Someone REALLY wants a taqueria on Clement Street

Some taco-starved citizen posted this multilingual billboard outside the vacant storefront on the corner of Clement and 10th Avenue. It used to be a 7-11 but it closed in 2009. It’s been empty ever since.

While Clement Street is lined with foods from all over the world – Burmese, Turkish, Chinese, German – you won’t find a taqueria until you come upon Gordo’s at 24th Avenue.

And take note restauranteurs – the poster doesn’t want just ANY taqueria, is has to be a “really YUMMY one.” 😉

Sarah B.


  1. So glad you posted this… I saw it yesterday and couldn’t stop laughing. Though I’d have picked a different storefront to target… Perhaps one of the vacant restaurant spaces further down on Clement.

  2. There was a similar but much smaller sign up for a while on the recently-forclosed-upon ex-sushi-boat place at 5th.

    The Java Source location used to be a fairly good taqueria back in Ye Days of Olde; not sure why they closed.

  3. just walk up one block to geary and there is another gordos on 19th ave. tia margaritia is on clement @ 19th too… come on now (-;

    I agree though. we are lacking an “authentic” taco stand. I grew up in san diego and spent many a days surfing in rosarita, ensenada, etc…. fish tacos, carne asada burritoz, quesadillas and shredded beef tacos dripping with greese and guac. dammm im in. Anyone want to help me open it? think Robertos if you’ve even made it down south enough.

  4. Green Apple’s staff ALONE would keep a taqueria profitable. Maybe we should start a change.org petition?

  5. I don’t know all the ins and outs of the city codes, but opening an eatery on Clement Street is very challenging because of the zoning. I’m sure the guys at the new Chomp N’ Swig could elaborate more on it. Check out this hilarious (yet true) informational video the city made re: opening a new eatery:

    And unfortunately, the former 7-11 space doesn’t have any kind of kitchen facilities in it so that would need to be added. Anyone interested in opening would want to find another location.

    But I would definitely be in favor! That and we need a good salad place – nearly impossible to find delicious, fresh salads (ala Blue Barn) in the Richmond District.

    Sarah B.

  6. There are enough produce markets on Clement from which you can make your own salad. Bring me a taqueria! (Gordos, Panchos, Margerita and Tommys are all terrible food.)

    Hell, if Eric Mar could personally make this happen, I might consider voting for him again

  7. @Rick – That reminds me of elementary school elections. “I will bring Tacos to the cafeteria on Tuesdays! Elect me for school council!” 🙂

  8. what about the Taco Bell on 6th & Geary, just one block from Clement Central? ok, just kidding, but yes, a taqueria is most needed on this stretch of Clement. Panchos on Geary at Stanyan is too far away…

  9. would love it if the pancho villa/el toro folks would open up a richmond district shop. gordo’s is horrible; the fact that they’re able to sustain two locations proves the old adage that there’s a sucker born every minute. pancho’s is only slightly better.

    if a taqueria of note does come to the ‘hood, i want to buy this wild poster a cerveza!

  10. Balboa street corridor needs this much more than Clement street. And I expect they will find much more embracing neighbors.

  11. @litmus: There are *three* Gordos; you might be forgetting the one on 9th near Lincoln. Admittedly the Geary location isn’t great for some reason, but i don’t mind the Clement one. YMMV.

  12. YES! A yummy tacqueria would be a great addition to Clement! And what a good idea…. maybe if we all start making posters & putting them vacant buildings (like the old furniture store on Clement, walked by it yesterday… that place has been gone 4+ years (or 5+?)

  13. Great, now I’m craving a taco. Thanks a lot!
    Between Gordos, Taco Bell, Tia Margarita and Chino’s on Balboa and 35th (?) we have several options, but all of them are worse than mediocre. Nothing that could even remotely compare to Mission taquerias.
    And can we please get a Peruvian place as well? I can’t live without ceviche…

  14. Forget Clement St. Balboa (between 3rd and 8th) needs a taqueria. Or a decent bar. P-p-p-please?!?

  15. speaking of Balboa, does anyone Know what is going in on the SW corner of 7th and balboa? (or is it 6th or 8th). clearly there is a new coat of brown paint.

  16. DelTaco. Lots of Southern California locations…only one in San Francisco at Market St and Third. Better than Taco Bell…less gristle in the meat.

  17. no we WONT give em the Rockit room; its a gem and a fantastic bar. Great drinks and better music.

  18. I’m sorry but to everyone dissing on gordo’s, u guys are straight “trippin”. I grew up in this district and when I read bad comments on gordos it makes me feels as if your talking shit about my moms cooking and makes me wanna throw these fists in your face. And my moms a hell of a cook. Their quesadilla is good as any other place if not better than other taqueria in the city. Yea I’m biased so what. The gordo on 24th is the best IMO. Whenever I come back from a vacation that’s the first place I eat. Gordo ftw!

  19. No doubt on the taqueria tip. Gordos is no good. (no offense to Savage), but I’m from SoCal too and Mex food is tough to find outside of the Mission. Tia’s isn’t really Mexican food, is it? But their margs are awesome. double please.

  20. I have had one meal at Gordos that was decent. The other two times, the meats were way too salty, greasy, and dried out. This is the Gordos on Geary.

    I lived 15 years in Austin (most of the non-chain stuff is not Tex-Mex) and compared to taquerias there, Gordos is just so not tasty.

  21. yes, a sushi boat/sushi restaurant would be nice! Taqueria wold be nice. Taco bell is not a taqueria (oh come on now). Corner of 6th Balboa , i think might be a produce place.

  22. @Savage- I’m glad we understand each other. Everyone here who’s ragging on Gordo’s is spouting fighting words to me. I’ve had burritos all over the city (yes, Mission included) and I have yet to find one that does grilled chicken that’s as juicy and flavorful as Gordo’s. I get that the Mission is the cool place to get your burritos (I mean, unless you’re THE MAN or otherwise part of the corporate machine), but no need to hate on what is a cult favorite in the Richmond. It’s not for nothing that Gordo’s ALWAYS has a line and continues to open new locations (like in Berkeley).

  23. YES! i agree with the sign! and i think gordo’s is great. but a papalote or el farolito would be AWESOME. this part of inner clement desperately needs a good taqueria.

  24. Gordos is great! Go back to SoCal and quit clogging the line at gordos with all your stupid questions about lettuce, french fries, and whatever other crap they use in SoCal. Anyways, a new taqueria would be better than a another chinese restaurant.

  25. The grilled chicken at Gordo’s is about the best I’ve had of any taqueria and their carnitas is totally legit. I’ve been eating burritos for at least 25yrs with my 1st one from the Clement Gordo’s. I get a burrito at the Clement Gordo’s(the best one) about once a week in addition to an El Farolito burrito on 24th or in SSF (the best one) once a week also. I find the biggest differences between a Gordo’s and a Mission burrito are lower salt, less grease in a Gordo’s burrito and therefore less of a gut bomb. Lower salt and grease may make “bland”, but fresher tasting than a burrito from the Mish. Dumping on Gordo’s indicates ones lack of burrito expertise….I digress.

    A Mission style taqueria on 10th/Clement would be awesome. If you want Nirvana on that corner, have it stay open till 11 on school nights and till at least 3 on weekends. Donuts, tacos, burritos at 2am? I’ll never move out of the hood if that happens.

  26. Gordo’s is horrible. But I’m not sure why Tia Margarita’s is getting dissed. that play is straight up down home style Mexican cooking. Love it!

  27. Anyone who puts Gordo’s down is simply *ignorant* about Mexican food. I have lived in Mexico, and have traveled and lived widely; Gordo’s is the real deal. Like Jeff said, it’s not a “grease bomb” burrito like so many in the Mission, and other places. Sure, there is great Mexican food available in the Mission, but maybe those who crave Mission grease bombs are McDonald’s kiddies or other hipsters who subscribe to the Mission’s “coolness” in all things Latino. Pulleese! Give me a break.

    You want a GREAT burrito. Gordo’s is the place!

  28. I have had very salty, dried out, yet greasy carnitas from Gordos on Geary on two occasions. Because of this, I will not likely go back to this Gordos. I may give the one on Clement a try. This experience does not make me ignorant about Mexican food, just means I was unimpressed.

  29. First of all, I must admit that I am a bit biased, as the first burrito I ever had was from 24th and Clement in 1984. Yes, I remember it despite being 5. As far as burritos go, I analogize Gordo’s to In-and-Out: a super simple menu, the food is always consistent, it tastes fresh and not greasy, etc. Anyone ever notice that they refuse to make nachos despite the fact that they have all the ingredients? I used to have to trek to 9th ave just to get refried beans. And I remember the days before black beans.

    Secondly, there are SIX Gordo’s locations: Clement, 9th ave, Geary, Albany and 2 in Berkeley. I think there was one in Ran Rafael briefly in the early 90’s – or at least the guy with the messed up hand worked up there. I think there was one more, they used to have the locations on the fake wood tortilla thing on the wall where the sodas are today at Clement.

    Additionally, for those of you wanting fries or more “guac” in your burritos – essentially wanting a SoCal burrito in NorCal – what you are actually eating up here is known as the Mission Burrito aka San Francisco Style Burrito. It’s a separate and distinct derivative. Note the steamed tortillas. You’re like Chicagoans complaining that New York Pizza is too thin or a Southerner complaining that tea in Boston isn’t sweet tea. All I ever hear from SoCal people is how good burritos are down there and I’ve never been impressed, given all the hype-oganda I’ve been exposed to over the years. So I do what you should do – rather than complain, don’t buy it. Or go back to where ever your favorite place is. Everyone knows the best Chinese food is in China and the best Mexican is in Mexico (for me, a place in Todos Santos). If you want French fries in a “greesy” Mexican burrito – you know where to go for fusion like that. Protip: not here. I don’t go abroad and eat McDonald’s or Subway. Also, don’t call it “guac.” They laugh at you after you leave. Think Dave Chappelle’s white guy impression only in their mind.

    Lastly, would you really want a taqueria on Clement? It’s a mess down there and unless you live right there, it would be a P.I.T.A. to get to. Is Pancho’s too far away to ride your fixie to or something? I’m not a Pancho’s fan, but at least they have tortas.

  30. Gordos is dirty chipolte with less standards, policy, and procedures. Its like a dirty McDonald’s basically.

    And what’s with the fries and lettuce? You’ve never been to Baja?

    don’t build a taco place here… The residents taste buds have been hijacked by the tastelest boiled crap from last night at gordos.

  31. Although not perfect, Gordo’s has monopolized the central Richmond for decades. 2 Gordo’s within 6 blocks of each other? I live closer the the Geary, but the Clement Gordo’s is better. The menu hasn’t changed except for the addition of black beans and pollo asado, maybe 10years now? Since they’ve had no real competition, they’ve no reason to up their game. The Gordo’s chain does things differently than the typical Mission taquerias (beans in tacos, meats in steam table, steamed tortilla, super refers to size vs. stuff). Good or bad, I think one has to say that Gordo’s along with Chino’s (blech) makes a Richmond District style burrito.

    A taqueria offering a full menu (tortas, pastor, lengua, platos, coctel de camarones, menudo on weekends etc.), salsa bar would be awesome on 10th/Clement and should be welcomed.

  32. I will be opening a taqueria for all the great Richmond folks very soon. As a current business owner in the area, the choices are not exemplary. I’ve eaten at Gordo’s growing up as a child in the area not knowing any better. As an adult, this just doesn’t make the cut. Necessity is the mother invention. It’s been too long and Gordo’s reign too bland- just like their guacamole. Get ready folks. It’s coming this Summer 2012. Dont be surprised when you see a familiar face behind the counter.

  33. Vicente: You better not be teasing us. I’ve thought about this for the better part of a decade, but don’t have the capital or wherewithal to accomplish such a task.

  34. Bring it! The yummier the better, Gordo’s is not very authentic and they charge for chips!

  35. This is great! I agree, Gordo’s puts out the best burritos, but even another taqueria would be welcome…

  36. As of Feb 20, that sign is no longer on Clement. Its new home is the old Namu on Balboa.

  37. Hey y’all, we all long for the most similar taqueria fare that we grew up with. Preferences are totally subjective because of this! I just wish there was a place in the 94118 that even came close to what I grew up with, and continue to love to this day!!

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