In celebration of the uniquely Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, seek out some of the most authentic local Mexican cuisine the Bay has to offer.
And because not all of us are cool enough to snag a table at Californios, we’ve listed our own top eateries below, in no particular order.
This eatery on Shattuck Ave serves up some delectable appetizers, entrees, and cocktails inspired by various regions of Mexico. The restaurant will celebrate Día de los Muertos on Nov 1st and 2nd, complete with pan de muerto for all guests. // 2020 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
We’ve been fans of this place for years. It never fails to serve up incredible Mexican food with layers of flavoring that leave you dreaming of your meal for weeks. Whether you eat inside or out, the restaurant environment is also top-notch. Another bonus, Doña Tomás largely pulls from local and organic ingredients. // 5004 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland
This taqueria, owned by Doña Tomás, has all the food and flavor of its big sister with more of a casual vibe. Located on 4th Street in Berkeley, Tacubaya is the perfect lunch spot to break from a day of shopping. The tacos de pollo and horchata are unbeatable. // 1788 4th Street, Berkeley
We think any dinner is made more enjoyable with a little kick of history. At Arguello, the restaurant located at San Francisco’s Presidio, you can enjoy your food while taking in the city’s own rich history, much of which is entangled with Spain and Mexico, as we all know. // On the Main Post, 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco
Another local favorite, Mamacita prides itself on its authenticity and understanding of true Mexican cuisine, along with its locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.¿Qué más podrías querer? // 2317 Chestnut Street, San Francisco
Shout out to the suburbs! If you ever find yourself wandering the quaint Main Street of Pleasanton, Cocina Mexico is a gem of a taqueria. No-fuss and casual, breeze on in for nachos or a breakfast burrito on Sundays. We dare you not to two-bite their perfectly cilantro-ed tacos.
Want to really understand and celebrate the beautiful culture of this holiday? Eat up then seek out one of the various celebrations in the city. The SF Symphony is putting on a Día de los Muertos community concert with Eugenia Leon on Nov 4th; SF’s Day of the Dead Procession takes place on Nov 2nd, gathering at Garfield Park; the San Mateo County History Museum’s 3D Light Show celebrates Day of the Dead on Halloween night.
As always, respect should be at the forefront of understanding and paying homage to culturally significant holidays like Día de los Muertos.
Isabella Welch is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in history. Her writing has been featured in history journals, travel blogs, as well as her own site, New Carthage. Director of Editorial & Creative Development at Bob Cut Mag, lover of stories and tinto de verano, she’s usually found wandering the Headlands.