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I need a new San Francisco Taqueria

So, I've been in Santa Cruz a bunch lately and I really like some of the Taqueria's down there. They are all really clean but still authentic and the meat is relatively high quality. Carnitas seem to be a thing down there as most of the places do a good version.

So, here it is, I'm tired of all the places I have frequented over the years here in SF. Many of them just seem dirty to me, and/or the meat is low quality. I'm looking for something new, I am favoring tacos these days, and burritos only when I am really hungry.

-Pancho Villa, El Farolito, Cancun, Le Cumbre, Papalote, San Jose, I've tried all of these and I'm looking for something different.

Any ideas?

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  1. I have been to all of the taqurias you mentioned and all are basically the same...pretty average.

    Have you tried Nicks Crispy tacos on Polk St? It is supposed to be very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: luckygrlllll

      Nick's is okay...but WAY over priced for what you get. $4-5 for a smallest taco isn't right. They do use quality meat however. Avoid the fish tacos.

      Maya Restaurant (Maya Next Door, served only at lunch, until 2 p.m.) serves up great tacos and burritos and for about $6 bucks you get three tacos.

      Not in SF but you might check out Tacubaya in Berkeley. I'm not a huge fan but they use quality meat and the place is clean.

    2. Try the $1.50 tacos at Taqueria Vallarta on 24th, near EF and TSJ.

      1 Reply
      1. re: psb

        I agree w/ the Taqueria Vallarta suggestion. Currently this is my favorite place to get tacos.

        A friend of mine just tried Taqueria San Francisco for the first time and proclaimed that she had the best veggie burrito of her life - they put in an entire avocado I guess. I also like the chorizo burritos there, but I haven't had too many of their tacos.

      2. Try the El Tonayense trucks on Harrison. Good al pastor and carne asada.

        1. Personally, I'm comfortable with the places you mentioned, but you might try La Taqueria, which seems to be a Gringo "A" list kind of place (which is not to say it isn't authentic).

          1. Have you tried the tacos al pastor at San Jose? Their carnitas are nothing special but the al pastor is great.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I'll second that. They carve it off the spit in front of you, and the joint is certainly spiffy enough for my standards, at least.

            2. Though im no longer a mission (or sf) resident, i grew up on these taquerias and took it upon myself on my trip home last week to revist many (my waistline says too many) old favorites and a few new(er) ones. My standard is a super al pastor burrito, but ive been known to swing the veggie way before, but there are a couple places that are on the newer side that havent come up here yet you may want to check out. to concur with whats already been written, i think Vallarta is pretty damn tasty.

              Taqueria San Francisco - way out on 24th and York this corner place doesnt look too special (i see your afraid of the dirty - the health dept says they wont hurt you, your eyes may or may not agree) but makes FANTASTIC food. three words: chile. relleno. burrito. gigantic cheesy mess of delicious, seriously, go get one. (Their pastor is also some of my favorite in town)

              Taq. Guadalajara, a bit closer to mission on 24th is also newer (a few years old) and usually does a really great job, but the last pastor burrito i had there had WAY too much (canned) pineapple in it - im willing to write it off for now but would be curious to find out if this is a regular feature now that i just didnt remember.

              also note Taq San Francisco is getting under 6 bucks for a super burrito, i couldn't believe what san jose was getting these days (something like 8 bucks) not to even go into the costs of eating at La taqueria.

              2 Replies
              1. re: tex.s.toast

                Rents and other restaurant expenses are very high in SF. That's how taco trucks can charge so much less.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  wait, gas and vehicle insurance are cheap? seriously though, i know all about rent and other expenses but the prices at Taq San Jose, much as i love their al pastor (it, along with El Gran taco Loco further up mission are pretty much my standards), have shot up faster than most others. you can't convince me that the rent is so much greater on the mission end of 24th than 10 blocks down the street to justify multiple dollar price differences for the same basic food. that said, is 8 bucks for 5000 calories worth of deliciousness a bad deal, certainly not.

              2. Given your reference, I'd say you might like Mexico au Parc ... clean and not shabby and gringo-friendly. I liked it