.

26 min read
BestMexicanSF LittleChihuahua taco feature

Restaurants in 49 states now have the right to use the phrase Taco Tuesday, and to celebrate, DoorDash is supporting and spotlighting Mexican restaurants across the country. Here are some of our favorites in San Francisco!

If you spend even a little time in the San Francisco Bay Area, you know that we’re serious about our Mexican food. We fervently debate the region’s best burrito, trek great distances to experience the latest “it” taco, celebrate over margarita-fueled fiestas, and lean heavily on our local taquerias and cantinas for edible comfort and affordable everyday sustenance. 

There are reasons for this reliance. With deep historical and cultural ties to Mexico, flourishing Mexican communities, and access to the freshest ingredients and broad culinary influences, the Bay Area abounds with outstanding Mexican dining possibilities. 

To help you make your next online order with confidence, we put together a list of the best spots available for delivery. Selected for their diversity of regional cooking styles, menu offerings, locations, popularity among the DoorDash and Caviar community, and, most importantly, flavor, the restaurants here are muy delicioso.


Poc-Chuc Restaurant


This festive family-run Mission District mainstay is famous for its Yucatecan and Mayan cuisine, especially its namesake poc chuc, a smoky, citrus-marinated example of grilled pork perfection. Get it, then add on other soulful sensations, such as the ink-black and soupy turkey mole or a panucho, a Yucatán comfort comprised of puréed black beans, lightly fried and folded into handmade tortillas, piled high with shredded turkey, lemony cabbage, pickled red onions, and avocado.

El Pípila

Chef-owner Guadalupe Guerrero’s dream of bringing the cuisine of the Mexican state of Guanajuato to the city is now a James Beard Award–winning reality on Brannan Street. Savor the layered flavors of Guerrero’s historic north-central Mexico heritage in her soulful pozole verde or her vegetable Enchiladas Mineras bathed in house-made red sauce.

BestMexicanSF ElPipila group article

Taqueria El Castillito

A regular on “best burritos” lists, this Duboce Triangle spot’s Super Burrito is a two-hand celebration of your meat of choice (we love the carnitas and carne asada), melty cheese, flavorful rice and beans, dollops of guacamole and sour cream, and swaths of salsa, onions, and cilantro. Bonus: The Breakfast All Day menu satisfies anytime cravings for chorizo-egg burritos or huevos rancheros.

Gordo Taqueria

The hefty Super Burritos at this local chain rock, but the serious score is the gargantuan carnitas plate. Piled high with juicy pork, Mexican rice, tender pinto beans, pico de gallo, and generous dollops of guacamole and sour cream (add on a side of fiery hot sauce), it’s one of the best, tastiest deals in town — since 1977! With locations in Inner Sunset, inner Richmond District, outer Richmond, and the East Bay, it’s easy to get your fix.

Chuy’s Fiestas Restaurant

There’s dining divinity in this Mission District cantina’s carne asada fries — a come-hither combo of deep-fried potato strips, melted cheese, chopped beef, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream. But then again, the bulky Flat Top Burrita, a griddle-crisped burrito, and the mix-and-match quesadilla/burrito/taco options slap, too. And don’t forget the chilaquiles.

Chisme Cantina

Vengan aquí, gluten-free and vegan diners! With soft gluten-free Las Palmas corn tacos cradling skirt steak, mahi-mahi, jackfruit, or eggplant topped with classic fixin’s, you can enjoy with abandon at this Lower Nob Hill cantina. For dessert: Live it up with crispy caramel churros drizzled with local Ghirardelli chocolate sauce. Regardless, white or red sangria completes the order-in party. 

BestMexicanSF Chisme mahimahitacos article


Nopalito is big on heritage Mexican recipes — all made from scratch with top-tier local ingredients. Hence chef-owner and Nopa alum Gonzalo Guzman’s Michelin Bib Gourmand ranking and throngs of fans who swear by the legendary carnitas (order enough for the house, and add sides) and the totopos — crisp house-made tortilla chips drenched in smooth red chile salsa and sprinkled with shaved cotija cheese, onion, and cilantro. The 18th Street location has a smaller yet still mighty menu.

Cholita Linda

The “pretty little girl” here refers to the sweet mix of heritages — Peruvian, Mexican, and Cuban — evident in the street and comfort foods from this local farmers market favorite with Ferry Building, Oakland, and Alameda locations. Say hola to epic tacos — try the beloved Baja-style crispy fried fish version — caramelized plantains, and meaty sandwiches, all made with fresh ingredients.

BestMexicanSF CholitaLinda group article

Taqueria Los Mayas

No passport needed for the Inner Richmond’s taste of the Yucatán. Tender, handmade, abuela-approved tortillas are a welcome base for street-style tacos, crunchy panuchos (stuffed tacos), and burritos — all made with heritage recipes and fresh ingredients. House-made sauces and salsas raise the street-food bar higher still.

El Buen Comer

Chef-owner Isabel Caudillo’s guisados — homey, long-simmered stews and braises — teleport the taste buds to Mexico City, the city where she grew up and that inspired her Michelin Plate–approved cooking. Use Caudillo’s handmade organic corn tortillas to sop up the green mole in her chunky family-style pork stew, or try a real-deal taco showcasing her chicken stewed in chipotle-tomato sauce.

Death by Taco

The atmospheric Mission Bay restaurant’s name and dish descriptions may be eyebrow raisers, but their food game is anything but. For a life-affirming meal, choose the Catch Me Asada, a carne asada taco; the As if Avocados Weren’t Tasty Enough, an avocado taco; or a plump, gooey spinach-artichoke quesadilla. Add a shot or cocktail from the expansive tequila (and raicilla, another agave spirit) selection, and ponder your quality of life after Death by Taco.


You can’t order wrong at this stellar Mission District ode to Oaxacan cuisine. But here’s a winning game plan: Get a tamal — made with organic masa, it’s one of Oaxacan chef-owner Isai Cuevas’ many specialties — and anything featuring the black gold that is the mole negro (hello, enchiladas and totopos). Finish strong with a churro doughnut with rich Oaxacan chocolate dip.

BestMexicanSF Donaji plate article


Fans of the famous Nick’s Way Taco from Polk Street’s bygone Nick’s Crispy Tacos know that the legend lives on at this Cow Hollow sister restaurant, Tacko. Order the double-wrapped two-hander to devour crispy and soft tortillas barely bolstering a giant helping of carne asada (or your meat of choice), shredded jack cheese, pinto beans, pico de gallo, and a crowning scoop of guac.

El Metate

Everyone has an opinion on why the burritos from this festive, vibrantly hued Mission mainstay are some of the city’s best. Will you love them most for being dense and drip-free, or long and skinny, or for the perfect balance of flavors and ultrafresh ingredients? Here’s another debate: Is it possible to resist also ordering the crispy battered fish tacos?


Cow Hollow’s Michelin Bib Gourmand–recognized Mexican hot spot draws crowds with lively weekend brunches, nightly margarita pitchers, and traditional Mexican dishes made with fresh California ingredients. Bring the party home with the comforting pollo adobado bowl — a layered fiesta of grilled chicken, rice, beans, queso fresco, and pico de gallo — alongside fresh house-made chips and guac and the irresistible churros with caramel dip. 

BestMexicanSF Flores churros article

Underdogs Tres

If the California burrito, stuffed with meat, fries, and cheese, and the Nick’s Way tacos sound familiar, it’s because this environmentally conscious, beachy-cool fusion taqueria and sports bar is the next generation of the now-closed Taco Shop at Underdogs and the cousin of Tacko restaurant. Both its Inner Sunset and Taraval locations ride the local and sustainable wave, too.

Little Chihuahua

Noe Valley’s outpost of the local Chihuahua chain is all bite and no bark. With creative interpretations of familiar Mexican comforts, an eye to organic and sustainable ingredients, and fresh cooking daily, it’s a joy to sink your incisors into the revered salmon taco or sweet-savory fried plantain–and–black bean burrito. Additional locations in Lower Haight and Polk ensure this 15-year-old dog serves endless new tricks.

BestMexicanSF LittleChihuahua burrito article


You can (and should) order one — or a selection of 10 — soft street-style tacos from this modern, upscale local chain. Its house-made tortillas, chips, salsas, meats, and made-to-order guacamole are eternally on point. But don’t miss the refreshing jalapeño-dressed Marina Girl Salad; embellished with jicama, radish, pepitas, and cotija cheese, its cult following is justified.

La Corneta Taqueria

The greener take on the Super Burrito at this Glen Park taqueria means that along with beans, rice, cheese, guac, sour cream, and your choice of meat, your tortilla wrap will be loaded with enough iceberg lettuce to redefine your notion of a satisfying SF burrito. It also means there are lots of vegetarian and vegan options, plus plates loaded with grilled steak, chicken, and shrimp.

BestMexicanSF LaCorneta group article

West of Pecos

We don’t care that the translation of Southwestern cuisine at this dark and lively Valencia Street spot is loose enough to include crisp blue cheese–topped wedge salads, brussels sprouts with citrusy tangerine aioli, and lavender chocolate mousse. The unorthodox Southwestern comfort foods are tasty enough to lasso crowds. Rope in your own feast by ordering a pitcher of margaritas or sangria, sweet-and-savory smoked brisket tacos, and butternut squash enchiladas with poblano cream sauce.

BestMexicanSF WestOfPecos brisketpuffytaco article

Bonita Taqueria y Rotisserie

Ready for a fiesta? You will be if you order in from this casual, three-location restaurant specializing in Mexican fare and rotisserie chicken. Just choose your favorite variation of burrito, taco, or nachos, or go for a whole chicken and a swath of sides. Then add a pint or pitcher of beer, or creative house-made Sabé tequila–based (i.e., lower-alcohol-content) margaritas, and let the party begin!

Don Ramon’s Mexican Restaurant

The Ramirez family has been so dedicated to keeping the city flush with good margaritas and homey Mexican comforts that their 41-year-old restaurant is now a designated Legacy Business. Taste that heritage in the deep flavors of the tomato pasilla chile sauce in their famous Chile Colorado Burrito, or double down with a mix-and-match plate of quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, and chiles rellenos.

Puerto Alegre

Longtime San Franciscans know there are at least two things you can count on: fog and Puerto Alegre. One of the true Valencia Street OGs, the convivial family-owned “happy port” founded in 1970 mixes a mean margarita (by the glass or pitcher for delivery) and keeps regulars happy with textbook guacamole and chips, chicken or cheese enchiladas wading in sweet-and-savory chocolate poblano sauce, and much more. 


Comal Next Door

One of two casual sisters to award-winning Comal restaurant (the second is in Oakland), this California-influenced taqueria is anything but a been-there, done-that experience. Along with top-notch classics, savor the unexpected, like a crispy buttermilk fried chicken torta with perky chipotle aioli, a chile verde tofu taco, and a lively Caesar salad. You can even grab a frozen “TV dinner” for later in the week.

BestMexicanSF ComalNextDoor group article

Tacos Sinaloa

Berkeley students couldn’t be happier that this East Oakland food-truck–turned–brick-and-mortar now offers Telegraph Avenue access to the tacos Eater deemed “destination worthy.” This is one of four destinations for the brain food that is the juicy al pastor burritos packed with tender, well-seasoned pork plus rice, beans, cheese, and sour cream — and the many vegetarian options and aforementioned tacos.

Gordo Taqueria

This San Francisco–based chain has been slaying the fast-casual dining concept — and Bay Area cravings for tacos, burritos, and plates — since 1977. Like Gordo’s other outposts (including nearby Albany), this is the place for killer carnitas, hulky burritos (get the Super, which includes melted cheese), and simple quesadillas, all in fiesta-size portions.

Casa Latina

Choose dessert first from this San Pablo Avenue restaurant and bakery; it’s easier to decide between the milky tres leches cake, pan dulce assortments, and rice pudding than it is to narrow the encyclopedic savory options. But no complaints! Whether you want a classic burrito, taco, Mexican soup, dinner plate with all the fixings, tamal, sandwich, or a combination, Casa Latina is here for you.

BestMexicanSF CasaLatina tacosdeplaza article

La Mission

With limited indoor and outdoor seating, lots of hungry student–size offerings, and a perpetual wait, there’s no point in heading to University Avenue’s Mexican-food mecca housed in an old Taco Bell. Instead, order in for tacos overflowing with juicy meat, mole-laced burritos, fat sandwiches, leg of lamb specials, and plenty of vegetarian options. Don’t miss the moist tres leches cake with strawberry filling. 


Syma’s Mexican Grill

Sima Dehestani offers an uncommon combination of Mexican and Persian food at her San Pablo Avenue stop. While her order-in offerings lean more south of the border, there’s still new pleasure to be found in combining a flavor-packed chile relleno burrito with beef kebabs served alongside basmati rice and roasted tomato slices.

Gordo Taqueria

For decades, this Solano Avenue storefront was the only way to get your Gordo’s on in the East Bay. Now, Berkeley’s College Avenue spot serves many of the U.C. students, but that hasn’t dimmed the desire of those in the Albany vicinity. Gordo’s plates and burritos are notoriously grande, the carnitas burrito is fierce, and the price is always right. 


C Casa

If you love the idea of lighter and healthier yet still rustic and soulful Mexican food, this Baja-inspired 100%-gluten-free spot is your new boo. The menu is founded on house-made non-GMO white corn tortillas, and you’ll find them as fried chile-spiced strips in the hearty loaded taco salad with cumin-lime vinaigrette and wrapped around rotisserie chicken and Oaxacan cheese in the taquitos served over dressed mixed greens.

BestMexicanSF CCasa plate article

Cholita Linda

Good thing chef Vanessa Chavez’s casual restaurant has multiple locations throughout the Bay Area, because once you bite into the acclaimed crispy-soft Baja fish taco — with its lightly battered fish, crunchy cabbage slaw, refreshing salsa roja, and velvety crema — you’ll want it on the regular. If, that is, you can resist the juicy pulled pork, ham, and cheese Cubano or the burrito bowl–like ensalada.

Los Moles

At his El Cerrito, Emeryville, and San Rafael locations, chef Lito Saldaña combines the best of Mexico and California, infusing heritage south-of-the-border recipes, flavors, preparations, and communal-eating sensibilities with fresh local produce and contemporary twists. His enmoladas —an enchilada-mole hybrid of meat, seafood, vegetarian, or vegan enchiladas topped with one of eight types of mole — deliciously proves the point.


Taqueria Viva Mexico

Along with solid renditions of the beloved usual suspects, this is the place to come for melted cheese–coated fries tangled with chunks of beef, grilled steak embellished with grilled onions, and sopapillas, fried flour tortillas flavored with honey, powdered sugar, and cinnamon and topped with vanilla ice cream. 



What do you get when you cross chef-owners Mayra Velazquez and Justino “Tino” Perez’s favorite childhood foods with their Mexican heritage and California influence? Old Oakland’s favorite stop for street tacos, fried chicken and waffles, wings, sandwiches, and fries! If you’re new to the onetime pop-up (pronounced “ching-go-nez”), christen yourself with the best of both worlds: a First Friday fried-chicken taco.

BestMexicanSF Xingones tacosdorados article

Aguachiles El Tamarindo

The cartoon shrimp mascot and colorful exterior of Fruitvale’s Sinaloan seafood shack hint at the joyful explosion of flavors that lies within. Expect vibrant, soupy aguachiles, crispy-soft Baja-style fish tacos, and impressive seafood towers, plus whimsical, irresistible creations like the Hot Cheetos burrito, a fat tortilla bursting with grilled steak, Mexican rice, beans, Hot Cheetos, and hearty drizzles of nacho cheese and spicy dressing.

La Grana Fish

Another food truck–turned–brick-and-mortar, Fruitvale Avenue’s La Grana got famous for its cheesy-meaty-saucy quesabirria and tacos, but the hits keep coming. Shirk tradition for the double-fisted pleasure of the asada baked potato (stuffed with bacon, cheese, and meat) and the generously spiced birria ramen, or go traditional with fish tacos. Also, psst: La Grana has keto tacos!

Rico Rico Taco

Eastshore Park’s street-food critical darling earns big props from San Francisco Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho — and pretty much everyone else. The main draw is the taco: a thick, freshly pressed, flash-griddled tortilla topped with options like crispy fried fish, grilled chicken, spit-roasted pork (al pastor), plus traditional embellishments. But the army of quesadilla options and Party Time selections that feed crowds also are muy rico.

Xolo Taqueria

Proximity to the Fox Theater and 19th Street BART make this taqueria a frequent stop on the Uptown lunch and nightlife circuit. But ordering in sidesteps the crowds without impeding access to the Vampiro taco, a Sinaloan street snack featuring a crunchy melted cheese–shellacked corn tortilla buried in al pastor–style pork, salsa, onion, and cilantro. Also, awesome dessert selections, like the Mexican chocolate brownie, abound.

BestMexicanSF XoloTaqueria vampirotaco article

Oakland Street Food Co.

OK, so OSF’s “street food done right” isn’t remotely limited to Mexican food. But with flexibility comes opportunity, so pair a drool-worthy quesabirria-style carne asada taco (chile oil–dipped and crispy grilled, with a side of consommé) with nacho fries, tater tots, vegan or pork lumpia, or battered, buttery garlic wings.

Cholita Linda

Like its Alameda and San Francisco locations, the winning combo here is casual surroundings and Latin American street food. Ask the insatiable fan base whether to start with the dearly beloved fried fish taco (named one of the nation’s best by USA Today) or the Cubano, a juicy affair with layered flavors of pulled pork, Black Forest ham, melted Swiss cheese, mustard, pickles, and aioli on grilled French bread, and they’ll tell you the same thing we will: Get both!

Molcajete Cocina Mexicana

Aptly named, downtown Oakland’s family-owned Molcajete (Spanish for “mortar and pestle”) uses fresh ingredients, many of which must be ground before being added to the traditional-style plates, specials, tortas, and soups. Taste that effort in the gooey cheese-stuffed chiles rellenos and the chicken enchiladas bathed in green sauce.

BestMexicanSF MolcajeteCocina chilerelleno article

Tacos El Último Baile

Fruitvale’s Tacos El Último Baile, or “the last dance,” is another taco-truck success story. This chapter begins with a traditional cantina-style dining room and owner Dominic Prado’s legendary handmade flour tortillas, which, if requested, can be the base for his fantastic street-style tacos, build-your-own burritos, and Vampiros (melted cheese–topped tortillas with meat and garnishes). Trust us, and start with anything al pastor.


Tacos El Tucán

Launched in late 2019, Alfredo Padilla’s shrine to Tijuana-style street food promises access to his Quesatacos — handmade corn tortillas anointed with cheese and grilled cheese-side down for the ultimate crispy crust, then generously topped with meat, guacamole, cilantro, and onions. But you can also opt for traditional tacos and burritos, plus the Tucán Fries, or loaded nacho fries.

El Garage

Once only accessible via a highly revered pop-up, the Montano family’s Eater Award–winning cheesy, wet birria-style tacos, flautas, and pozole verde found their forever home in 2020 near Richmond’s BART station. For the full experience, order a birra taco, the quesabirria plate, and a side of consommé for dipping, then tack on a tangy tamarind agua fresca to cool the heat.


Los Carnalitos

Redwood City’s onetime taco truck offering the flavors of Mexico City made its way to Hayward as a sit-down restaurant; a Michelin Bib Gourmand nod and crowds of hungry fans followed in short order. Taste what all the fuss is about with a ridiculously good custom-designed quesadilla or gordita filled with pork cracklings — made with house-made tortillas, of course.


Cielito Cocina Mexicana

Dishes from Mexico’s Puebla and Oaxaca regions get the California farm-to-table (and mostly gluten-free) treatment at this “sweetheart Mexican kitchen.” Mostly organic produce and hormone-free ingredients allow you to confidently broaden your dining horizons, whether with a braised chicken flauta with yellow mole buried in slaw and pineapple salsa or the vegetable celebration that is the gluten-free chile relleno. 


Donaji by Stephanie Pass

Little Chihuahua by Nader Khouri or Albert Law

Courtesy of El Pipila

Courtesy of C Casa