Best Mexican Food in San Francisco

Top Five Places for the Best Mexican Food in San Francisco

The Bay Area is fortunate to have a diverse range of Mexican cooking styles, resulting in some of the best Mexican food in San Francisco and beyond. Whenever you have a craving for tacos, tostadas, or margaritas, or hearty Mexican stews, you are sure to find tasty treats to satisfy your taste buds.

Here’s our list of the best Mexican restaurants in San Francisco that serve delicious dishes from appetizers to desserts.

best Mexican food in San Francisco, Nopalito in San Fran

1. Nopalito

306 Broderick St between Oak and Fell

Whether you are into a refreshing Ensalada de Nopales or like to delight yourself with Blue-corn Tacos stuffed with spicy-smoky marinated fish, you will adore this sustainable Mexican restaurant. Nopalito offers traditional, organic takes on everything from Quesadillas to Ceviche.

The superb Vanilla Bean Flan topped with Orange Supremes, and Orange Caramel is just unbeatable. Braised Carnitas with fresh Corn Tortillas, Corn, and Squash Quesadilla, and Pozole Rojo are the menu stars. While Bloody Maria (Bloody Mary with tequila) and Margaritas are also among the must-have items. You can enjoy the food in a casual and bright dining room or the spacious Inner Sunset sibling.

Nopalito – 11:30 am to 10 pm; seven days a week

306 Broderick Street, San Francisco, CA 94117   *   415-437-0303

Website: Nopalito

2. Glena’s

632 20th St, San Francisco

Are you looking for some delicious Al Pastor Tacos and Frozen Margaritas? Well then, you are looking for Glena’s. Yes, you heard me right. Acclaimed chef Michael Gaines rules the casual neighborhood location with tacos and other Cal-Mexican bites in a compact, comfy setting.

Treats like Tacos al Pastor, Huevo Taco with a Fried Egg and Black Beans, and Fried Chicken Torta, as well as margaritas (frozen or on the rocks), are the right staples. But you cannot miss out on the delicious Churros and Chocolate that are blessings for all the sweets lovers.

Visit the place during happy hour (3–6 PM, Tuesday–Friday) to get a Firedog — the Giant Bacon-wrapped Hotdog with Cheddar, Pico de Gallo, and Pickled Jalapeño for $8. Pair it with a Paloma, and thank me later.

Glena’s – Monday through Thursday 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5 pm to 10 pm; Saturdays 11:30 am to 10 pm, Sundays 11:30 am to 9 pm

632 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107  *   415-915-8226

Website:  Glena’s

3. Californios

Mission Street

Californios, the “two MICHELIN stars” designated Mexican restaurant set in a bohemian area, elevates the contemporary Mexican cuisine in the luxe Mission destination. You can enjoy a complex, layered Mole here like never before. While the luxurious space only ups the charm with caramel-hued banquettes popping against dark-lacquered walls.

The restaurant is home to inventive dishes out of which Squid-ink Tostadas heaped with Guacamole, Monterey Squid, and Truffles are the real stars.

My personal favorites are the gratifyingly spicy Flauta filled with Duck Barbacoa, and mouthwatering Butter-poached Lobster put into Blue Corn Tortillas and topped with Aji Amarillo and Fennel. And don’t forget to try their delicious Sorbet made from local Guavas, nestled in a spread of Pistachio Butter… just yummy.

Californios – Tuesday – Saturday 5:30 to 9 pm; Closed Sundays and Mondays

3115 22nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94110  *   415-757-0994

Website: Californios

4. Cala

149 Fell Street

Famous for serving unique takes on coastal Mexican cuisine in an airy, white-walled space, Cala is the best place in the city to learn about the intricacies of Mezcal on its own.

It is Grilled Oysters with Epazote, Trout Tostadas, Mussels Tamal, or Mezcal Margarita; you get to enjoy authentic Mexican seafood in the Bay Area.

Visitors can choose from the extensive selection, but their famed Tuna Tostadas, griddled Black Bean Sopes, and silky, smoky filleted Black Cod with Red Chile Adobo are the dishes that sing flavor. And yes, don’t forget to order the smoky post-dinner sipper with dessert the next time you visit Cala.

Cala – Sunday – Wednesday from 5 pm to 10 pm; Thursday – Saturday from 5 pm to 11 pm

149 Fell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102   *   415-660-7701

Website:  Cala

El Buen Comer, Mexican food San Francisco

5. El Buen Comer

3435 Mission Street

Who does not love hearty stews? But when it comes to Guisados, it has to taste the authentic Mexican way. And, trust me, there is no better place than El Buen Comer for the purpose. The colorful, cozy neighborhood cafe is immensely famous for daytime and dinner home-style stews.

Although the hearty stews are the centerpiece of the menu and are available in various sizes. But their stream of flavors is not limited to the tasty Stews, Sopes with Chicharrón in Salsa Verde, Albondigas in Chipotle Sauce, and Chilaquiles are must-order items.

El Buen Comer – Lunch Tuesday-Friday 11 am to 3 pm and Saturday 10 am to 3 pm; Dinner Tuesday-Saturday from 5 pm to 9 pm; Sundays 10 am to 5 pm

3435 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110  *  415-817-1542

Website: El Buen Comer

More Than the Best Mexican Food in San Francisco

If you’ve got a craving for some delicious and authentic Mexican food in San Francisco, you now know the places to try.

Be sure to bookmark the food section of OTL City Guides for more dining tips. Plus, we’ve got things to do, things to learn, and the OTL Seat Fillers club in San Francisco.