If you know anything about California, you know that tacos are an essential and abundant part of the food scene, and San Francisco is no exception. Narrowing down the best taco shops in San Francisco can be tricky when they can be found on nearly every corner, but that’s what we do best!
Your Guide to the Best Tacos in San Francisco
We’ve rounded up the very best tacos in San Fransisco. So whether you’re a hungry traveler, or a Bay Area local in search of your new favorite taco shop, this guide to the best tacos in San Francisco is for you. Happy eating!
If you are a fish taco fan, you must try Papito! The baja taco is the way to go when ordering here. Papito uses rock cod that is deep-fried in a Modelo batter. Topped with a creamy chipotle remoulade and slaw, these tacos will surprise you with their light taste and fantastic flavor. Get this taco with a crunchy shell and pair it with their sweet mango salsa that meshes immaculately with the slaw. Papito has a great outdoor dining area that allows you to emerge yourself in the up-and-coming Potrero Hill neighborhood, which is known for its family-friendly environment.
Looking for a healthier option? Nopalito’s is the spot for you! This modern, all-organic Mexican restaurant serves up some delicious tacos that will have you wanting more before you’ve even left. With a spacious indoor dining area and sidewalk cafe, Nopalito’s is perfect for a sit-down dinner date or quick lunch break. Nopalito’s has a more abstract approach to their taco game, with a make-it-yourself-style taco. Served with a platter of carnitas, curtido cabbage slaw, and tangy salsa cruda, guests can load it all up in a delicious house-made tortilla. Their tortillas alone earn them a spot on our guide to the best tacos in San Francisco. Still hungry after your tacos? Treat yourself to something sweet from their pastry selection!
Barrio is the place to go for a meal with a view. Sink your teeth into a taco while witnessing a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge. And while the views are great, Barrio’s no-frill tacos are a must-try on your search for the best tacos in San Francisco. We recommend the Cochinita Pibil—marinated pork tacos! The tender meat pairs seamlessly with the pickled onions wrapped in a fresh blue heirloom corn tortilla. Each taco order comes with a side of beans and rice. Get a side of the Yuca Frita for the table to truly experience the greatness of Barrio.
7. Bonita Taqueria and Rotisserie
Bonita Taqueria and Rotisserie is a bit of a hidden gem, but they are absolutely serving up some of the best tacos in San Francisco. When entering the restaurant, guests are greeted with an outdoor dining area that resembles a small town in Mexico (we love!). They’re then presented with a plethora of taco options, and while exciting, it can be a little overwhelming. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Get the mahi-mahi tacos, loaded with tangy coleslaw, guac, and arbol chile oil. You’ll never be the same. There are also great vegetarian alternatives to be found here. With an unorthodox twist to their veggie taco, Bonita Taqueria and Rotisserie implement pumpkin seeds, giving the taco not only a distinctive flavor but a great crunch. If you’re visiting on a clear day, enjoy a walk or quick drive to Fort Mason to see the Golden Gate Bridge after your meal!
6. Cielito Lindo
The California experience is not complete without a stop to an authentic taqueria, and Cielito Lindo is one of our favorites in SF. Their quesa birria tacos will be a highlight of your San Francisco food tour, and maybe of your life. Cielito Lindo’s mouthwatering consomme holds its own with its rich flavor, but the combo of the tender meat, gooey cheese, and consomme is out of this world. Ooh, and we also love the burnt cheesy ends. Don’t forget to add their hot sauce for an extra punch to your tacos! This hole-in-the-wall is a quick drive away from Ocean Beach, so grab the family and head down to the beach for a taco party.
For a modern dining experience, head to Lolo’s in the Mission District. Lolo’s serves a range of exciting tacos that will satisfy any palate. Step out of your comfort zone and try one of Lolo’s original taco creations, like the Taco Tropical—a spiced, panko-coated shrimp served with a vibrant salsa and chipotle aioli that adds the perfect kick. This taco comes with a jicama tortilla that adds a refreshing crunch to every bite. In need of an appetizer? The baby kale salad is a perfect light start to your meal. Lolo’s ambiance is perfect for a date night or dinner with the girls, but they don’t take reservations so make sure to plan ahead to beat the crowd.
4. Senor Sisig
Senor Sisig is one of our favorite spots for getting tacos in the city! With a hole-in-the-wall location in the Mission District as well as a food truck, Senor Sisig tacos are easy to get your hands on. Their Filipino-fusion style gives a twist to the classic taco, and earns them a well-deserved spot on our guide to the best tacos in San Francisco. As much as we love a traditional meat taco, the tofu option is the real show stopper here. We know what you’re thinking—tofu tacos?! Don’t knock it until you try it. Senor Sisig keeps their taco toppings simple with onions, lettuce, fresh jalapeños, and a zesty cilantro cream sauce, which we love. Be sure you check out their website to track down their daily food truck stops.
Can’t decide between Mexican or Asian? Then Tacorea is the place for you! Located close to Union Square, Tacorea serves up mind-blowing Korean fusion tacos. We recommend getting the Bulugoi street tacos combo deal, which will land you two sweet marinated beef tacos topped with fresh housemade tomatillo salsa, onions, and cilantro. If spicy is your thing, Tacorea’s hot sauce is no joke! The sweet chili hot sauce will take your taco to the next level. Our favorite part of Tacorea’s tacos is the side of tater tots it comes with.
2. Hook Fish Co.
Hook Fish Co. is an absolutely essential stop on your tour of the best tacos in San Francisco. Hook Fish Co. has a phenomenal fish selection that changes daily to showcase whatever is fresh. Their poké tacos will take your taste buds on a vacation to the Hawaiian Islands—served with a crunchy slaw, spicy aioli, and avocado on fresh housemade tortillas. They’re so good, you’re going to want a spoon to scoop up everything that falls out of your taco. They update their Instagram stories daily with photos of the fresh catch if you want to know what the current fish of the day is before heading out.
1. Tacos El Patron
Now, for the most crucial stop on your taco tour—Tacos El Patron. Tacos El Patron serves THE best tacos in San Francisco, hands down. Tacos El Patron is located in the Mission District where you can find a taqueria on just about every corner, so what makes Tacos El Patron stand out? To start, their menu offers an unmatched assortment of proteins that will cater to anyone. If you’re an adventurous eater, this is a great place to expand your palate. But what really steals the show at Tacos El Patron is their quesa birria tacos. These tacos are stuffed full of tender meat, fresh onions, and melty cheese that will have you falling in love at first bite. Full disclosure, eating these tacos may get messy. Embrace these tacos in all their messy glory—it’s always worth it!