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Fish tacos in SF

Where can I get great fish tacos in or near SF? I know it's more of a Southern California thing, but it would be nice to be able to have them here once in a while.


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  1. In the last couple of weeks we've tried and liked fish tacos at Taqueria San Jose (2830 Mission St.) and El Metate (2406 Bryant). Both are good but very different. The fish at San Jose seemed baked and a lot of it was flaked onto the taco. Quite a generous amount of fish for a small taco.

    El Metate's fish taco uses a tiny fried filet. It's good, though I think they should use a little shredded cabbage on the taco instead of lettuce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Atomica

      a fish taco should have shredded cabbage. it has more body and won't wilt into a muddy mess. shredded lettuce is for the birds.

    2. There's a new place in Napa called La Taquiza. They have both grilled and fried. It's very close to what I remember in Baja but very expen$ive for a taco, even in Napa. But the room is nice and bright and modern and sometimes you just want something more than a taco truck.

      1. I was excited to try La Taquiza today, but unfortunately, it was closed at 1:15pm (Sunday, July 2). Do you know what type of fish is used for the tacos? I think the two styles of fish tacos were priced at $3.25 or so on the overhead menu boards. The small list of Spanish wines by the glass includes some goodies such as Naia Rueda and Borsao.

        It's located on the corner of Redwood and Solano (opposite the Unocal station), in the newly renovated shopping center with Vallergas market. The concierge at Silverado Country Club gave me the location when I couldn't pull it up in google. She tried it recently and said it was good and new.

        La Taquiza storefront photo -

        1. Not quite in SF, but just a few minutes outside of it - Sausalito Taco Company on Bridgeway is really fantastic - both the fish taco (breaded and fried) and the "sausalito" w/ sauteed shrimp and veggies are amazing. Their horchata is pretty good too.

          4 Replies
          1. re: AChrystal

            I'm a fish taco fan and saw how crowded this place was last Saturday. Is the fish breaded or battered? My ideal fish tacos are the ones found in Ensenada... with shredded cabbage.

            1. re: rln

              My boyfriend and I finally made it to Sausalito Taco Company-- it's now our favorite fish taco in the Bay Area. (We have a favorite in LA). The fish is moist, perfectly battered (not too heavy), very generous portion, and topped with shredded cabbage. They give you salsas, all very fresh, and a crema in a bottle to put on your taco. Next time, I will ask for some lime wedges.

              Our previous favorite in the Bay Area was Tacabuya. We still love them there too.

              1. re: rln

                How do you feel they compare with Nick's Crispy Tacos (SF) or La Calaca Loca (Oakland) which are basically identical?

                Salsalito Taco Shop
                1115 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

                1. re: rworange

                  oh! I have only been to Nick's Crispy Tacos once (haven't been to La Calaca) - from a fading recollection, I think Sausalito Taco Co's fish is more lightly battered/ less oily, moist. Overall high fish to tortilla ratio. I remember Nick's to be heavier and I can't really pinpoint why. I do remember enjoying Nick's Crispy Tacos. My boyfriend and I didn't enjoy NCT physical setting much - we went on a Sat or Sun and it was clearly partied in the night before. This might have flavored our experience. We'll have to go back and re-visit. Much closer since we're in SF!

          2. Nick's Crispy Tacos on Polk Street are the San Diego-style fish taco that you might be looking for. Very good.

            1. Pacific Catch on Chestnut has good fish tacos, both grilled and fried. I've also enjoyed them at Fish in Sausalito and La Parilla Grill on Polk.

              1. I just tried La Parilla for the first time tonight and had the fish tacos. They were superb. The fish was in freshly fried bit-sized pieces on fresh tortillas, and they came with tasty fresh guacamole and a good and spicy house salsa. $8, served as a appetizer for two (dinner menu).

                We also tried the huareches, a salad, and the oaxacan red mole enchiladas. It was all good, but the mole sauce particularly stood out. It had plenty of cinnamon and wasn't at all the typical red (that is, dark brown) mole you usually see in SF.

                I'd go back.

                1. nick's crispy tacos.
                  best ones i've had in sf, definitely socal style.

                  1. I have to disagree about Nick's. At best it's only okay IMO. $4.50 for one small fishy taco is just wrong. Yes, I know it might have been a bad day but I've heard the same from others.

                    Any way, I did a 2 week run where I tried a bunch of places (admittedly not all and these suggestions are great) and some were okay...but none matched the ideal. My comparo meter is SoCal and Baja and when I think of huge battered fish tacos (2x+ the size of Nick's) for $2.50...I laugh, then cry a little bit inside.

                    Seems a good/great Baja fish taco in SF is like NYC bagel or southern BBQ in SF...or decent Mexican food on the East Coast...not going to find it so now I'll stop my whining and wait until my next trip south.

                    1. Not exactly in SF but la calaca loca, 5199 telegraph, oakland, has awesome grilled or fried fish tacos w/cabbage and generous mound of guacamole.

                      1. You have to make them yourself if you want any good Mexican food north of Baja. I finally got sick of all the crappy Mexican in the States, and just started cooking it myself. Rick Bayless' book from the 80's, Authentic Mexican, was just reprinted. Use that, it's much better than anything you'll find in LA or SF.

                        Nobody eats burritos outside of border towns in Mexico and fish tacos are the easiest thing in the world to make at home. Fresh tortillas (emphasis on fresh--the cheapest corn ones that they sell at Trader Joes are about as authentic as you can get), some thinly sliced cabbage, sauce (1 part mayo, 1 part sour cream(mex crema if you wish) with some chipotle from the can with the adobo sauce) and some grilled or batter dipped cheap white fish (I use grilled salmon that I rubbed with salt, pepp, onion&garlic powder and chili powder). Put it in a tortilla and squeeze some lime on it and enjoy. 10 tacos for like $10 (depending on the quality of fish it could be as much as $20). Believe me, I make these for a crowd and people almost cry--they're that good and that easy, just don't overcook the fish and get as fresh tortillas as possible.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: hankstramm

                          though not at all like a true socal fish taco, La Corneta has great salmon tacos.

                          1. re: sfoperalover

                            No one has commented on the Rubio's downtown in the San Francisco Centre.

                            1. re: Laura2

                              Maybe because it's a huge chain.

                          2. re: hankstramm

                            there are no good fish tacos around. maybe up in North County taco trucks but I agree make your own.

                            1. re: hankstramm

                              There are great Baja fish tacos in LA, not as inexpensive as Baja but hugely better then SF and less expensive.

                            2. Joe's Taco Lounge & Salsa in Mill Valley (382 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941 (415) 383-8164).

                              Their grilled snapper tacos (which they serve with a habanero mayo) are devine! Everything on their menu is great, and I also recommend you try their street burgers,and their grilled corn-on-the-cob (made with taco magic). But then again, everything is good there.

                              I took a friend from the CIty there, and he was so obsessed by the fish tacos that he went to at least 10 taco stands in the CIty before riding his bike over just to have the tacos. Enjoy!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: saucy_girl

                                Not in SF but Al's Fish and Chips in RC has excellent fish and shrimp tacos, fish $3.25 and Shrimp 3.50 I think. 2 corn tortillas per taco, shredded cabbage, dressing and topped with salsa cruda. Pretty goood clam chowder as well. Cuban American family run, small place. The shrimp tacos are the best choice with 3 huge battered/fried prawns. They will do grilled as opposed to fried on request.

                                1. re: dhoffman1421

                                  added links

                                  Nick's Crispy Tacos
                                  1500 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                  Al's Fish & Chips
                                  2139 Roosevelt Ave, Redwood City, CA 94061

                              2. Had some excellent fish tacos last Sat morning at the Primavera stand at the Ferry Building Farmers market. They were moan out loud good, way better than anything else I've found in the city.
                                Perfectly crispy-battered fish on fresh tortillas(they were making them there, so I heard), with avocado and a nice hot salsa on top, plus cabbage, I was in heaven.
                                You can't get them every Saturday but when they have them, try them. They are devine.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: rabaja

                                  Second on the Primavera stand fish tacos. Delish! They put those of their Ferry Building neighbor, Mijita, to shame.

                                  1. re: mrs bacon

                                    I just had a pretty good fish taco at el metate on Bryant..I like their chile verde as well.

                                    1. re: Lori SF

                                      Just tried the fish tacos at Tres Agaves today.

                                      They were fine. I liked the fish, I know others on the board have not. It was crispy enough on the outside, and the pieces where chunky. The tortillas were small which was a nice ratio to the filling. They serve it with a sweet pepper slaw. For me, this was the downside. I like the cabbage crunchy, and the slaw was not crispy. Overall, still good to eat in the range of what's in SF. The order comes with 4 small size , but filling tacos which my boyfriend and I split. Perfect portion for us.

                                      1. re: rln

                                        I was driving by Taqueria Sinaloa on International/22nd and was hungry so I stopped.

                                        Maybe it was because I was hungry but the fish tacos were great this time around. In the past I thought they were only okay. While grilled (not Baja), they were very good...and at $1.25/ea. a huge bargain. The carnitas was very good as well. I'll be going back.

                                        1. re: ML8000

                                          Not in the city, but Baja Taqueria on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland has the closest to baja style fish tacos I have found in the Bay Area. Battered fish, cabbage, white sauce...much better than La Calaca Loca and Nick's, but still not the ones I dream about at night.

                                          If you're up for grilled fish instead of battered (which really isn't a fish taco in my opinion but its own uniquely blissful dish) there is a taco stand at the gas station in Pescadero. Delicious! Mmmmmmmm...

                                          1. re: hjmcc

                                            Thanks for the tip on Baja Taqueria...I'll definitely give it a try.

                                            BTW, I had the fish taco at Tacubaya on 4th St. in Berkeley. I was very disappointed because the other tacos were v.good. Might have been a bad batch but I'm not motived to try again. Oh well.

                                    2. re: mrs bacon

                                      I'll third mrs bacon's recommendation and second the sentiment that they're way better than Mijita's version.

                                  2. I have no idea about the quality at this place, because I've never had a fish taco anywhere else, but they have good fish tacos at a place called Amante's in Northbeach. You can sit at the bar and have a coctail and two fish tacos (made with shredded cabbage) for $8 or $9. Amante's is on Green between Grant and Columbus

                                    1. I've been tracking down all the fish taco locations I can find in SF for the past five years, and I'm pleased to see that there are far more options available now. My current favorite is Nick's, and yes, I definitely prefer the SoCal style fish taco. By far the best fish burrito I've ever had, anywhere, is at the car wash El Balazo (2560 Marin St). I know that El Balazo has other locations, but none of them compare to the one tucked in the corner of the massive car wash at Cesar Chavez and 101. Fantastic.

                                      I've been keeping track of the restaurants I've found: http://daveola.com/Fish_Tacos/
                                      I would love any submissions that I'm missing!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: daveola


                                        El Balazo
                                        2560 Marin St, San Francisco, CA 94124

                                      2. A Fish Taco at Papalote is satisfying. As is that jardinierre Mexican place at the Ferry bldg.