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Aug 26, 2009 12:38 PM

Best pupusas in San Francisco?

I'm planning to go out w/ some friends for pupusas on Friday night in the City and we're still up in the air as to where to go - have been to Balompie and El Zocalo, which seem to be two of the places that come up predominately when I searched for pupusas on the board -- is there anything better? If there are other notable dishes at the restaurant, that would be helpful to know as well, but the focus is definitely on pupusas. Thanks a bunch in advance!

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  1. It's a tough call. I had some good ones recently at Balompie #3 in the Outer Mission. The pupusas here come in fancier varieties than at most other places (for example, shrimp and fish pupusas) and they also have decent beer on tap. But were they head and shoulders above the ones I've had at El Zocalo? Hard to say. The service is definitely faster, though.

    I've also had some good ones at Los Panchos down the block from El Zocalo.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bigwheel042

      I finally made it to Balompie #3 last week and loved the pescaditos with fried yucca. But the pupusas I've had there and on Capp were only okay, with serviceable curtido. It is a really nice place--spotless, and friendly chefs and servers. And I agree, better than El Zocalo. The pupusas I had at Los Panchos were leaden.

      However the best pupusas I've ever had are at the New Spot on 20th Street off 3rd in Dogpatch. They're ethereal. Now I'm craving one.

      The New Spot
      632 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

      1. re: Windy

        New Spot sounds great, but I don't think they are open for dinner, right?

        1. re: dickie d.

          I had dinner there, but it was early, around 6. Not sure what time they close.

    2. I like Los Panchos too.

      It's not at all a place I'd go for a celebration (more like a place to stop in on a week night when I don't feel like cooking) But Olivos on Larkin and Sutter makes really nice pupusas--and menudo!

      1. We stopped by Panchita's #3 on Saturday after getting shut out at the Street Food Festival. I really enjoyed the pupusas there, as well as the plantains.

        1. I've resisted the lure so far (usually having just eaten) but Elsy's seems to beckon me when I'm in the vicinity of 25th and Mission. Has anyone sampled her pupusas?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Xiao Yang

            I really wanted to like Elsy's; the ambience, the dough rising in the window, all signs pointed toward delicious pupusas. Sadly, the resulting pupusa meal was bland and came with heaps of boring rice and beans. Filling, but there are better pupusas very close to Elsy's imo.

            1. re: beerandpork

              And for a differing opinion, I love Elsy's. I never get rice and beans, just pupusas for a snack for me and my kid. And they make really good fried chicken too. The owner is a sweetheart.

          2. Anyone know the name of the place on Persia just off of Mission? I recently tried some of their takeout pupusas and they were excellent.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Civil Bear

              Yes, Los Planes del Rendero. Their pupusas are good.
              I'm surprised no one has mentioned La Santaneca. There are two: Mission and 24th and Mission past Cortland (I can't remember the cross street) up the block from Lelenita's Cakes.

              1. re: Mari

                The second La Santaneca is located at 3781 Mission. Richland is the cross street.