Do you ever get the urge to eat tacos prepared in a gentlemen’s club? If so, get yourself to Nick’s Crispy Tacos as quickly as possible. The place feels like a Soviet sex den — mirrored walls, red everything, crystal chandeliers, plush drapes, and a singular disco ball. So yeah... the perfect spot for a taco. And not a bad taco at that.
Is Nick’s a good place to go on a first date? Unless you have a thirst for roofie coladas, let’s go with no. More of a “Stranger-Danger” spot. There’s probably a reason for the unsettling number of security cameras installed across the entire ceiling.
Nick’s is not the best Mexican in SF, but it hits the spot after a day of bar-hopping on Polk. There’s excellent guacamole, cheap beers, solid tacos and quesadillas, and the miracle of engineering that is the corn on a stick. But ultimately all that good stuff is burdened slightly by a weak burrito game.
So go ahead and fill yourself up on decent tacos and guac, but don’t expect any fancy ingredients. If you want to eat the same food in a classier atmosphere, you can hit up Tacko in the Marina, which swaps the red upholstery of Nick’s for nautical flags and sailboat paintings.
Chips & Guacamole
The chips are legit homemade, not out of a bag. The guacamole is out-of-control good, served half guac, half fresh, chunky pico to mix together. I would eat this all day.
Black Bean & Grilled Corn Taco Salad
Do not attempt to be healthy at Nick’s. You will fail. And end up with a sad salad of corn, beans, romaine and pico, resting under a thick armor of tortilla strips. The dressing is nice and tangy, but you might as well just get another order of the chips & guacamole.
Nick’s goes the extra mile and gives you two tortillas per taco to prevent sog, a nice touch, but this tends to accentuate the blandness of the flavors. Pescado and camarones tacos are worthwhile - well-cooked, seasoned and for the pescado, perfectly fried. The grilled fish is too dry, and pollo asado lacks zing - with the actual chicken hiding in an unruly mess of tasteless cabbage slaw. Getting tacos “Nick’s Way,” which includes cheese and guac, definitely improves the experience, mostly because you’re eating more delicious guacamole.
I wish these were better. The carnitas burrito doesn’t taste bad, but it also doesn’t taste like anything. The texture is like eating a wrap filled with baby food - something I never intended to do after my 2nd birthday. The fish and shrimp burritos are kicked up with onions and cilantro, but stick with tacos when you’re at Nick’s and you’ll go home a happy camper.