Miguel Jara, owner of La Taqueria since 1973, doesn’t have a smartphone and doesn’t use the internet. So when La Taqueria was named the best burrito in the country by Nate Silver’s statistics blog FiveThirtyEight, he found out about it from his customers–and lines that stretched around the block.
“Luckily, God loved me up there,” Jara says on a recent Friday morning. “So we were ready in the sense that all my employees are really good.”
Jara grew up in Mexico and moved to the United States in 1958, when he was just sixteen years old.
“We didn’t have money to eat in Tijuana,” he remembers.
He bounced around odd jobs before building up a body shop on O’Farrell Street. In the early 70s, after several nostalgic visits back home, Jara turned his attention to his true love: tacos — one of only two Mission dishes rated by Mission Local as perfect. (The other is Chad Robertson’s bread.)
“To hell with the body shop,” he remembers thinking. “I’m going to open me a taco shop. I’m going to open me a 100 taco shops.”
Listen above to hear Jara’s story.