El Pípila, from chef Guadalupe Guerrero, has opened at 879 Brannan Street. Along with her two daughters, Brenda and Alejandra, Guerrero is serving the cuisine of Guanajuato, Mexico.
Guerrero, who came to the U.S. in 1998, worked for years in the Bay Area before opening her own restaurant, first at a Berkeley taqueria, and later building her business part of La Cocina, the nonprofit food incubator that supports working class entrepreneurs, most of whom are immigrant women and women of color. (That includes successes like Nyum Bai, Reem’s, El Buen Comer, and so many more.)
After six years serving her food as a vendor at pop-ups like Off the Grid and Picnic at the Presidio, Guerrero has launched her first permanent restaurant in the ground floor of a condo building in SF’s Design District. It’s a growing restaurant neighborhood, with favorites like Bellota, Dumpling Time, and Omakase already luring diners, residents, and nearby workers to the area.
The menu consists of larger plates like Guerrero’s extremely popular pozole verde, enchiladas, carnitas, and chile rellenos, plus tacos, salads, and sides. Though there’s no alcohol at the moment, agua frescas are an excellent replacement. Check out the full menu below.
Opening a restaurant in San Francisco is a challenge, even for restaurants with plenty of investors and capital to get started; despite the community’s support, it took five years of effort to open El Pípila. The physical restaurant was a collaboration between La Cocina, developer Equity Residential, various contractors, Schwartz and Architecture (who provided services pro bono), plus donations from suppliers like Fox Marble, Ceramic Tile Design, Ann Sachs, One Workplace, Delta Millworks, The Culinary Edge, Design is Play and Pritchard Peck Lighting.
El Pípila is now open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; extended hours will start in 2019, when it will open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.