“Masa maize is the heart and soul of Nopalito: we make it from scratch everyday and it is in almost every dish we prepare, from our tortillas to our chips to some of our sauces. Without masa or tortillas there would be no Nopalito. I am most passionate about cooking and serving food that represents my people, and being able to create a dish that does justice to its history and heritage.”
House-made tortillas; mole; ensalada de lechuga con smoked jalapeño vinaigrette
One of San Francisco’s most beloved and authentic Mexican restaurants, Nopalito marries traditional cookery with local, organic ingredients, and sustainable practices. Homemade masa flour underpins much of chef Gonzalo Guzman’s menu, from the tortilla chips to the luscious tacos. Sustainably sourced meats are braised, marinated, and seared to glorious effect in dishes like birria de res (grass-fed beef stewed in ancho chile) and marinated skirt steak with cactus and chorizo. Moles are also at the heart of Nopalito; to Guzman, the rich, complex sauces tell a story of history, community, and family.
Nopalito’s behind-the-scenes practices, from composting to repurposing kitchen grease into biofuel, are as sustainable as its food. Its two locations are usually attended by lines, a testament to both the quality of its cooking and its place in its community.
A restaurant celebrating the bounty of Northern California under a courtyard movie screen