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Lorena Masso

18 Great Tacos to Try in San Francisco

Where to get your carnitas, fish taco, and quesabirria fix

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San Francisco may be known as a burrito town, but the city is also home to an abundance of delicious tacos — an embarrassment of riches that runs the gamut from old-school hard-shell tacos and Korean-Mexican fusion to the new wave of quesabirria specialists endeavoring to bring the soupy, cheesy Tijuana-style tacos to every corner of the city.

Tacos are, of course, a food that’s built to sustain folks through tough economic times, and now, more than ever, SF are finding happiness in these quick, inexpensive meals, whether they’re purchased off a truck or from your favorite corner taqueria. Let this map guide you, then, to 18 great tacos in San Francisco to try now.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hook Fish Co

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4542 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

Beach town vibes pervade this scene-y Outer Sunset sustainable seafood spot, located just a hop, skip, and jump away from Ocean Beach. While petite, the rotating selection of grilled fish tacos pack a fresh, healthy punch, topped as they are with spicy aioli, avocado, and pickled slaw. For a veg-friendly option that’s a little bit out of the ordinary, go for the creamy batter-fried avocado taco. Order online, and be prepared for a bit of a wait.

2. Taqueria Los Mayas

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331 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 548-2800
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One of the better Mexican restaurants on the West side, Los Mayas is also one of the city’s better Yucatecan restaurants. It’s a solid spot to sample the cuisine’s characteristic citrus-marinated meats — poc chuc and cochinita pibil — in taco form, piled onto fat handmade tortillas. The restaurant is also offering convenient taco kits — $75 for enough tortillas, rice, beans, salsa, guacamole, and protein of your choice to feed five people. Order online for pickup or app-based delivery.

3. Padrecito

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901 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 742-5505
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For those seeking a more upscale taco experience, Padrecito has a wide selection of fillings: duck enmermelada and Tecate-battered rock cod, in addition to more standard options like carnitas and grilled skirt steak. Order online for takeout, with delivery available via Caviar. The Cole Valley restaurant is also doing outdoor seating.

4. Lupulandia Brewing

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2243 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 757-0487
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One of the city’s more idiosyncratic new breweries might also be the most forward-thinking of its new Mexican restaurants — a showcase for Tijuana’s innovative borderlands taco scene. Yes, that means there’s often quesabirria on the menu (a version made with stewed goat and beef), but also creative combinations you won’t likely anywhere else in the city — the braised octopus taco known as the Kraken, for example. Keep an eye out for the fast food–inspired Tacos “Jack in the Bell” when they’re available. If you know, you know. Order online for takeout or delivery; there’s also outdoor seating on the patio.

5. La Taqueria

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2889 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 285-7117
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La Taq is nationally famous for its meaty, rice-free burritos, and rightfully so. But if you talk to the restaurant’s legion of dedicated fans, many of them will tell you that it’s La Taqueria’s tacos, and not its burritos, that are its most delicious offerings, The carnitas and carne asada are both uncommonly juicy and flavorful, and the tacos come loaded with so much meat (and guacamole, sour cream, and cheese if you opt for the “super version) that just one or two makes for a filling meal. Go for the dorado style, with a crispy corn tortilla folded inside a soft one, for a taco with more crunch and structural integrity. Walk up to order (and yes, there’s still a line)..

6. San Jalisco

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901 S Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 648-8383
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Tucked away on a less traveled stretch of the Mission, San Jalisco is a charming, no-frills diner-style taqueria. The tacos here are huge and available in both soft and hard shell styles. Regulars come specifically for the goat birria that’s available on Fridays and weekends. Call in or walk up to order.

7. Tacos El Patron

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1500 S Van Ness Ave #100
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 829-7315
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If you’re going to order a single taco at El Patrón, let it be the quesabirria, the cheesy, soupy Tijuana-style beef birria tacos (served with a side of consomé for convenient dipping) that this newish Mission taqueria helped popularize in the city. Really, though, any taco is a good choice here, with the other standout being the namesake Taco Patrón, which comes loaded with grilled shrimp and melted cheese. Call in to order.

8. Mi Morena - La Cocina Municipal Marketplace

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101 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 824-2729
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Chef Guadalupe Moreno is serving her signature tacos guisados from a brand new kiosk within the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace. Start with an organic, handmade blue or yellow corn tortilla, then choose rice, beans, and a savory, stew-like filling (rajas con papas, juicy chicken tinga, or al pastor are just a few options). Order them ready-to-eat, or take home a taco kit to feed a crowd.

Lorena Masso

9. El Tonayense Taco Truck

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(415) 559-0404

El Tonayense's trucks travel the city, dispensing their tender meats to taco (and burrito) lovers — there’s always one parked outside the Mission Best Buy. The tender lengua is a good choice here, drenched in El Tonayense’s excellent salsa roja, Walk up to order.

10. El Gallo Giro

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986-998 Treat Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 240-1224
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El Gallo Giro has long been one of the best taco trucks in the biz, dishing out impeccably juicy carnitas and deeply flavorful grilled chicken. Currently the truck is parked in its usual spot, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk up or call in; for a contactless transaction, customers can arrange to pay ahead via Venmo.

11. Taqueria Vallarta

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3039 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 826-8116

This is your spot for less common (in SF) but delicious bits like suadero, buche, and tripitas, though the carne asada and al pastor also don’t disappoint. Order three tacos for a full meal, plus a side of smashed Mexican-style corn (elote), which comes in a cup with butter and a dose of heat. Walk up or call in your order, with delivery available through Postmates and DoorDash.

12. La Gallinita Meat Market

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2989 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 826-4600

This unassuming meat market hides handmade tortillas with various meats within, the best of which is the cecina, a salted and air-dried meat sliced thin and crisped on the griddle. Be careful with the salsa rojo here — it is seriously hot. The taco counter is open with somewhat limited hours — 9 a.m.–5 p.m., except Sundays when it closes at 2. Walk in or call ahead.

Stefanie Tuder

13. Tacorea

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809 Bush St
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 484-8911
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Korean tacos aren’t a whole phenomenon in the Bay Area the way they are down in LA, but for SF folks who’ve acquired a taste for this culinary street food mashup, thankfully there’s Tacorea, just off Union Square. The burritos are probably the best-known items here (including an extra carb-y tater tot stuffed version), but the tacos are also great — they come two to a plate, with your meat of choice (say, bulgogi or “Kanye asada”) piled onto soft corn tortillas, with an order of tater tots on the side. Phone in or walk up for takeout — with a new location coming soon to Chinatown.

14. Taqueria Cancun

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1003 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 864-6773

Cancun (with three locations in the Mission, Bernal Heights and SoMa) is a San Francisco crowd favorite for its reliable al pastor and carnitas that have just the right meat-to-tortilla ratios. Call in or walk up.

15. La Torta Gorda

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2833 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 642-9600
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La Torta Gorda is a mom-and-pop owned by a family from Puebla, Mexico. Although the restaurant is best known for its namesake sandwiches, its meaty tacos are also solid — including the oversized “Taco Placero” — especially when doused with the shop’s very good salsas verde and rojo.

16. El Pípila

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879 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 529-2049
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This Design District restaurant has earned a reputation for its excellent Guanajuatan cuisine and its rich pozole verde. But it’s also a great spot for carnitas tacos: slow-roasted local pork shoulder piled onto tortillas made with fresh masa from Oakland’s La Finca Tortilleria. Call in or get delivery through one of the third-party apps.

17. El Fuego

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17TH Street, Carolina St
San Francisco, CA 94103

One of the city’s buzziest new food trucks, El Fuego specializes in birria — both as a soft taco and in the crispy, cheesy quesabirria format. Other hard-to-find offerings include mulitas (with the meat encased between two tortillas, like a “sandwich”) and “keto”-style tacos, with crispy cheese taking the place of the tortilla. Check the truck’s Instagram page for its most up-to-date schedule, and walk up or order online.

18. Al Pastor Papi

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1379 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94158
(415) 310-3246
Visit Website

This newish food truck is all about the perfect Mexico City-style al pastor, sliced off the trompo onto fresh La Palma tortillas. Owner Miguel Escobedo marinates his pork for four days and tops his tacos with big hunks of pineapple. Check the truck’s Instagram page for its most up-to-date schedule.

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1. Hook Fish Co

4542 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Read Review |

Beach town vibes pervade this scene-y Outer Sunset sustainable seafood spot, located just a hop, skip, and jump away from Ocean Beach. While petite, the rotating selection of grilled fish tacos pack a fresh, healthy punch, topped as they are with spicy aioli, avocado, and pickled slaw. For a veg-friendly option that’s a little bit out of the ordinary, go for the creamy batter-fried avocado taco. Order online, and be prepared for a bit of a wait.

4542 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

2. Taqueria Los Mayas

331 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

One of the better Mexican restaurants on the West side, Los Mayas is also one of the city’s better Yucatecan restaurants. It’s a solid spot to sample the cuisine’s characteristic citrus-marinated meats — poc chuc and cochinita pibil — in taco form, piled onto fat handmade tortillas. The restaurant is also offering convenient taco kits — $75 for enough tortillas, rice, beans, salsa, guacamole, and protein of your choice to feed five people. Order online for pickup or app-based delivery.

331 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118

3. Padrecito

901 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117

For those seeking a more upscale taco experience, Padrecito has a wide selection of fillings: duck enmermelada and Tecate-battered rock cod, in addition to more standard options like carnitas and grilled skirt steak. Order online for takeout, with delivery available via Caviar. The Cole Valley restaurant is also doing outdoor seating.

901 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117

4. Lupulandia Brewing

2243 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

One of the city’s more idiosyncratic new breweries might also be the most forward-thinking of its new Mexican restaurants — a showcase for Tijuana’s innovative borderlands taco scene. Yes, that means there’s often quesabirria on the menu (a version made with stewed goat and beef), but also creative combinations you won’t likely anywhere else in the city — the braised octopus taco known as the Kraken, for example. Keep an eye out for the fast food–inspired Tacos “Jack in the Bell” when they’re available. If you know, you know. Order online for takeout or delivery; there’s also outdoor seating on the patio.

2243 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

5. La Taqueria

2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

La Taq is nationally famous for its meaty, rice-free burritos, and rightfully so. But if you talk to the restaurant’s legion of dedicated fans, many of them will tell you that it’s La Taqueria’s tacos, and not its burritos, that are its most delicious offerings, The carnitas and carne asada are both uncommonly juicy and flavorful, and the tacos come loaded with so much meat (and guacamole, sour cream, and cheese if you opt for the “super version) that just one or two makes for a filling meal. Go for the dorado style, with a crispy corn tortilla folded inside a soft one, for a taco with more crunch and structural integrity. Walk up to order (and yes, there’s still a line)..

2889 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

6. San Jalisco

901 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

Tucked away on a less traveled stretch of the Mission, San Jalisco is a charming, no-frills diner-style taqueria. The tacos here are huge and available in both soft and hard shell styles. Regulars come specifically for the goat birria that’s available on Fridays and weekends. Call in or walk up to order.

901 S Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110

7. Tacos El Patron

1500 S Van Ness Ave #100, San Francisco, CA 94110

If you’re going to order a single taco at El Patrón, let it be the quesabirria, the cheesy, soupy Tijuana-style beef birria tacos (served with a side of consomé for convenient dipping) that this newish Mission taqueria helped popularize in the city. Really, though, any taco is a good choice here, with the other standout being the namesake Taco Patrón, which comes loaded with grilled shrimp and melted cheese. Call in to order.

1500 S Van Ness Ave #100
San Francisco, CA 94110

8. Mi Morena - La Cocina Municipal Marketplace

101 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Lorena Masso

Chef Guadalupe Moreno is serving her signature tacos guisados from a brand new kiosk within the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace. Start with an organic, handmade blue or yellow corn tortilla, then choose rice, beans, and a savory, stew-like filling (rajas con papas, juicy chicken tinga, or al pastor are just a few options). Order them ready-to-eat, or take home a taco kit to feed a crowd.

101 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94102

9. El Tonayense Taco Truck

San Francisco, CA

El Tonayense's trucks travel the city, dispensing their tender meats to taco (and burrito) lovers — there’s always one parked outside the Mission Best Buy. The tender lengua is a good choice here, drenched in El Tonayense’s excellent salsa roja, Walk up to order.

10. El Gallo Giro

986-998 Treat Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

El Gallo Giro has long been one of the best taco trucks in the biz, dishing out impeccably juicy carnitas and deeply flavorful grilled chicken. Currently the truck is parked in its usual spot, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk up or call in; for a contactless transaction, customers can arrange to pay ahead via Venmo.

986-998 Treat Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110

11. Taqueria Vallarta

3039 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

This is your spot for less common (in SF) but delicious bits like suadero, buche, and tripitas, though the carne asada and al pastor also don’t disappoint. Order three tacos for a full meal, plus a side of smashed Mexican-style corn (elote), which comes in a cup with butter and a dose of heat. Walk up or call in your order, with delivery available through Postmates and DoorDash.

3039 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

12. La Gallinita Meat Market

2989 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Stefanie Tuder

This unassuming meat market hides handmade tortillas with various meats within, the best of which is the cecina, a salted and air-dried meat sliced thin and crisped on the griddle. Be careful with the salsa rojo here — it is seriously hot. The taco counter is open with somewhat limited hours — 9 a.m.–5 p.m., except Sundays when it closes at 2. Walk in or call ahead.

2989 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

13. Tacorea

809 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108

Korean tacos aren’t a whole phenomenon in the Bay Area the way they are down in LA, but for SF folks who’ve acquired a taste for this culinary street food mashup, thankfully there’s Tacorea, just off Union Square. The burritos are probably the best-known items here (including an extra carb-y tater tot stuffed version), but the tacos are also great — they come two to a plate, with your meat of choice (say, bulgogi or “Kanye asada”) piled onto soft corn tortillas, with an order of tater tots on the side. Phone in or walk up for takeout — with a new location coming soon to Chinatown.

809 Bush St
San Francisco, CA 94108

14. Taqueria Cancun

1003 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Cancun (with three locations in the Mission, Bernal Heights and SoMa) is a San Francisco crowd favorite for its reliable al pastor and carnitas that have just the right meat-to-tortilla ratios. Call in or walk up.

1003 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103

15. La Torta Gorda

2833 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

La Torta Gorda is a mom-and-pop owned by a family from Puebla, Mexico. Although the restaurant is best known for its namesake sandwiches, its meaty tacos are also solid — including the oversized “Taco Placero” — especially when doused with the shop’s very good salsas verde and rojo.

2833 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

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16. El Pípila

879 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94103

This Design District restaurant has earned a reputation for its excellent Guanajuatan cuisine and its rich pozole verde. But it’s also a great spot for carnitas tacos: slow-roasted local pork shoulder piled onto tortillas made with fresh masa from Oakland’s La Finca Tortilleria. Call in or get delivery through one of the third-party apps.

879 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94103

17. El Fuego

17TH Street, Carolina St, San Francisco, CA 94103

One of the city’s buzziest new food trucks, El Fuego specializes in birria — both as a soft taco and in the crispy, cheesy quesabirria format. Other hard-to-find offerings include mulitas (with the meat encased between two tortillas, like a “sandwich”) and “keto”-style tacos, with crispy cheese taking the place of the tortilla. Check the truck’s Instagram page for its most up-to-date schedule, and walk up or order online.

17TH Street, Carolina St
San Francisco, CA 94103

18. Al Pastor Papi

1379 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94158

This newish food truck is all about the perfect Mexico City-style al pastor, sliced off the trompo onto fresh La Palma tortillas. Owner Miguel Escobedo marinates his pork for four days and tops his tacos with big hunks of pineapple. Check the truck’s Instagram page for its most up-to-date schedule.

1379 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94158

Related Maps