What makes a good taco? Food fan and former taco truck owner Jen Coogan said it best:
“A good taco can change your life. I’m not exaggerating. The right taco can introduce you to a whole new world, a whole new way of thinking. It will make you forget everything else. You can’t help but ravenously destroy it, as your brain tells you to slow down and savor every morsel. You are transported into another realm. And then, you’re suddenly back, sadly licking the wrapper.”
You’re preaching to the choir here, Jen.
If you’ve ever felt this way about a taco—or any food, really—you are our people. And our people like to eat. So, who better to ask where to get one of the most craved foods on the planet? Off the Grid food fans—that’s who.
Here’s where our top eaters go to get their tacos.
1) Tacos El Patrón in San Francisco
Beatriz, San Francisco
Why: The pastor taco has a very specific flavor that’s not easy to achieve and the tacos at El Patron are on point. The birria taco is also amazingly good, with just the right amount of carne and queso, and the guacamole salsa is to die for.
2) Hella Street Taco in Contra Costa
Why: Best fusion versions of Mexican and Filipino flavors.
3) Santa Torta Taco Truck in Oakland
Jen, San Francisco
Why: It was a rainy Friday night at Fort Mason Center. Suddenly the clouds parted over the Santa Torta taco truck, and I wandered over. I was called to the Birria tacos. Hmmm Birria. I’ve never had that before. The gooey dripping cheese oozed over the crispy fresh tortilla and savory shredded beef as I dipped it into the stewy consomme that came on the side. Everything got quiet as I put it in my mouth. Then… the flavor exploded everywhere!!! I wanted to share it with my husband since he bought it, but for a moment I considered throwing away a dozen years of marriage to keep it to myself. Then I took a breath, came to my senses, and let him have a bite. That was a taco I will never forget as long as I live, and one that still brings a tear to my eye and drool to my mouth. Thank you for asking.
4) El Mezcal in Hayward & San Lorenzo
Vincent, Castro Valley
Why: The meat is so tender and flavorful. They also have a drive thru, which is a bonus!
5) Tacos El Último Baile in Oakland
Marlene, San Francisco
Why: Well seasoned meats and handmade tortillas.
6) San Jose Taqueria in San Rafael
Liat, San Francisco
Why: San Jose Taqueria in San Rafael’s pollo asada tacos has the best street tacos around. Super juicy and great flavor.
7) Tacos el Patron in Pleasant Hill
Stacey, Pleasant Hill
Why: Their birria queso taco are incredibly hearty, loaded with meat and cheese, and the cosumé dipping sauce is just perfect. It is super comforting and feels like it’s giving your stomach a hug.
8) Taqueria Vallarta in San Francisco
Suzy, San Francisco
Why: The meats are deliciously seasoned, there are a variety of meat options and their salsa is sooo good. The tortillas are soft and don’t fall apart when eating. Recommend this spot to anyone wanting an authentically delicious street taco.
9) La Grana Fish in Fruitvale
Susie, San Francisco
Why: They have the first birria I’ve had—and I’ve had hundreds of tacos after. But nothing beats the flavor and portion size!
10) Tacolicious in San Francisco
Orkid, San Francisco
Why: They make good fish tacos.