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Just Like Abuela Used to Make It

Old-school spots still cranking out the machaca and margs.

The scene at San Jalisco.

The scene at San Jalisco.

Tommy’s Restaurant (since 1965):
Out in the Richmond district, Tomás Bermejo introduced the city to Yucatecan specialties like pollo pibil and poc chuc, and his son Julio turned the bar’s tequila selection into a destination. Today, the margaritas still go perfectly with the elephantine platters.
5929 Geary Blvd. (near 24th Ave.), 415-387-4747

Puerto Alegre (since 1973):
A mainstay for pitchers of margs and comforting plates of enchiladas squeezed between beans and rice, this Mission destination, complete with a diner-style counter and booths, holds its own in the ever-changing Mission district. Weekends are nuts. Expect a wait.
546 Valencia St. (near 16th St.), 415-255-8201

Otaez Mexican Restaurant (since 1987):
Since the Campos family took over this Oakland spot, it’s been the place working guys come to at 6 a.m. for machaca and menudo and families hit up later for chicken enchiladas and pitted slabs of flan.
3872 International Blvd. (near 39th Ave.), Oakland, 510-536-0909

San Jalisco (since 1988):
No gray morning can withstand the Technicolor therapy of Dolores Reyes’s restaurant. Breakfasts are where it’s at (scrambled eggs streaked with shredded beef and tomatoes; huevos divorciados smothered in red and green chilies). Or try a steamy bowl of caldo de camarón. Tortillas are made in-house.
901 S. Van Ness Ave. (at 20th St.), 415-648-8383


Read More:
Our Big, Hot (Sometimes Fancy, Sometimes Not) Mexican Moment
The 22 Best Mexican Restaurants in the Bay Area
The Best Mexican Food in Redwood City 
Richmond Is the New Fruitvale 
Try Today's Four Coolest Mezcal Cocktails 
Where to Find the Best Food Trucks Right Now 
Classic Mexican Restaurants
The Secret Burrito Cravings of the Bay's Top Chefs

The No Cooking Solution for Your Next Diner Party


Originally published in the February issue of San Francisco.  

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