The famed “Mission burrito” of El Farolito is making its way to North Beach, a super culinary development that expands the taqueria’s bright yellow SF footprint beyond the Mission District.
The tragic January death of 70-year-old El Farolito founder and owner Salvador “Don Chava” Lopez has not put a stop to the popular taqueria’s burrito-slinging and carne asada chopping. In fact, the chain is now expanding beyond its 12 Bay Area locations, three of which are in San Francisco. The Chronicle reports that El Farolito is opening a North Beach location at 1230 Grant Avenue, taking the “Mission burrito” beyond the Mission District and forging a new destination for late-night drunken hooligan food.
El Farolito is growing its burrito empire https://t.co/8WJpFVoRu9— Chronicle Food (@SFChronicleFood) August 19, 2021
“We hope that we are received like we have been received (and) accepted in the other places we’re at,” Lopez’ daughter Irene Lopez told the Chronicle. The paper says their timeline for opening is “in about two months.”
The new El Farolito location will be near Grant and Columbus Avenues (technically, the location is at Grant and Fresno Street). It’s the space that had been the home of The House for 26 years, and was slated to be the new location of Shuggie’s Trash Pizza, but apparently that discarded-food concept found a different permanent spot in the Mission.
El Farolito did not invent the famed Mission burrito. According to a 2016 Bon Appetit piece, La Cumbre and El Faro (which is separately owned) both make that claim. El Farolito grow out of Taqueria San Jose after a split between Lopez and the co-owners of that spot, and Lopez opened the first El Farolito at 24th and Mission Streets.
What really unites us in San Francisco is arguing about burritos— Matt Laroche (@mlroach) August 19, 2021
Those burritos have been on our brain recently, in light of this week’s Chronicle writeup of local celebrities’ favorite burrito spots. In that piece, El Farolito was the choice of Mythbusters’ Kari Byron, Cable Car Bell Ringing champ Byron Cobb, BART board member Lateefah Simon, and SF public defender Mano Raju. But El Farolito is certainly the favorite of this website — as mid-2000s lore has it, the very idea of SFist was born in an El Farolito.
Image: Alex R via Yelp