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Apr 9, 2014 05:55 PM

Fresh masa items, made to order

Dried out corn tortillas rank down there with stale matzo. Er... or not-stale matzo.

Who is making corn tortillas to order, and using fresh masa from nixtamal rather than masa harina / maseca? Let's expand this thread to include huaraches, sopes, gorditas, etc. from fresh masa too.

There are scattered mentions from previous threads. Here are some recent mentions:

El Paisano Carniceria y Mercado, Redwood city. Tacos are made to order. Not sure about the sopes. The quesadillas are flour dough.

Uno Dos Tacos

Here's a thread about places selling fresh masa for home use:


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  1. In SF, I'm pretty sure that both Nopalito and La Urbana nixtamalize their own corn and make their own tortillas. At La Urbana I've only had them in the taco garage, I don't know about the main restaurant.

    In the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, Taco Grill, El Grullense and Taqueria Campos make corn tortillas to order, although at the latter too you have to specifically request it. (There are more places than these in the neighborhood that make their own tortillas, but I don't remember them all.) I don't know for sure that the nixtamal comes from corn and not masa harina, but based on the flavor I suspect it is fresh.

    1. Now that I make my own nixtamal I'm totally spoiled. Anxiously await intel on places that produce fresh corniness.

      1. Some items (not necessarily tortillas) at El Huarache Azteca, Comal, Nido, and El Molino Central.

        Many pupusa places.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I'm wondering if you might be a bit more specific about the items available at the places you listed and the pupusa places that use fresh masa? Thanks!

          1. re: miss louella

            Gorditas, huaraches, sopes, sometimes quesadillas. La Santaneca makes pupusas to order.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Do they make fresh masa? I have never run across a Pupuseria that doesn't use dried flour, so will need to try this example.

          2. re: Robert Lauriston

            El Molino Central (Boyes Hot Springs, near Sonoma) definitely makes their own masa from scratch (no harina) and it's organic too. You can buy tortillas by the dozen from them as well. There are the super thick ones (mostly what you'll see in stores) and regular sized ones, which are awesome and freeze very well. You can also buy masa from them to make your own creations. They have tamales made with their masa but I've never tried them (they don't have a vegan version). Masa and tortillas bought direct from them are quite well priced too.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              El Espigo de oro, which sells fresh masa by the pound, uses fresh masa for their pupusas. The cheese one was so overflowing with oily Monterey Jack, that it was tough to fully appreciate the dough's flavor. But the texture was great.

              La Palma mexitassen a few doors down sells pupusas. I would assume use fresh masa as well since they crank out so many masa products.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                They had fresh masa in the cooler for take out the last time I was there.

                1. re: wally

                  You can get the same masa at Primavera's farmers market stands.


                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    True. Though they don't always have it. The stands are even less convenient for me than driving from Petaluma to Sonoma. But for many others, yes, way better.

              2. As an aside, I saw nixtimalized corn being sold by the bag at Mi Pueblo in Oakland a few weeks ago. I hadn't noticed it previously, so I don't know if it was a special, or a new thing.

                4 Replies
                1. re:

                  Good find!

                  There was a report of fresh masa in their Mountainview Location several years ago saying that they sell fresh masa but the grinding happens elsewhere:

                  They mention selling "masa" for tamales on their webpage:

                  1. re: hyperbowler

                    The Fruitvale Mi Pueblo has prepared masa for tamales and tortillas all the time, as do many Mexican markets. Most East Bay markets carry the La Finca brand, which has it's factory down the street in Fruitvale. I'm interested in the nixtimal because I'm not sure I can detect when fresh-made masa items are made from masa harina or "fresh masa". In the past when I've made items from store-bought prepared masa I haven't detected a huge difference from when I just use masa harina. I figure getting the whole kernels will guarantee my starting point.

                    1. re:

                      Same here... getting them made to order seems to be the biggest issue for me. At this point, I doubt I can tell the difference between fresh masa and masa harina, and that's partly because I don't know which places use masa or masa harina. It's not advertised.

                      Whatever they use, La Santaneca's cheese pupusas are consistently the best I've found in SF (the corn based ones, not the rice ones).

                      1. re:

                        Fresh masa has a distinctive flavor that's missing from masa made from masa harina. Same goes for posole made from freshly lye-soaked corn and from dried or canned hominy.