HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >



I've been craving empanadas lately. I went searching for some new place called Venga Empanadas last weekend, but I couldn't find it.


Does anyone have any trust empanada sources they wish to share?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It shares the space with Stable Cafe, I think (which also has weird/limited hours)...

    1. Sabores del Sur at the alemany farmers market

      1 Reply
      1. re: kirinraj

        Rodger's Coffee & Tea on 20th btwn Mission & Valencia serves both chicken and vegan empanadas. Guy at the counter said they were Sabores del Sur. Not sure if they plan to carry other fillings. They appear to be parbaked then they finish them in one of those crazy ovens Subway uses to toast their sandwich in 30 seconds. I ordered a chicken one, came out a good temperature, a little burnt around the edges, but otherwise fine. Filling was good, if a little salty. Mostly chicken and sauce with one black olive and a chunk of hardboiled egg. $4.50, big enough for a light lunch.

      2. Mexico D.F. has "quesadillas" that are actually more like empanadas. Forgiving the obvious disconnect between what they call them and what they actually are, they are very good. I believe they are using tortillas to make them, but they're fried and doughy like an empanada. Go figure. It's worth popping into the bar to enjoy a beer and a plate of these things.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Shane Greenwood

          When I've had DF style, empanada-like quesadillas here, they're made with fresh masa. The number of things that can be called an empanada or a quesadilla is really mind-boggling and new forms continue to surprise and delight me.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I don't know enough about Nicaraguan cuisine to know whether it is the norm for empanadas of that country, but the "shell" of the empanadas at The Nicaragua Restaurant in SF (on Mission between 26th and Cesar Chavez), is mashed plantain. The ground beef and rice version is quite tasty and quite large and filling. (In the neighborhood of $3.)

          2. re: Shane Greenwood

            Fonda has a fantastic version stuffed with mushrooms and flavored with epazote.

          3. One of the best empanadas I've had was at Zarzuela but I don't see it on the menu any longer, and it was only one item.

            1. These are among the best I've had: El Porteno. My favorites are the beef, the banana with dulce de leche, and (when available) the humita.


              The pastry is thin and flaky--just thick enough to keep the fillings from bursting out. They come frozen, but reheat very nicely in the oven in a few minutes. At $3 a piece, they are not cheap, but the ingredients are first-rate, and I'd rather have these than the huge, doughy things that are more readily available.

              3 Replies
              1. re: pilinut

                El Porteno looks good, but their website indicates they sell at the Burlingame and San Mateo Farmers' markets. Do you know if they also sell in S.F.? And/or does anybody have any leads on good empanadas closer to Oakland/Berkeley/S.F.?

                1. re: Food Fiend

                  alemany farmers market is in san francisco, near the mission. thats where sabores del sur is. They have chicken and beef empanadas (chilean style)

                  1. re: Food Fiend

                    You might want to call El Porteno, I believe they are at another market not listed on their website--in Oakland, I think--and are trying to get into the Belmont Sunday market .

                2. Venga's empanadas are indeed very tasty. But it doesn't exactly have a storefront. You have to order in advance (by phone or online, www.vengaempanadas.com) then go pick them up at Stable Cafe. Minimum of a dozen. Stable also sells them individually a couple days a week, though they cost more that way. I recommend the beef and the mushroom!

                  1. If you like Filipino empanadas, then get them from Red Ribbon Bakery (the only in Daly City is better than the one in SF inside Jollibe). They have chicken or beef and they are the best empanadas I've had. I even bring some home to my family in Chicago because they love them too. The pastry is doughy (in a good way) and the filling is not made wit fatty meat, just yummy shredded chicken or beef in a tasty sauce.

                    1. Cafe Valparaiso, the little Chilean restaurant attached to La Peña on Shattuck
                      at the Berkeley/Oakland border has a number of different kinds on their menu.

                      I haven't had one recently enough to remember any specific details, but we generally
                      get a couple when eating there and I don't remember ever being unhappy.

                      Cafe Valparaiso
                      3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                        that place is very good for empanadas. I was going to put it, but forgot the name.

                      2. Adding some links:

                        Stable Cafe
                        2128 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA

                        Elixir Bar Services
                        San Francisco, CA, San Francisco, CA

                        Sabores del Sur
                        712 Bancroft Road Suite 236, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

                        Venga Empanadas
                        2937 24th street, San Francisco, CA

                        1. A couple weeks ago I stopped by el Porteño's booth at the Metreon to pick up a couple empanadas. These are Argentine style, and I did like the multi-layered, light and flaky crust. The humita one, filled with corn and sweet red pepper, was fine. What I really liked was the carmelized banana sweet one.

                          Then last week I was in the Ferry Building a little before 5pm and wandered into Frog Hollow. It had a sign in the baked goods case for a closing time special of 2/$6. I picked up two of the turnovers, normally $4.50 each. The carne asada one had some bits of hot fresh chili pepper but was otherwise underseasoned and stringy. I did love the buttery, rich and flaky crust though and the turnover filled with asparagus and cheese was just dreamy. Highly recommended.

                          Frog Hollow Farm
                          1 Ferry Bldg # 46, San Francisco, CA

                          1. This may sound like an odd choice, but Inka's on Mission has some fantastic empanadas. Tender and flaky dough with delicious Peruvian fillings.

                            Inkas Restaurant
                            3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110