SFReview

photo credit: Sarah Felker

Cielito Lindo review image
8.2

Cielito Lindo

$$$$

3450 Balboa St, San Francisco
Earn 3X Points

We were first drawn to the Mexican restaurant in the Outer Richmond because they had quesabirria tacos on the menu - and they did not disappoint. They’re slightly bigger and more stuffed with perfectly spiced beef than other quesabirria tacos in the city, and are all-around fantastic. We’ve been back to the family-run spot with the bright, sky blue walls many times since, of course. And every time we eat here, we always walk away happy.

Quesabirria tacos aside, those heavenly waves of euphoria we feel after a meal at Cielito Lindo are also inspired by other dishes on the menu. This place serves everything from breakfast burritos to pambazos to potato and carrot-topped Guanajuato-style enchiladas. There’s really no wrong order here. But if you do get something aside from the tacos, make sure to roll with one of their tortas - each of these sandwiches is larger than a full-blown tank.

Sarah Felker

Cielito Lindo review image

Sign up for our newsletter.

Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.


By signing up, I agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Food Rundown

Sarah Felker

Cielito Lindo review image

Quesabirria Tacos

The beef in these cheesy tacos are well-balanced with a variety of spices and flavors. Cielito also does not skimp on the meat. And here’s the deal - four tacos for $19 or one for $5.50.

Sarah Felker

Cielito Lindo review image

Tortas

Yes, the quesabirria tacos are the highlight at Cielito Lindo, but don’t sleep on the tortas. There are nine on the menu, but we especially love the milanesa and carne asada. You do also have some customizable options: monterey jack or queso fresco (queso fresco, always). It’s also $2 cheaper for a smaller size, which, unless you’re sharing with another person or two, is something to consider - these tortas are huge.

Sarah Felker

Cielito Lindo review image

Chicken Enchiladas

The enchiladas here are not the kind that come on a hot plate, drowning in a sea of red or green chili sauce. They’re Guanajuato-style, meaning each tortilla is dipped in a red chili sauce, filled with chicken or cheese, and pan fried until they’re slightly crispy. Cooked potatoes and carrot finish them all off.

Featured in

The Best Mexican Restaurants In San Francisco guide image
Guide
The Best Mexican Restaurants In San Francisco

Our 17 favorite places for Mexican food in the city.

The 7 Best Dishes We Ate In March guide image
Guide
The 7 Best Dishes We Ate In March

Our favorite dishes from the month of March.

The Best Food To Pick Up On Your Way To A Picnic guide image
Guide
The Best Food To Pick Up On Your Way To A Picnic

Here’s where to get food you can eat on a blanket.

Where To Eat Near Golden Gate Park guide image
Guide
Where To Eat Near Golden Gate Park

Where to pick up food for a picnic or sit down at a restaurant near Golden Gate Park.

Suggested Reading

Gordo Taqueria review image
Review
Gordo Taqueria

Gordo Taqueria is a great quick lunch spot in the Richmond with excellent burritos. Make sure to get the chili verde.

La Torta Gorda review image
8.0
Review
La Torta Gorda

Come to La Torta Gorda for a wildly indulgent lunch of monster sandwiches, and leave happy.

La Palma Mexicatessen Molino y Tortilleria review image
8.3
Review
La Palma Mexicatessen Molino y Tortilleria

La Palma Mexicatessen is a grocery store and taqueria in the Mission with tacos, burritos, handmade tortillas, and more.

Taqueria El Farolito review image
8.7
Review
Taqueria El Farolito

El Farolito in the Mission makes the best burrito in San Francisco.