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Mexican Restaurants

April 15, 2012

This has nothing to do with game design, true enough. However, John and I are often asked about our favorite Mexican restaurants in the Bay area. I wanted a link I could point to. Finding a good Mexican restaurant can be challenging, even with Yelp. Reviewers more accustomed to Americanized Mexican food often rate the real good stuff lower while things like Chipotle rate 5 stars.

  • Spanishtown – Half Moon Bay. Small, warm restaurant with friendly service. Great mild salsa.
  • Murillos – Vacaville. Traditional Mexican food in a Sonoran style. Worth the drive. Warm salsa is amazing.
  • Los Charros Restaurant – Mountain View. Don’t confuse this with the Taqueria by the same name in the city. Mariachi Perla plays on Friday nights. Friendly service, good food, and a fun crowd of people.
  • La Palma Mexicatessen – SF, Mission. Super traditional Mexican market with big sweet corn tamales. Everything’s good here, including the horchata.
  • Nopalito – SF. High-end Mexican with a modern twist. Great food. Love the fresh tortillas with red sauce. Get the horchata! Amazing. They don’t take reservations, so call about 1 hour ahead of your arrival to get on waiting list.
  • La Hacienda Market – San Mateo. In the back of the immaculate grocery store (really, go look – it’s surreal) is a great little deli that serves up fresh and good Mexican food. We get most of our groceries from this place when we’re cooking Mexican at home.
  • Pancho Villa – San Mateo. Orange salsa. Get it. It doesn’t matter what else you get.
  • Antojitos Mexicanos – Westley. Usually full, but you’ll get a table quickly and wonder why the people are going into the Subway next door. Great chiles rellenos, homemade tortillas and Carne Asada.
  • Tacos Peralta – San Mateo. Taco truck across from BevMo just off Hillsdale (near Whole Foods).
  • Tu Mero Mole – Sunnyvale. Great food and friendly service. Things are super fresh here.
  • Reposado – Palo Alto. High-end Mexican. Great restaurant that would be perfect if it had horchata.
  • Vive Sol – Mountain View. Make a reservation. Great food. Good salsas.
  • Dona Maria – San Jose. The horchata here is amazing. The tortilla chips are fresh and thick. Service is wonderfully friendly.

Other favorite Mexican Places:

  • Mi Nidito – Tucson, AZ. Our favorite Mexican food in the USA. It opens at 11am, and by 11:10, there is a 35-minute wait. Clearly, we’re not alone in our love for this place.
  • Karichimaka – Tucson, AZ. The cheese crisp (a Tucson invention) and sweet corn tamales are the best.
  • Rincon Norténo – Indio, CA. Our second favorite Mexican restaurant in the USA. Salsa is unlike anything you’ve ever had.
  • El Abajeño – Los Angeles, CA. Amazing chili colorado.
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2012 5:47 pm

    Ooh, thanks for posting this – I’ll have to try out some of these restaurants.

    Are you familiar with Chalateco? It’s a small restaurant on El Camino on the Mountain View / Sunnyvale border, and it’s my favorite Mexican (or Mexican/El Salvadorean?) restaurant in town (and I have a Mexican coworker who eats there multiple times a week), worth a try if you’ve never been there.

  2. April 25, 2012 1:39 am

    We ate at Los Charros when we were visiting the area last month. It was terrific. Definitely a place we’ll go back to next time we’re out there.

  3. Patrick Jensen permalink
    July 6, 2012 12:57 pm

    Great list!

    Our personal favorite is La Fonda at El Camino and 24th Street in San Mateo. It’s family owned since ’76, great ambiance, and amazing food. Definitely give it a shot if you enjoy Mexican food!

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/la-fonda-de-san-mateo-san-mateo

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