Many Oakland residents and Banh Mi Ba Le faithful will swear that this East Oakland establishment has the best Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) in the city. These Southeast Asian sandwiches feature all manner of fillings, from bbq chicken to meatballs to roast pork or egg, they all come served on a fluffy french roll with toppings like pate, pickled carrots and daikon radishes, jalapeno slices, butter, cilantro and cucumber. The combination of flavors is truly unique and truly habit forming. The service is friendly and fast, although at peak times there may be a bit of a line.
This Mexican flag adorned mini-hacienda in Oakland's Fruitvale district has been a citywide favorite for years. Large portions of traditionally prepared Mexican dishes are served up out of the kitchen. Favorites like burritos, tacos, nachos, tortas and more come piled high with fillings like their carne asada, chorizo and their popular al pastor and some more daring yet still traditional ones like lengua (beef tongue) and cabeza (beef head). Make sure to try the wet al pastor burrito. San Jose also has a fair selection of seafood dishes like ceviche and shrimp cocktail. The large dining room is particularly good for large gatherings.
International Boulevard & 27th Avenue Oakland, CA 94601
This food truck is located a bit off the beaten path on International Boulevard and 27th Avenue. The menu, which utilizes the freshest of ingredients, features a wide variety of items, all of which are delicious. However, you most definitely can't go wrong with that classic taco truck staple: the burrito. One is big enough to share. Please note that it is cash-only.
For those craving delicious Mexican fare, head to El Paisa in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood. This casual family-run restaurant features a wide variety of savory dishes. Be sure to try their tacos, which come topped with grilled onion, jalapeno and cactus. The burritos are an excellent choice as well; be prepared though, as they are quite massive. Wash it all down with a homemade agua fresca!
This taco truck is located in a somewhat hard-to-find corner of Oakland, but rest-assured your search will be well worth the effort. Taqueria Sinaloa is praised for its dirt cheap delicious and authentic tacos, which come topped with delicately marinated meats and pickled vegetables. Another star on the menu is the Super Burrito, and they aren't joking with the "super" - each one is roughly the length of your forearm. Try the Carnitas Super Burrito and bring a friend to share. Note: this place is cash-only.
For gigantic burritos and a host of other delicious menu items, head to El Taco Zamorano. One of the best Mexican restaurants in Oakland, patrons will most definitely never leave hungry. Portions here are huge; the "super" burritos in particular are massive, so bring a friend and share, or save half of it for later. Prices are on the cheaper side, which makes this a popular dining spot indeed.
El Farolito is a popular chain of Mexican restaurants in northern California. The most well-known are the ones in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, but the Oakland location, near the Fruitvale BART station, holds its own as well, and has the added bonus of a shorter wait time. Guests efficiently place their orders amidst the signature yellow decor. Everything on the menu is authentic and delicious, but the popular Super Burrito is clearly the star. They come gigantic, stuffed with whatever meat your heart desires.
Mariscos La Costa features a delightful menu of Mexican treats including dollar tacos, as well as tostadas and burritos. They also place a special emphasis on seafood, and you can even get ceviche and fresh oysters on the half-shell here. Located in the Fruitvale area of Oakland (which, by the way, has no shortage of Mexican restaurants), Mariscos La Costa is a true gem.
This small cafe in East Oakland is a hidden gem and is known for one extra special item: their breakfast sandwiches. From their most popular bacon and egg breakfast sandwich to the egg spinach croissant sandwich and everything in between, if you ask anyone inside what you should get, they will all say the egg sandwich. This comfortable homey cafe also does everything else that comes out of the kitchen well, from scrambles to gelato.
1001 Fruitvale Avenue (Parking lot of Guadalajara Restaurant) Oakland, CA 94601
El Novillo is hailed by many as the best taco truck in Oakland. Located in the parking lot of Guadalajara Restaurant, the burritos are the thing to order and are easily shareable by two. In addition to the standard meat options (marinated beef, pork, and chicken), they also offer lengua (beef tongue), cabeza (beef head), chicharon (pork skin) and tripas (beef tripe). When placing your order, be sure to ask for a side of extra green onions and pickled vegetables. Cash only.
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