To some San Franciscans, a trek to the East Bay qualifies as a lengthy daytrip. One can only imagine their reluctance to travel hundreds of miles for authentic Mexican cuisine. Thankfully, Melissa’s Taqueria brings south-of-the-border flavors to Brisbane with a menu of tacos, enchiladas, and burritos packed with carne asada and al pastor. The kitchen stays busy throughout the day as chefs churn out dinner plates and breakfasts of pancakes and huevos rancheros.
A fire-engine-red edifice and azure doors usher patrons into the technicolor interior of Estrada's Mexican & Caribbean Restaurant, an expansive eatery that celebrates the succulence and spiciness of Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. Semicircle booths with glass tabletops hoist up traditional Mexican dishes loaded with sautéed beef, chicken, and vegetables, as well as platters that circulate the aromas of Caribbean delicacies such as fried yucca and plantains. Patrons who sidle over to the restaurant's full bar receive rewards in the form of south-of-the-border beer, homemade sangria, and Academy Awards for Best Chugging.
The chefs at both locations of the family-run Guerrero's Taqueria man the grill all day cranking out plate-busting breakfasts, jam-packed burritos, tamales. Guests order at the counter, then find a seat in inside or at one of the green picnic tables outside, where they tuck into Mexican staples, such as the super shrimp burrito or huevos con chorizo. Imported sodas, beers, and horchata quench thirsts, while servings of flan make for a sweet end to the meal. Guerrero's Taqueria recently expanded its reach and opened a new, second location in Fairmont Shopping Center in Pacifica. In addition to traditional Mexican favorites, this location offers a different take on mainstays such as California Burritos, which are made with french fries instead of beans, and California Nachos, which are made with french fries instead of chips.
The chefs at El Toro Loco craft tacos, burritos, and tostadas, alongside hearty meat and chicken entrees grilled in Peruvian style. The kitchen keeps an eye on their customers' health by using the freshest ingredients available, favoring heart-conscious canola oil, and taking all orders on a doctor?s prescription pad. The menu features Peruvian favorites including deep-fried yucca along with beef anticuchos, a kabob-like dish served alongside potatoes and hot sauce. The Peruvian-leaning menu also includes award-winning tacos and burritos, crammed with fish, beef, chicken, pork, or veggies, which distinguished themselves earlier this year by landing El Toro Loco at the top of the Pacifica Patch's short list of the best local tacos and burritos.
A baby-blue "Bienvenidos" greets customers as they step into the warm yellows and oranges of El Sinaloense Mexican Restaurant. Vibrant portraits of south-of-the-border feasts and beaches embellish the sun-toned walls, between which the waitstaff frequently refills each table's bottomless bowl of housemade salsa. Diners chase chips with seafood specialties born on the shores of Sinaloa, such as the topolobampo, a fillet of grilled fish crowned with clams, prawns, and octopus. A more traditional Mexican plate, the Molcajete stars jalapeños, onions, and cheese next to chicken and shrimp simmered with nopales.
What to Drink: Zagat reviewers rave about the Macho Margarita, which blends sweet and spicy thanks to the addition of muddled jalapeños.
Where to Sit: Try to land one of the plush booths and avoid the tables near the open kitchen—a high-traffic zone.
While You’re Waiting: Head to the bar area and watch the 1940s Latin film clips playing on the TVs.
The Vibe: Classic Spanish paintings adorn gold and red walls, and uniquely shaped tequila bottles punctuate a space that’s reminiscent of Mexico City restaurants in the early 1900s.
Mole: there are many regional varieties of this rich sauce, but chilies, spices, and mexican chocolate are the most common ingredients. It’s typically served atop poultry or pork.
How to Get There: Colibri's location in the heart of the Theatre District means traffic and parking can be problematic. However, the Powell Street BART Station is just a couple blocks away.