Friday, April 25, 2014

Best Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco

A few years ago, I posted about my meal at Lolo, an innovative Mexican restaurant in the Mission District.  Earlier this week I had a chance to eat at Lolo's new location at 974 Valencia Street.  The food is just as good as at the old location and the interior design equally quirky and interesting.

This meal started me thinking about which restaurants serve the best Mexican food in San Francisco.  The city is home to hundreds of taquerias serving tacos, burritos, tamales, and simple Mexican food.  Everyone has his or her favorite, but none of these are places where I would want to go with friends to have a good dinner.

While I certainly have not been to every Mexican restaurant in San Francisco, I recommend Lolo and Nopalito to anyone interested in innovative Mexican cuisine.  Nopalito has two locations, the original at 306 Broderick Street in NOPA and the newer restaurant at 1224 9th Avenue in the Inner Sunset.  I've only been to the latter.  Here the food is refined, the service is friendly, and the space encourages one to have a leisurely meal.

The San Francisco Chronicle awards three stars to four Mexican restaurants:  the two Nopalito locations, Mamacita in the Marina District, and Padrecito in Cole Valley.  I will need to visit Mamacita and Padrecito to see if I agree with the reviewers.  Lolo is not reviewed by the paper.

Zagat's top rated Mexican restaurant is Papito (26 points), which serves French-influenced Mexican food on Potrero Hill.  I agree that the food is superb.  However, the space is small and not conducive to having a leisurely dinner.  Three restaurants receive 25 points:  Don Pisto's in North Beach, La Taqueria in the Mission District, and Lolo.  I've not been to Don Pisto's so will need to check it out.  La Taqueria has been getting rave reviews for its tacos and burritos for years.  The only time I tried to go the line was way too long for me.

This is one person's take on the Mexican food scene here in San Francisco.  If  you have a favorite Mexican restaurant in San Francisco or the Bay Area, leave a comment.