San Francisco
2. Cafe Platano
Berkeley & Oakland

A delicious destination for Salvadoran food, Platano has been holding court on Berkeley’s University Avenue since 2006 and expanded to East Oakland in 2013. Find their unbeatable tender-crisp pupusas at both locations, plus soul-warming plates of salpicon, albondigas, and more.
How to support: Cafe Platano is open for dine-in and takeout. Order online from the Berkeley location or call the Oakland location at 510-437-1695.

3. Papaito Rotisserie
San Leandro & Hayward

German loves this streamlined spot for flavorful, healthy Cal-Latin fare. Offering rotisserie chicken and porchetta with a selection of sides and sauces served family-style, German likes Papaito because it “showcases a different side of Latin cuisine.”
How to support: Papaito is open for dine-in and takeout. 

4. Agave Uptown

The flavors of Oaxaca take center stage at chef Octavio Diaz’s homage to his hometown. Find immaculate versions of classic dishes inspired by family recipes like tasajo and tlayudas; the mole involves a swath of secret ingredients that Diaz brings back from Oaxaca through the year. The mezcal selection is well worth exploring, too.
How to support: Agave Uptown is open for dine-in and take out.

5. Low Bar

“I’ve got to give props to my guys from Low Bar,” German says of this cocktail bar with a standout food menu in Uptown Oakland. Run by friends Matthew Meyer and Daniel Paez, their self-described “Chicano Bar” opened in spring of 2021 after facing a rash of pandemic-related delays. “They’re showcasing a different side of Mexico,” says German about the bar’s menu of playful food and drink, from a chorizo-encased version of a Scotch egg to cocktails flavored with ancho chile and Tajin.
How to support: Low Bar is open for indoor and outdoor dining and drinking.