SFReview

photo credit: Sarah Felker

Cantina Los Mayas review image
8.2

Cantina Los Mayas

$$$$

431 Balboa St, San Francisco
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

SF has more wine bars than dogs, and they all blur together. The number of times we’ve had overpriced charcuterie boards alongside local sourdough and a Sonoma pinot noir is too high to count. But Cantina Los Mayas sticks out. The Richmond wine bar is serving exclusively Mexican wines and pairing them with impressive Yucatecan specialties that stand on their own.

There aren’t many spots where you can eat molcajete mixto with a glass of sangiovese from Valle de Guadalupe. The food isn’t an afterthought. Whether you’re sharing a few tacos with a date or ordering so much that the staff has to pull up another table to fit it all, you’ll walk away impressed. The panuchos are crispy and light, and topped with saucy cochinita pibil that drips with near-seductive juices—they’re the best things on the menu. Perfectly cooked chicken is coated in silky smooth mole. And the sikil pak, a chunky dip made of pumpkin seeds and roasted tomatoes, is so flavor-packed you’ll want to drink it like soup. 

Cantina Los Mayas review image

photo credit: Sarah Felker

This is the sibling restaurant of Taqueria Los Mayas, a more casual Yucatecan place that’s also in the Richmond. While the taqueria is for margarita-drenched evenings with tortas and super quesadillas, the wine bar is built for flirty little date nights at the bar or small group catch-ups over non-boring shareables. And since eating your body weight in cochinita isn’t something you can do at any old wine bar, come here to switch up your usual drinking spot. A fantastic meal awaits. 

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Food Rundown

Cantina Los Mayas review image

photo credit: Sarah Felker

Panuchos

The fried discs have the perfect amount of black bean filling, and stay crispy and light underneath a mountain of meat and pickled onions. Top yours with cochinita and don’t look back.

Cantina Los Mayas review image

photo credit: Sarah Felker

Sopes

Not to sound like a broken record and/or someone who makes sales commission off slow-cooked pork, but the cochinita should be the protein of choice for these sopes.

Cantina Los Mayas review image

photo credit: Sarah Felker

Banderias Pilche

This skewer of octopus, scallop, and shrimp embody smokiness like Mariah Carey embodies Christmas spirit. Consider this our formal petition to have the papaya, pineapple, and habanero sauce sold in bulk.

Sikil Pak

One taste of the traditional Mayan dip and you’ll want to bring it to all future housewarming parties and potlucks. It’s light, with just the right amount of sweetness from the tomatoes and a spicy kick from the habanero.

Cantina Los Mayas review image

photo credit: Sarah Felker

Mayan Mole Con Pollo

If your preferred way to eat chicken involves it being submerged in mole, you’ll love this.

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