photo credit: Mary Lagier

Loló image




$$$$Perfect For:BirthdaysSmall Plates
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Loló is a Mexican restaurant in the Mission that’s decorated with everything from car doors to bright wallpaper to chandeliers made of bike handles. It feels a bit like you’re inside the mind of a junkyard artist, or, at least, that relative you only see once a year. But unlike that relative's cooking, the food here is actually great.

Most of the menu focuses on Jaliscan cuisine and is designed for sharing. You’ll get things like carnitas, panko-encrusted shrimp on refreshing jicama tortillas, and chipotle-topped shrimp albondigas. Even if you’re just here for drinks at the bar—which is a fun way to catch up with a friend—their guacamole with salsa verde is great as a starter snack. too. We also like the corn and mushroom empanadas, which are puffy, cheesy, and good enough to make you ask about buying them in bulk to store in your freezer.

The combination of really good and shareable food, strong margaritas, and a lively space that feels pulled from a traveling circus makes Loló a great place to come for a chill, fun birthday with a small group (they don't accept reservations), or a casual first date when you don’t want things to feel overly serious. And if you do end up here with your one relative who collects stuffed squirrels, at least you’ll both be able to appreciate the absurdity of the place. Just make sure to keep an eye out for raining unicorns.

Food Rundown


This is closer to smashed avocado with some cotija cheese on it than traditional guacamole, but we’re not complaining.

Fried Brussels Sprouts

These are topped with shallots and hazelnuts and are also absurdly good. Even if you swore a hatred towards brussels sprouts like they bullied you in middle school, they’re worth ordering.


Served with some mini tortillas, this has just the right amount of citrus and is the lightest thing you’ll have all night. We could easily eat a few bowls of it.


Puffy little pockets filled with mushrooms, corn, and cheese. They’re good to snack on over drinks.

Tuna Tacon

Excellent tortillas, one piece of slightly seared tuna with a slice of avocado, and fresh salsa. Two per order, two bites per taco, these are worth your time.

Taco Tropical

A little too much aioli, but other than that, it’s kind of hard to complain about this jicama taco topped with fried shrimp.

Grilled Octopus

Giant, tender charred octopus tentacles served with purple potato puree. It’s a solid order you can’t go wrong with.


Great carnitas that come with some excellent homemade tortillas and guacamole. The pickled onions definitely take them up a notch in our book too.

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Suggested Reading

The Best Mexican Restaurants In SF image

The Best Mexican Restaurants In SF

Our 20 favorite places for Mexican food in the city.

Nopalito image

Nopalito is a fantastic Mexican restaurant in NoPa serving totopos, carnitas, taquitos, and more.

Cielito Lindo image

The Mexican restaurant in the Outer Richmond has excellent quesabirria tacos and tortas.

Taqueria El Farolito image

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

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