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Jan 9, 2012 02:49 PM

Regional mexican dishes/restaurants in SF & Berkeley/Oakland

What are some places in SF & Berkeley/Oakland that have a good selection of regional Mexican dishes, in particular ones that you won't be able to find at most other places? I don't really care about "authenticity"---adaptations are fine as long as it tastes good. Mentions of specific dishes would be helpful. Here are some that come to mind:

Mexico City : Reaction Restaurant (adaptations of Mexico City street food)
Oaxaca: La Oaxaqueña , e.g., (Grasshopper tacos, Tlayudas, Oaxacan Mole)
Puebla: La Torta Gorda , e.g., (the seasonal) Chiles en Nogada
Yucatan: Poc-chuc

Poc Chuc
2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

La Torta Gorda
2833 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

La Oaxaquena
2128 Mission St, San Francisco, CA

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  1. I culled the archives for mentions of different regions and came up with the following. Searching for most of these places by name will bring up lots of dish recommendations. I excluded regional places that weren't viewed favorably.


    San Jalisco Mexican Restaurant

    Mexico City

    El Huarache Azteca

    El Huarache Loco



    El Gallo Giro Taco Truck (Michoacan-style carnitas)


    Alta Mar Restaurant (changed hands in 2007, so maybe not anymore)


    Comida Yucatan y City Pizza

    El Huarache Azteca
    3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

    Alta Mar Restaurant
    1060 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94606

    Comida Yucatan y City Pizza
    294 Turk St, San Francisco, CA 94102

    901 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

    El Huarache Loco
    100 Alemany Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94110

    235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

    5 Replies
    1. re: hyperbowler

      El Huarache Azteca does great versions of DF-style dishes including a variety of fresh masa items (gorditas, huaraches, quesadillas, sopes) and barbacoa de borrego (smoked lamb).

      El Huarache Azteca
      3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

      1. re: hyperbowler

        Some more:

        Jalisco: Chavas
        Mexico City: Tortas Boos Voni
        Yucatan: Chaac Mool

        Chava's Mexican Restaurant
        2839 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        Tortas Boos Voni
        5170 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94112

        Chaac Mool
        Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123

        1. re: hyperbowler

          Alta Mar is long gone.

          El Delfin has Veracruz style dishes
          3066 24th Street San Francisco

          La Torta Loca sells DF-style street food.
          3419 International Boulevard Oakland

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I was wondering where the owners of El Delfin were from. Sadly they're closing:

        2. FWIW, La Oaxaquena no longer sells grasshopper tacos, or grasshopper anything. But good stuff otherwise. Their champurrado with guajillo is awesome. oaxaqueno tamal pretty good...

          1. Los Yaquis on South Van Ness is another that serves dishes from Jalisco. Haven't tried enough to make a good judgment but liked it the one time I went.

            I also think Haltun is solid for Yucatecan.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bigwheel042

              that's right. Definitely need to add Haltun to the list. I prefer Poc Chuc, particularly since they are so close to each other, but Haltun is good too.

              1. re: bigwheel042

                Yesterday's special at Los Yaquis was a braised pork shank in a deeply-flavored complex chili sauce accompanied with buttered rice, refried beans/cheese and delicious ethereal handmade tortillas in generous portions. We started with the yucca con chiciharon, fried crispy and served with a tomato cabbage curtido. My Caldo de Res was satisfyingly huge and hot - with ample leftover for today's lunch. The hot sauce is a hot perfection. The horchata is a favorite of ours, smooth and creamy with a hint of cinnamon and the Michelada will make your eyes sparkle with fireworks. Let's make a pact to work through the menu from top to bottom!
                Service is warm and friendly. Parking is easy.

                324 South Van Ness Avenue at 14th Street

              2. I've had a couple of Oaxacan dishes at Comal that I haven't seen before: de eses and tetelas. They also do pescado Zarandeado, which I haven't tried yet but looks great.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    If you click on the "" link in the fourth line of this tweet,


                    you should be able to get the full text of John Birdsall's well-written recent article,

                    "Jalisco-style specialities at tiny Taqueria Campos in Oakland"

                    which touches on the Jalisco roots and traditions of much of the Bay Area's Mexican cooking and its staying power. "Campos is great in the way of tradition keepers, cooks who never vary a method, adjusting to time and changing ingredients but keeping the outcome the same. It’s the tradition of women, farmhouse cooks, preservers of culture. I ate my first bowl of birria at Taqueria Campos in 2006, and it’s as good in exactly the same way now as it was then, and in the five bowls I’ve had in between," he wrote.

                    The photo below is captioned, "Ana Maria Campos rubs the tough skins off the hominy by hand in the red menudo at her tiny Taqueria Campos restaurant in Oakland. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, Staff Photographer / The Chronicle"

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

             "Where to eat the Mexican food of Guanajuato, Oaxaca and Yucatan"
                      By Jonathan Kauffman

                      El Pipila (San Francisco), Taqueria Campos (Oakland), Copita (Sausalito), Tamales La Oaxaqueña (Oakland), Nopalito (San Francisco)and El Castillito Yucateco (San Francisco).


                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Please note that Taqueria Campos in Oakland is closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, a fact that I learned the hard way.

                        Taqueria Campos
                        3659 Foothill Blvd.
                        Oakland, CA
                        Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday - Monday

                        1. re: zippo

                          Not enough hangovers those days, maybe.