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Tortilla Soup

Who makes the best homemade tortilla soup and where are your favorite places to order it in the Bay Area?

I'm not sure if this is considered destination/restaurant food, but as a native East Coaster, it's still relatively new and interesting to me. I've yet to find any really amazing homemade tortilla soup in the restaurants I've tried in the Mission... can any recommend their favorite places?

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  1. Hmm, it's been a long time since I've had it, but I used to get tortilla soup from La Canasta. Take out only or delivery. What I liked about it is that this is a vegetarian version. Very light and not at all heavy or greasy. I wouldn't call it amazing though. A basic version with no avocados or eggs. The taste of the chiles comes through quite directly.
    http://www.lacanastasf.com/

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/25068

    1. Nido's chicken pozole is great. It comes with a tortilla.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hungree

        But wouldn't that be a fresh, soft tortilla with the pozole?

        Tortilla soup has fried tortilla strips added to it at the last minute for crunch.

      2. I really like the Tortilla Soup at Juanita Juanita in Sonoma. But they only serve it in the winter, and you always get a big dose of attitude with it. But on a rainy day nothing beats sitting at the counter with a big bowl of this.

        1. Picante in Berkeley is my favorite version . I do add to it with what I call soup extender from the salsa bar.
          Sopa Azteca
          Chicken soup with roasted tomato and pasilla negro chiles with avocado & crispy tortilla strips.

          1. I used to really like the one at Chilango on Church/Market; it was my go-to take-out soup when I was sick. Fresh fried tortilla strips, gentle flavor to the broth, lumps of avocado and cotija. I haven't been in about a year, but that's the one that comes to mind.

            6 Replies
            1. re: pane

              Thanks everyone!

              I'm going to try Chilango this weekend and will add the rest to my 'East Bay list' for future reference - I appreciate the suggestions!

              1. re: OliverB

                Tip: I've found the soup better at lunch. Both cheaper at that time, and a couple times I've had it at dinner and found it too salty. Not sure if that's luck or because it was prepared early in the day and left to boil/concentrate a bit too long.

                1. re: OliverB

                  It doesn't hurt that they have the best tortillas around. Take a few fresh ones home and make chilaquiles.

                  Their carnitas and ceviche with oranges are also good. And the hot chocolate with churros.

                  1. re: OliverB

                    I had the tortilla soup at weekday lunch at Chilango about a week ago, and it was really mediocre. Tortilla strips were soggy, broth pallid, shredded chicken chewy and boring. And it cost $10. Quite a disappointment.

                    Also, even though I was the only one in the restaurant, the server was constantly chatting on his cellphone, and paid me only minimal attention. I got up and replaced my own spoon, which was dirty when given to me. I didn't see any reason to go back.

                    1. re: Prabhakar Ragde

                      That's a shame. I've only had it once, and it was good. Bad service makes a difference.

                      1. re: Windy

                        I can overlook bad service if the food is good.

                        I wonder if the OP would consider branching out and trying pozole and/or menudo? I want to try these at Gallardos when they reopen in their new location on 18th.