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 their 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 05
Set in a trendy, lofty space, this Mexican eatery is known for tacos, margaritas & a boisterous bar. The restaurant has been designated as Bib Gourmand (a Michelin designation which signifies an especially good value). "Incredible" tacos and "fabulous" margaritas win "raves" at this "dynamite" Marina Mexican, known for its "top-notch" food and "young", "happening" scene.
2317 Chestnut St. (between Divisadero & Scott Streets)
San... Francisco, CA 94123
02 of 05
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
03 of 05
Lively bistro serving guacamole prepared tableside, plus moles, tequilas & more in the heart of the Theater District. The restaurant featured 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
04 of 05
Margaritas, tequila & Mexican grub 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
415-227-0500Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Burritos, tacos, tortas, agua fresca & more, with basic counter & 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
While the food is on point, don't expect these spots to all have great ambiance. In the context of this article, the best is referring to the food offerings, not the atmosphere or vibe of each place, although reviews have said a few of these spots are trendy. While we can attest to how good the food is, in many cases, because of how popular the place is, there may be long lines to endure before you can enjoy the best Mexican food San Franciso has to offer. If yo are short on time or want a specific ambiance, call ahead to get a handle on what to expect.