Nopalito’s to-go window in the Mission occupies some prime real estate right across the street from Dolores Park - but that’s not the only reason we keep coming back. On top of being the perfect place to swing by before an afternoon of chilling and people-watching in the grass, their short menu of things like tacos, salads, and carnitas plates are ready pretty quick after you order. But the big draw of this tiny takeout window: it’s home to some exclusive items you can’t get at their restaurant in NoPa.
The Mission-only dish that lives rent-free in our minds is the totopos topped with carnitas. Yep - totopos topped with carnitas. And much like a young Miley Cyrus and blonde wigs, separately, they’re great; when combined, they unlock limitless power. The entire thing is finished off with a dollop of crema, and sprinkled with cotija, onions, and cilantro. It’s exactly what we want for a quick, portable lunch, or a snack to share while we sit at Dolores before dodging flying frisbees.
The carnitas from Nopalito are so tender you can pull them apart with a spoon - and they’re excellent when paired with the totopos tossed in a slightly spicy salsa de árbol. And like we said, you can’t get them combined like this at the Broderick location, so take advantage.
This is another item you can’t get at the other location. Compared to the totopos, this colorful rice bowl is a lighter option that we also love - it comes with pinquito beans and guacamole, plus your choice of protein (carnitas, chicken, or mushrooms and pumpkin). The lime really brightens the whole thing up.