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Real Mexican Home-cooking in the East Bay.

My mom's visiting and I want to take her out for some real Homestyle Mexican food comparable of that in Mexico where she lived for 3 years of her life. I'm also looking for a great homestyle mexican place to eat at. C'mon, show me that the Bay Area can compete with LA or San Diego in mexican food.

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  1. ppl will have some good recs. for the fruitvale district in oakland

      1. Huarache Azteca in Fruitvale -- probably mentioned in the threads Robert linked.

        1. Well, it depends on where in the East Bay. I worked in Mexico City a year and as others have said, International Blvd is very similar to the vibe. Ortiz is good and there is a newer, nicer version in Alameda according to the boards.

          The closest I've found to San Diego style is El Tapatio on 23rd in Richmond which has a good molcajete. Very nice goat stew too.


          If you are in that area on a Sunday at about noon, you can get one of the finest churros in the area for dessert from the churro guy who sells in front of the church on MacDonald.


          I wouldn't drive to Vallejo for the food, but I would (did) for the paletas, a great new paleteria and bakery just opened and, IMO, it is worth a ride from anywhere.


          Across the street is a market that has a small restaurant in the back where an order is placed and there are some tables to the side. Probably a little less than you are looking for, but I was impressed with my one little forray there and worth a stop if going to the paleta place.


          There are a lot of markets, some restaurants & delis, but I still haven't really found any place really like Mexico City where, for example, you could get a plate of rice an egg on top of it. Actualy, though the food in San Diego is better, nothing like that there either.

          If you need a torta fix

          1. Fruitvale / International Blvd. on a weekend afternoon is as close to Mexico as you're going to get without going there.

            1. Otaez has gone steadily downhill since they opened their other outpost in Alameda.

              El Huarache Azteca is very close to food served in Mexico City. . .I recommend their tinga de pollo on anything. . it is delicious. On weekends they have many specials most notably their barbacoa de borrego. . .bbq'd lamb served with the rich broth and thick corn tortillas. Delicious.

              La Cenaduria de Ana Rosa on International and 48th is a little hole in the wall with specialties from Jalisco and it is very good. . .I especially like her enchiladas and posole rojo. . .make sure to check the specials boards as they usually have one or two gems on them.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lainielou

                I read about La Cenaduria in the Chron's "Comida Corridor" article, and went to check it out with the idea of having a (very small) chowdown there. I was totally underwhelmed. Maybe I ordered wrong, though. What kinds of gems have you found?

                1. re: lainielou

                  El Huarache Azteca is supposed to be Jalisco-style.

                2. Try Los Montanas in Concord for the real thing. They also have one of the best Mexican grocery stores in the Bay Area a few doors down in the same Willow Pass mall strip. We're almost always the only gringos in the place. Try the Chile Rellenos, giant soups and whole fish. Great Margarita bar. Mariaches on weekends.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chowhounds

                    I lived for 1 year a block or two away from Las Montanas, and I've probably shoped there over 30 times. The last time I was there I wanted to try the tortas and burritos. The burritos were mediocre and the torta was horrible. The prepared things there to get are deffinately the tacos and the baked mexican pastries.