Top Mexican Restaurants in San Francisco

The Michelin Guide (Le Guide Michelin) is an annual guide book to hotels and restaurants in over a dozen countries published by Michelin (yes, the tire guys). Restaurants are awarded stars based on their quality with 3-stars considered the absolute pinnacle of perfection. Many European chefs live and die by this rating system. Michelin published its first guide to San Francisco in 2006.

Here are some of the top picks for Mexican restaurants in San Francisco and reviews courtesy of Zagat. According to Michelin, "These restaurants offer authentic, Mexican cuisine in a festive atmosphere." 

  • 01 of 06

    La Taqueria

    Best Mexican Restaurants San Francisco
    Jeremy Brooks

    This no-frills taqueria serves Mexican eats, including famed traditional-style, rice-free burritos. For over 40 years, in the Mission, the restaurant has been offering affordable, Mexican meals in the “no-frills” space, where “seating is scarce”​ so prepare for “constant lines,” though the “speedy” counter staff keeps them moving.
    2889 Mission St. (between 24th & 25th Streets)
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    415-285-7117

  • 02 of 06

    Colibri Mexican Bistro

    Best Mexican Restaurants San Restaurants
    Yulchi Sakuraba

    This lively bistro serves guacamole prepared tableside, plus moles, tequilas, and more in the heart of San Francisco's Theater District. The restaurant features a wooden deck and festive decor. The restaurant serves Central Mexican fare with French/Spanish influences culled from family recipes passed down from generation to generation. 
    438 Geary St. (between Mason & Taylor Streets)
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-440-2737

  • 03 of 06

    Tres Agaves

    Entrance to Tres Agaves SF
    Tres Agaves

    Margaritas, tequila & Mexican grub is served in a lively cantina with a back patio close to AT&T Park. Many reviews mention the establishment is pricey, but the consensus seems to be that the food is worth the cost.
    130 Townsend St. (at 2nd St.)
    San Francisco, CA 94107
    415-227-0500

  • 04 of 06

    Pancho Villa Taqueria

    Best San Francisco Mexican Restaurants
    Rocor

    Burritos, tacos, tortas, agua fresca, and more, with basic counter and table seating. "Frequent lines" at these "cheap" taquerias attest to the "freshness and popularity" of their "better-than-usual" Mexican standards.

    3071 16th St.(between Mission & Valencia Streets)
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    415-864-8840

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Cala

    Chef Gabriela Cámara is a well-known Mexico City chef with the seafood-centric restaurant Contramar. She has opened a similar seafood spot in San Francisco's Civic Center. The restaurant has vaulted, skylight-dotted ceilings, a planter box full of climbing vines, and lots of light wood for a rustic-urban feel.

    149 Fell St.

    San Francisco, CA 94102

    (415) 660-7701

  • 06 of 06

    Californios

    This restaurant is located in an area known for street tacos and bare-bones restaurants. This Mission district Mexican restaurant elevates both the fare and the atmosphere. The eatery has caramel-hued banquettes that pop against dark-lacquered walls, while chandeliers and shelves of cookbooks further punctuate the upscale mien of the intimate room. The restaurant boasts an innovative style. One lengthy tasting menu is served nightly. It changes often, but expect inventive items like squid-ink tostadas heaped with guacamole, Monterey squid and truffles.

    3115 22nd St.

    San Francisco, CA 94110

    415-757-0994