Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Oct 2, 2008 12:23 PM

Any great authentic Mexican food served Cafeteria style?

Any great authentic Mexican food served Cafeteria style in the Bay Area?

I just got back from San Diego and some of the Mexican Restaurants serve the food Cafeteria style?

It was fantastic!

My favorite was :

Super Cocina in North Park. 3627 University Avenue.

Absolutely some of the finest authentic family style Mexican food I have ever had.

All the soups and stews were displayed right in front of you with plenty of free tastings from the friendly staff.

They had about 12 different dishes to chose from to make up your combination plate.

"guisado style dishes: meats stewed in a flavorful broth/ sauce. These are the kind of dishes that work well with a steam table type of service, as they actually improve with the length of time held. And, you will never get tired of the menu, as there is none. The contents of the chafing dishes changes daily at the whimsy of the Mexican trained mamasita's"

It was heavenly,I ate there 3 times in 6 days.

Not the place to go if you want a Burrito or a tourist meal.

Not much English is spoken and the Menu is only in Spanish.

Does anyone know of any similar places in the Bay Area?

I'm hooked!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What you describe sounds great...but I've never heard of one if the Bay Area and if there was one, I'd have to guess it would be known.

    Seems like a very specific demographic thing...large Mexican population in SD being served reasonably priced family eats. OTOH, I could see this just outside of the immediate Bay Area...Salinas, Monterey, maybe somewhere like Stockton.

    If there is one...I'm there.

    1. La Borinqueña in downtown Oakland. Additional information and menu available at:

      La Borinquena Mex-Icatessen
      582 7th St, Oakland, CA 94607

      7 Replies
      1. re: wolfe

        You know I've been to La Borinqueña and some stuff is okay but some is not. They're really nice people and have been there forever so I hate to diss them but so I'll just say it's a mixed bag and leave it at that.

        Maybe others can tell me what's good there.

        1. re: ML8000

          I have only eaten there once, just two weeks ago when my sister had a tamale craving. She had the special (I think it was Wednesday) of chicken tamale with refrieds and rice, I had the green chile and cheese tamale with pintos and rice. The rice was soft and pallid but the beans were very good and I liked the tamale with the tomatillo sauce. Very large portions. We also got the chips ~ thick, crunchy and a pronounced lard flavor, yum. We also got a half dozen chicken tamales to go which oddly, were not the same as the ones sold as the special. A few small tables, some Mexican groceries, predominantly spices and some (heavy) candies and baked sweets. I liked it and plan to go back soon to check out the carnitas (Friday & Saturday special)

          Back to the OP question, would the Mexican supermarket on High Street qualify? Iv'e had food from there a few times and liked it. Can't remember if it is Mi Familia or Mi Pueblo or something else ~ High Street in Oakland, just above International.

          1. re: tomatoaday

            Mi Pueblo was what I was thinking of as well. They usually have several guisados, moles etc.

            And they make their own tortillas

            And I love the cactus salad

            And fresh epazote in the produce aisle..

          2. re: ML8000

            I didn't say it was great only that it was cafeteria. As to dissing, them there have been some adverse comments on almost every restaurant on this board. Longevity is the best answer even when we can't say why.

            1. re: wolfe

              From what I've read about Super Cocina, La Borinqueña won't do it for you. La Borinqueña does one thing supurbly ... tortillas. No one in the enitre Bay Area comes even close to them. That extends to the chips they make.

              Other than that it is old-school Mexican-American food.

              1. re: rworange

                Yes, Super Cocina and La Borinquena are very different. La Borinquena is primarily a small deli/market with great tamales and burritos at their limited steam table. Super Cocina is a small cafeteria style restaurant - serving 10 to 12 Mexican stew type dishes, of course burritos and flautas are available. I had the chile relleno and chicken mole combination plate at Super Cocina - the relleno was good - I've had similar in the Bay Area, the chicken mole was "super" good. I do miss the flour tortillas La Borinquena used to make - probably 8 years since the original machine broke down. I do like the Mexican chorizo they sell and their pork tamales ( I always order them at Xmas). Lately I've been buying my tortillas, both flour and corn from El Molino in Concord - their tortillas are available at a lot of Mexican markets but the flour are way better if you buy them at El Molino. (so soft, freshly made). Getting back to the original post I have not found any place like Super Cocina in the Richmond-Concord area. If you are ever in San Diego I would recommend Super Cocina - not fancy but very good, and also Los Quatros Milpas in Bario Logan (close at 3pm - a real "hole in the wall") Both were recommended by posters on the California Chowhound board.

                1. re: Bigshadetree

                  Thanks for the feedback.

                  I've been to La Borinqueña and it was not my fancy.

                  I will try Mi Pueblo and report back.