We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Great local Mexican eatery”

El Toreador Fonda Restaurant
Ranked #1,486 of 5,642 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
San Luis Obispo, California
Level Contributor
215 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Great local Mexican eatery”
Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

This small unique Mexican restaurant iin the West Portal neighborhood of San Francisco is a real find. The ceiling is so decorated that you can spend your first 15 minutes just looking up. Bird, flowers, hats, everything is hanging from above. Warm chips are immediately served along with a very good spicy hot sauce served in small glass carafe. I enjoyed the steak quesadilla and my woe the crab quesadilla. Both were more than enough for one person, in fact we ended up taking extra home for another meal. We could of easily spilt one. The margaritas were OK, a little small, and I must admit I've had better. The restaurant is always busy so one should be prepared for a wait. There isn't a good waiting area so the deal is go next door to the Irish Pub and enjoy a drink and they will come and get you when a table is ready.

Thank BobD686
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

42 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Tex mex mix close to Mexican”
Reviewed December 27, 2012

The fare was not a true Mexican experience. The titles on the menu while sounding Mexican are more of a tex mex cuisine. The shrimp in garlic sauce lacked a punch as well as enough shrimp to call it a dish. It was mostly vegetables. The burritos were mostly beans and rice, lacking meat. The horchata drink was very close to the real thing! Great service ! And a remarkable variety of beer for those who love beer. The place is rather small and gets packed for dinner. Make sure you take care of your nitrogenous elimination needs before you go, the place only has one shared restroom, albeit very tight squeeze. Price for six of us including 3 alcoholic drinks was $130.00. Bring quarters because you will need to park on the street with meters.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Pichungo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
53 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Fun place and good food”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

We had dinner at this eclectic, decorated-to-the-roof (literally!), busy little restaurant in West Portal and came away satisfied. Warm chips and dip served in a little glass bottle arrived almost before we sat down.

The fajitas were hot, tasty, not greasy and there was too much for the two of us to eat. The margaritas were also very good and there are a lot of different types of beer to choose from. Prices are reasonable and it's a fun place to enjoy a meal. Although we visited as a couple, this is not a place for a quiet, romantic dinner. It's in a nice little area with quaint shops and other restaurants.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kiammo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
64 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Excellent neighborhood find. We love it!”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

This is our favorite neighborhood restaurant. You can find us there at least once a week. We love the prices and the food. When my husband and I go, we enjoy the complimentary chips and salsa prior to and during our dinner and always get a pitcher of Margaritas on the rock. All this for less than $50 for two! The decor is great. Filled so many items on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Great place for "eye spy" if you have kids. We've been going to El Toreador for 15 years and when the kids were younger, they really enjoyed everything about the place. No reservations, so be sure to put your name on the list. Generally the wait is manageable, but there is also a bar next door where they will come and find you if you write "bar" next to your name on the list. Give it a try, you will really like it.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank StephanieL67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
222 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 249 helpful votes
“Very good food!”
Reviewed February 22, 2012

I visit my family several times a year and we always eat here at least once. I'm from Texas where the standard is great Tex-Mex . . . this is not T-M but close and very good. The portions are huge and everything is very fresh.

On this visit, I remembered how large the portions are so just ordered one chalupa and a cup of bean soup . . . this still was a huge plate of delicious food. Regular orders are served on platters, not plates so that gives you an idea of how large. The bean soup was a consomme and delicious.

Their salsa is pretty hot/spicy and addictive. They have hundreds of kinds of beers but because they don't have a license for alcohol, their bar drinks are made from something similar to alcohol . . . I had a margarita and it tasted horrible (think margarita without tequila). The other adults had strawberry margaritas and loved them.

This place is very small so there is usually a wait. The walls and ceiling are almost 100% covered with bright Latin decor and autographed photos of stars . . . there is always something to look at.

We love this place and it's always my first meal out when I visit.

Sandy (in Denton)

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank behrens1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed El Toreador Fonda Restaurant also viewed


Been to El Toreador Fonda Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing