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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Regional Mexican Restaurants in San Francisco: A Tentative List

Posted By on Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Pozole rojo, one of the specialties of Jalisco. - NOWAY/FLICKR
  • noway/Flickr
  • Pozole rojo, one of the specialties of Jalisco.

For this week's review, I stuck to the Poblano regional side of the menu at La Torta Gorda, which is mainly known for its sandwiches. Other than the defunct S.F. branch of Cocina Poblana (there are still two in the East Bay), La Torta Gorda is the first place in the city I've heard about that specializes in Puebla's tinga, tlacoyos, and mixiotes.

Over the past decade, we've seen more and more Mexican restaurants identify their food by the region the cooks come from. We've compiled a preliminary list of San Francisco restaurants that specialize in the food of specific regions. (Note: We're omitting Nopalito, a great source for hard-to-find regional specialties from all over the country.)

Not surprisingly, given immigration patterns, huge swaths of Mexico are underrepresented in S.F.'s food scene. Is there a Sonoran restaurant in San Francisco? What about places specializing in the food of Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Chiapas? If you know of any ― or any Jaliscan, Yucatecan, or Oaxacan restaurants we've missed ― leave a comment.


Chava's, 2839 Mission, 282-0283.

Sanjalisco (formerly Los Jarritos), 901 S. Van Ness, 648-8383,

Los Yaquis, 324 South Van Ness, 252-8204.


Chilango, 235 Church, 552-5700, (Note: The chef actually hails from Nayarit, and so do some of his dishes.)

El Huarache Loco, Saturdays at Alemany farmers' market and often Fridays at Off the Grid

Mexico DF, 139 Steuart, 808-1048,

Tortas Boos Voni, 5170 Mission, 585-5880.


La Oaxaqueña, 2128 Mission, 621-5446.


Chac-Mool, Fort Mason Center, Fridays through Sundays, 510-508-3690.

Comida Yucatan y City Pizza, 294 Turk, 931-4200.

Haltún, 2948 21st St., 643-6411,

El Maya Yucatan, 2022 Mission, 252-8810.

Poc-Chuc, 2886 16th St., 558-1583,

Yucatasia 2164 Mission, 626-6828.

Extra reading: The Mission is hardly the center of Mexican cuisine in the Bay Area. Back when they both wrote for San Francisco magazine in

2006, SFoodie editor John Birdsall and Tasting Table editor Scott Hocker

surveyed the cluster of Michoacan restaurants in Redwood City and the Jaliscan neighborhood of Oakland

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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