In the conversation of where to find the best tacos or burritos in San Francisco, La Taqueria always, always comes up. The Mission District is packed with taquerias, and some of them are very good. La Taqueria, however, is more than very good. It’s transcendent.
I was in San Francisco a couple weekends ago, and after hearing so much about this place, I hopped on a bus to the Mission and approached it with some skepticism. It was absolutely packed with people eating their legendary burritos, but the true test of a taqueria is in its tacos, and its meat in particular. So I ordered two tacos: one carnitas, and one carne asada, no pico de gallo (I just can’t do tomatoes, no matter how hard I try). My order arrived, I took a seat, and got down to business.
First of all, when I was waiting for my order I noticed that the small grill was loaded with thin steaks, which were taken off the grill after getting a nice sear, stacked, and chopped into bite-size chunks by the counterman. The resulting carne asada didn’t then make its way into a waiting hotel pan and into a steam table, it was immediately scooped directly into burritos and tacos, one of which was mine. That’s some insanely fresh carne asada. When tucked into a pair of also-fresh corn tortillas and topped with a spoon of pinto beand and a drizzle of house green salsa, it was truly spectacular. The steak was tender and not tough in the least, and was incredibly well-seasoned.
The carnitas was equally stunning. Shredded and free of any of the usual gobs of fat, this pork was full of flavor and studded with those slightly chewier end chunks that only come from slow-roasting as well as crispy bits. I could eat these every day and be very happy.
If you were on the fence about which taqueria to visit in San Francisco, it’s actually a no-brainer: La Taqueria is the one.