Good Mexican close to downtown? (Ha!)
I'm not expecting Topolobampo.
Please give me all the options less than a mile radius (walkable) from the Ferry Building.
1) Mexico DF category, nice but pricey
2) So-so category, not necessarily authentic. Passable food, moderately priced
3) Good & cheap category, no atmosphere, but food is a must-try
I would go to Poc Chuc aka Chichen Itza in the Mission but I think you would have to get on the Bart
Mijita is in the Ferry plaza but I never ate there. De Jardins restaurant
Are you looking for dinner or lunch? If the latter, then Maya on 2nd between Folson and Harrison has a set-up for lunch where you can get good tacos to go or to eat at the bar. I haven't been in about a year, but they have a decent menu and an option to get homemade tortillas. I had the chicken tinga last time, which I never see on menus in SF taquerias, and it was good (maybe too spicey though). I'd double check if they still have the taco deal for lunch.
Please please skip Pancho Villa. It is next door to the Ferry Building, but the food is blah. Rick Bayless does have a little place inside the Macy's in Union Square, but the reports have been poor. I haven't been there myself.
Maya Next Door is excellent. I worked near by for quite a while. The thing is, if your order deviates, like a subtraction of a particular, you better check. Lots and lots of mistakes. The carne asada is particularly good IMO and the fish burrito is good too (grilled, often cooked to order).
There's always Colibri (in the Mexico DF category). Nice guacamole made table-side; nice setting; full bar; food is pretty good.
Another possibility is Tres Agaves - More of a party atmosphere and the food isn't as good.
Tres Agaves Restaurant
130 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Colibri Mexican Bistro
438 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102