By Sean Timberlake

Taquerias are as easy to find in San Francisco as avocados in guacamole, but there are relatively few places where you can sit down to a hearty plateful of authentic Mexican food, let alone order the Mexican breakfast you’ve been dreaming about at any hour of the day. Lively SanJalisco, colorfully decorated with Mexican bric-a-brac and dozens of jarritos or little ceramic jars, set against brightly painted walls, and located on an unassuming corner of South Van Ness in the Mission, is such a place. While the restaurant is open every day, weekends bring crowds of locals, families and X, Y and Z generation gourmets for specials, fresh homemade tortillas and breakfasts sure to relieve any hangover. On Fridays and Saturdays you can order their famous pozole, a hearty soup of slow-cooked pork and hominy in a slightly spicy broth, served with a plate of fresh garnishes of cabbage, onion, radishes and lemon wedges. Birria en caldo, tender chunks of goat stewed in a tangy tomato base, graces the menu only on the weekends. Choosing SanJalisco over the taqueria options is as much of a no-brainer as digging into their complimentary bowls of salsa and chips.

sweet seats

The tables that flank the windows along 20th Street have the best views of the outside world, but the handful of tables in the annex at the back offer seclusion from the bustling main dining room of the restaurant.

chew on this

SanJalisco opened in 1988 as Los Jarritos and quickly gained acclaim among local diners. The restaurant was forced to change its name last year due to pressure from the distributor of Mexico’s Jarritos soft drinks, but remains owned and run by the same family.


Mon.–Sun. 8 AM–10 PM

price range

$10.95 (meat or veggie soft tacos) to $15.95 (seafood cocktail)