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Best Carnitas Taco in the Bay?

iafigueroa May 22, 2008 09:38 PM

I wanted to get your input for the first of hopefully many crawls based on specific dishes I'm setting up with some friends. I would love to hear who you folks think makes the best carnitas taco in the bay area.

My current favorite is by La Taqueria in San Francisco, but I'm hopeful that their crown will be taken away by one of your recommendations.

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  1. h
    Humbucker RE: iafigueroa May 22, 2008 09:59 PM

    Here's a nice comparo for the South Bay:


    1 Reply
    1. re: Humbucker
      ML8000 RE: Humbucker May 27, 2008 02:02 PM

      My vote goes to their pick. Of course there's no one winner but that might be a good thing.

    2. Ruth Lafler RE: iafigueroa May 23, 2008 02:47 PM

      El Novillo taco truck in Oakland. There are a couple of other trucks in Oakland that make good carnitas, too: El Gordo and El Grullo, for example.

      El Novillo Taco Truck
      1001 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland, CA 94601

      El Gordo
      4201 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

      El Grullo
      Foothill Blvd and High St, Oakland, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        DezzerSF RE: Ruth Lafler May 25, 2008 09:48 PM

        The Sinaloa truck makes good carnitas too (International Blvd side).

        Taqueria Sinaloa
        2138 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

      2. napaeats RE: iafigueroa May 25, 2008 09:09 PM

        If you're up in Napa, you can check out Frida's. It's more of a traditional restaurant, but they take a lot of pride in their carnitas, and the carnitas tacos were the best we've had. Oddly though, one time we had their carnitas meat as an entree, and it didn't work out so well. We're hoping that one was the fluke. We wrote a review of it at:


        Tres Hermanos in Napa is a mom-n-pop taco shop that has pretty good carnitas tacos too. Actually, pick up a pastor while you're there which is also the best we've had. And that writeup is at:


        2 Replies
        1. re: napaeats
          rworange RE: napaeats May 26, 2008 02:12 PM

          Thanks for the tip on Frida's will give it a try next time ...and the al pastor at Tres Hermanos.

          That Frida's review you linked to was interesting. A tamale of the day ... and this quote from the owner ... ""We have moles from Oaxaca, carnitas from Michoacan, and ensalata from Jalisco, fish tacos from Baja"

          People occasionally look for queso fundido, so nice to know Frida's has it. Also that tortilla soup sounded great.

          Nice to get hear from someone new in the Napa area. You might be interested in La Mixteca

          Hope when you try a new place you'll do a post on Chowhound too.

          I like your blog. There are some places I was curious about. Your comment about the Whole Foods cracked me up ... "it's basically like a culinary Wal-Mart for people with money."

          Also love your common sense approach to food and blogging on your home page. It is refreshing and made me giggle.

          You might want to check out some Chowhound posts about Maya in SF and the Wine Train to see if you want to spend your money at either place. The best place to find reports is by searching places and looking at linked reports.

          Anyway, thanks and welcome to Chowhound. Looking forward to more reports.

          Frida's Mexican Grill
          1533 Trancas St, Napa, CA 94558

          Taqueria Tres Hermanos
          1122 1st St, Napa, CA

          1. re: rworange
            napaeats RE: rworange May 26, 2008 09:06 PM

            Glad you liked the site and thanks for the welcome! Actually, you're the reason we're here when you posted a link to us for the Foothille Grille, and we thought we should probably take part in the communities that we were often linking to.

            Funny we drive by Mixteca all the time on Jefferson but never got around to actually going in...have to check it out now for sure.

        2. eeblet RE: iafigueroa May 25, 2008 10:04 PM

          Cross-post? :) http://www.yelp.com/topic/san-francis...

          I'll be redundant too and again recommend Los Gallos in Concord. They have a sign that could read "Buy 2 drinks get one free" or "Aguas Frescas available here" but instead it says "Carnitas Made With Lard".

          The Carnitas Crawl sounds fun... although you may be literally crawling by the end of it.

          Taqueria Los Gallos Express
          2118 Willow Pass Rd, Concord, CA 94520

          2 Replies
          1. re: eeblet
            pininex RE: eeblet May 26, 2008 11:31 PM

            Greatest pork fat sign ever. Is this right next to the B of A downtown?

            1. re: pininex
              eeblet RE: pininex May 27, 2008 01:28 PM

              Not sure! It's kitty-corner to the building with the Panama Red in it. Also next to some hot dog place.

          2. w
            wontonsoup RE: iafigueroa May 25, 2008 10:34 PM

            La Taqueria is very good. My other fave when we lived in Berkeley: Picante on 6th Street. Delicous: always tender, always flavorful. http://picantecocina.ypguides.net/ AND you can watch the ladies make fresh tortillas.

            1. pastryqueen RE: iafigueroa May 26, 2008 10:31 PM

              la tapatia in South San Francisco makes my favorite carnitas EVER. hence, their carnitas tacos are a favorite. . these are not taco truck style tacos. . rather large and completely delicious. . . great salsa and fresh tortillas (it is a tortilla factory in back) make one of the best ever tacos. I am not so much a burrito person but even their burritos are top notch. . .tortilla is griddled instead of steamed and they don't rely on fillers - the beans and rice are balanced and they are generous with the meat. They also sell carnitas by the pound - highly recommended that you buy some, get some fresh tortillas, some of their salsa tomatillo, and you can make some tacos at home. . they are wonderful.

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