Lowriders outside of La Taqueria

La Taqueria has been named an American Classic” by the James Beard Foundation for its Mission-style burrito, joining four other restaurants nation-wide recognized for their “quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.”

The restaurant, the foundation writes, has stood out as a standard-bearer, and a barometer upon which to argue over other burritos.” The foundation notes the rice-less approach to burritos of its owner, Miguel Jara, and the ever longer wait lines stretching down the block.

“At his counter-service restaurant, filled with simple wooden tables, Jara rejects the beans-and-rice approach, doubles down on the meat, and griddles his burritos golden-brown,” the foundation writes. The line to get gets more and more absurd as time goes by, but the quality stays high.”

Mission Local interviewed Jara in 2015 just after he won FiveThirtyEight’s “burrito bracket,” a nationwide search for the best burrito. Jara, who moved to the United States in 1958 at the age of 16 and has owned La Taqueria since 1973, said he opened up a body shop on O’Farrell Street before going the Mexican food route.

“To hell with the body shop,” he said then. “I’m going to open me a taco shop. I’m going to open me a 100 taco shops.”

Listen to our interview with Jara below.

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  1. Oh rats, now I’ll never get a seat in the Taqueria again! These are the best burritos I’ve ever eaten, and I’m from Texas! Know how some burritos have a lot of empty tortilla left on both ends? Not these. The meat goes from one end of the burrito to the other, and the last bite is just as delicious as the first.

  2. I took my future daughter in law there because she wanted the San Francisco experience. We ordered a carne asada and carnitas burritos. The burritos were great, but very small! I wanted to show her my Mission, I’m born and raised. She is from Orange County. The price was very high, and we both left disappointed and hungry. I’m sorry, but I won’t be back.

    1. Plenty of other gut-busting options in the Mission for you. Meanwhile, La Taqueria builds perfect little gems that I still dream about six years after moving away from SF.

    2. Pues no vaya!!! I’ve been going since I was 2 years old and it is MY Mission too and I still love carne asada tacos.