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Jan 28, 2009 11:58 AM


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?

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  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 .