There is no better way to celebrate Taco Tuesday than by visiting Tacolicious. This contemporary taqueria with its gourmet tacos and extensive cocktail list has formed a local taco cult in San Francisco, expanding their brand from the meager taco stand outside the Ferry Building into a sit-down restaurant and bar.
Tacolicious has branched out to four Bay Area locations and last week some of my family and friends and I gathered to fiesta at the North Beach location. The playfully named eatery adds a refreshing spice to the otherwise Italian restaurants in San Francisco’s North Beach district. The cement floors and industrial design is a casual yet chic setting to grub and guzzle with friends. The restaurant re-conceptualizes Mexican cuisine staples, serving up classic sides with catchy names like their Drunken Beans and Rice-o-licious.
I came with my appetite and decided that I would order their signature Marina Girl Salad. Despite the skinny girl connotations of its name, the salad arrived in a bountiful bowl. The bowl was filled with crisp chopped romaine, cucumber, radish, and salty cojita cheese. A few pieces of avocado were scattered on the salad as well but the roasted pepitas really gave the salad texture. .
To balance my light salad and make up for my lack of calories I ordered three tacos($3.95 each, four for $14). I ordered two bbq chicken tacos, a weekly special reminiscent of a summertime cookout. The simple tacos were delivered on a clean white platter and garnished with chopped white onions. My third taco was their signature guajillo-braised short rib. The short rib taco sparked my senses with its light texture and savoriness. My brother and his fiancé shared the mushroom empanadas—stuffed with green garlic, oregano, oaxaca cheese, and tomatillo salsa—but found them to be salty and lacking mushrooms.
Quench your thirst with their crafty margaritas, using 100% agave Tequila. Tacolicious serves up 9 to 10 different margarita-esque cocktails. Their most popular margarita is the Passion. Holding up to its name, the drink has habanero infused tequila with a passion fruit puree, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and a splash of orange juice. Although I didn’t sip on their drinks, I was eying their pumpkin flan and pleasantly tacky throwback to the choco-taco. Their tempting drinks and desserts are all reasons why I would return.
Tacolicious is definitely the most sophisticated taqueria I have ever been to and its just about the only Mexican restaurant where it is okay to order a salad. I left my heart in the Mission District when it comes to authentic street tacos but I ate my meal with satisfaction and comfort knowing that Tacolicious buys locally and uses organic ingredients. My family gasped when receiving the bill, since Mexican consists of such simple ingredients it seems absurd to spend almost $4 per taco. The service was fast but the bar stools were a pain; however I am definitely willing to come back and try their brunch menu that features a breakfast of champions—an Austin-style breakfast taco (similar to the breakfast burrito), and sparkling sangria.
Tacolicious has a young and modern vibe and would be a smart place for all you seniors looking to spend your last Taco Tuesday as college students.