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This Michelin Bib Gourmand-Rated Mexican Restaurant Opens in Emeryville This Week

Flores, the Mexican restaurant concept recognized as a a “good value” by the Michelin Guide, is expanding to Emeryville and San Mateo

A table of Mexican food.
Back of the House restaurant group will bring Flores to Emeryville and San Mateo this fall.
Aubrie Pick
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Flores, the Michelin Bib Gourmand-rated Mexican restaurant from San Francisco-based restaurant group Back of the House, will open two new locations in the coming weeks. First up: an outpost in Emeryville at 5614 Bay Street, Suite 244, will open on Friday, November 3. It’ll be followed later this year by a restaurant in San Mateo at 4 Hillsdale Mall. Emeryville marks the first East Bay location for Flores, and it will also include a quick-service spinoff called Flores Taqueria, which will open next door to the full-service restaurant tomorrow, Thursday, October 26.

Aubrie Prick

The menu at both locations will echo what fans know from the existing locations in San Francisco and Marin. That means a selection of tacos, larger plates such as mole negro poblano, chile relleno, and enchiladas. On the bar side, expect a range of cocktails including a variety of margarita riffs, beer, wine, and nonalcoholic options such as tea and aguas frescas. The menu at the new Flores Taqueria will focus on tacos, burritos, bowls, and salads with the option for diners to build their own entrees.

Back of the House CEO and founder Adriano Paganini says the company decided on Emeryville and San Mateo as prime for expansion due to a number of factors. The demographics in Emeryville, he says, skew towards younger tech workers, similar to those of the Union Street neighborhood where the original Flores has operated successfully for seven years. He expects the restaurant to be popular during the daytime and with customers walking around the bustling shopping area. He sees the San Mateo restaurant, meanwhile, as more parallel to the Flores location in Corte Madera. “You never know what's going to really work,” he concedes. “But I figure, if I have to risk, I might as well risk big and do two at a time.”

Both restaurants will be more spacious than existing Flores locations, each spanning more than 6,000 square feet with dedicated bar space, outdoor seating, and private dining rooms. Designer Nathan Reed, also behind Hayes Valley’s Rad Radish, worked to create what Paganini describes as “transportive” decor, using “a diverse assortment of patterns and textures that represent Mexico’s many cities, states, and regions,” per a press release. “When you walk inside you really get transported into Mexico, like a vacation,” Paganini says.

Flores in Emeryville opens on November 3 for lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10: p.m. The Taqueria will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The San Mateo location will open to the public before the end of the year.