Food & Drink

Empanada Quest: 15 Must-Try Spots in San Francisco

San Francisco is a city known for its diverse culinary scene. From seafood to fusion cuisine, the city has something for everyone. One food item that has become increasingly popular over the years is empanadas.

These delicious, savory pastries are a staple in Latin American cuisine and have made their way into the hearts (and stomachs) of San Franciscans.

Empanadas are essentially pockets of dough filled with a variety of ingredients such as meat, vegetables, cheese, and spices.

They are then baked or fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy exterior and a warm, flavorful filling. Whether you're in the mood for something spicy or something savory, there is an empanada for everyone.

Many restaurants and food trucks in San Francisco have added empanadas to their menus, making it easy to find a delicious snack or meal on-the-go. But with so many options, it can be hard to know where to start.

In this blog post, we'll be exploring some of the best places in San Francisco to get your empanada fix. From traditional Argentine empanadas to innovative fusion options, we'll cover it all. So, get ready to take a tasty journey through the city and discover your new favorite empanada spot.

1. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
PIER 1 1/2 The Embarcadero N, San Francisco, CA 94105 (Google Maps)

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana is a Peruvian restaurant that offers delicious empanadas.

The restaurant has a lively atmosphere and attentive service. The food is fresh, flavorful, and well-presented.

The outdoor seating area is a great spot to enjoy a meal while taking in the waterfront views.

If you're looking for upscale Peruvian seafood, La Mar Cebicheria Peruana is definitely worth a visit.

2. Panchita's Pupuseria & Restaurant

Panchita's Pupuseria & Restaurant
3091 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Google Maps)

Panchita's Pupuseria & Restaurant is a humble spot that serves delicious empanadas.

The empanadas are made fresh and are filled with a variety of flavors.

The environment is authentic and gives a true street food experience. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the prices are unbeatable.

It's the perfect spot for anyone looking for a quick and tasty bite to eat.

3. CHALOS

Chalos
2240 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116 (Google Maps)

If you're in the mood for some delicious empanadas, CHALOS is the place to be.

This Argentinian restaurant and cafe offers a wide variety of savory empanadas with different fillings to choose from. The empanadas are baked or fried and made with the best ingredients.

The coffee is also excellent and comes in different specialty espresso options. The churros are another must-try item on the menu.

The staff is friendly and welcoming, making for a great dining experience. CHALOS is definitely worth a visit if you're craving some tasty empanadas and a good cup of coffee.

4. La Fusion

La Fusion
475 Pine St, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Google Maps)

La Fusion serves up Latin American cuisine with a chic twist.

The empanadas are a must-try, with some of the best flavors around. The portions are decent and the value is great.

The service is warm and welcoming, making for an overall enjoyable experience.

Be sure to book in advance as the restaurant can get crowded due to its small size.

5. Limon

Limon
1001 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110 (Google Maps)

Limon is a must-visit for anyone craving delicious empanadas.

This place offers a variety of Peruvian empanadas that are crispy on the outside and filled with savory ingredients on the inside. The atmosphere is lively with an open kitchen and a full bar.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a great dining experience. Don't miss out on trying the ceviche and rotisserie chicken, both of which are cooked to perfection.

Limon is a great spot for a night out with friends or a casual dinner with family.

6. Venga Empanadas

Venga Empanadas
443 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Google Maps)

Venga Empanadas is a Latin American restaurant that serves baked empanadas in a casual atmosphere. They offer a wide variety of empanadas, including chicken, vegetable, spicy beef, chorizo, and Argentina beef.

They also have gluten-free options available. The empanadas are reasonably priced and come with two dipping sauces.

Customers have raved about the spinach and cheese empanadas and the chimichurri dipping sauce.

The restaurant has limited seating for indoor and outdoor dining. Venga Empanadas is a great spot for a quick, hot, grab-and-go meal or a casual dining experience.

7. Tacorgasmico

Tacorgasmico
2337 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (Google Maps)

Tacorgasmico is a colorful Mexican cafe with a cozy atmosphere. They offer a variety of delicious empanadas with authentic ingredients.

The portion sizes are great, and the service is stellar. Tacorgasmico also serves amazing margaritas and micheladas.

The interior is beautiful, with vivid colors and murals. The staff is friendly and fast, making ordering a breeze.

If you're in the mood for Mexican food, Tacorgasmico is definitely worth checking out.

8. Alegrias

Alegrias
2018 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123 (Google Maps)

Alegrias is a Spanish tavern that serves a variety of hot and cold small plates, paellas, and sherry.

The empanadas are delicious and highly recommended. The atmosphere is cozy and candlelit, providing a homey feel.

The service is outstanding and the staff is very welcoming. Alegrias offers a great selection of Spanish wines and ports to complement the food.

It is a perfect spot for a casual dinner with friends or family.

9. Media Noche

Media Noche
3465 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (Google Maps)

Media Noche is a stylish Cuban restaurant that offers a variety of delicious empanadas.

The Picadillo Empanada is a standout dish, with flavorful beef and sweet fruit inside a crispy shell. The green sauce is a great complement to the dish.

The customer service is top-notch, and the bright and inviting atmosphere is perfect for a casual meal with friends or family.

Beer and wine are also available to accompany your meal. Media Noche is a must-try for anyone looking for a tasty and unique dining experience.

10. Piqueo's

Piqueo's
830 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110 (Google Maps)

Piqueo's is a colorful Peruvian small-plates eatery that offers a contemporary dining experience.

They serve a variety of Peruvian fusion small plates that pair well with their extensive wine list. The empanadas are a must-try, with a flakey crust and flavorful fillings.

The outdoor dining setup is fantastic, complete with heat lamps and blankets to keep you warm on cool San Francisco evenings. The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a great dining experience overall.

Piqueo's is perfect for a date night or a fancy family meal, although it can be a bit pricey. If you're looking for authentic and flavorful Peruvian food, Piqueo's is definitely worth a visit.

11. Arepas en bici

Arepas En Bici
725 O’Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Google Maps)

Looking for delicious and authentic Venezuelan empanadas in the Bay Area that won't break the bank, Arepas en bici is the place to go.

The restaurant is run by chef Victor Aguilera, who takes pride in making each empanada fresh and filling.

Whether you're looking for a quick snack or a full meal, Arepas en bici has got you covered.

With a variety of flavors to choose from, you can't go wrong. Don't miss out on the opportunity to try some of the best empanadas around.

12. El Rincon Yucateco

El Rincon Yucateco
491 O’Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Google Maps)

El Rincon Yucateco is a hidden gem for authentic Mexican food. The empanadas are a must-try, especially the mixed ones with cabbage, onion, and salsa.

The pork panucho is also a standout dish. The menu features items not commonly found in other Mexican restaurants in the area.

The homemade tortillas and other dishes are flavorful and reasonably priced. The restaurant is a bit run down, but the food and service make up for it.

If you're looking for homestyle Mexican food, El Rincon Yucateco is definitely worth checking out.

13. Chao Pescao

Chao Pescao
272 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Google Maps)

Chao Pescao is a hip restaurant serving up Latin Caribbean cuisine. Their extensive menu includes empanadas, arepas, sandwiches, and delicious drinks.

The food is flavorful and well-prepared, and the portions are generous.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure you have a great dining experience. The decor is colorful and fun, creating a lively atmosphere.

Chao Pescao is definitely worth checking out for anyone looking for tasty empanadas and a fun night out.

14. El Nuevo Frutilandia

El Nuevo Frutilandia
3077 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (Google Maps)

El Nuevo Frutilandia is a Latin American and Caribbean restaurant that serves authentic Puerto Rican cuisine.

The food is delicious and the service is excellent. The standout item on the menu is the Pico Empanadas, which are highly recommended.

The lechon horneado, chile relleno, fried green plantains, flan, and tres leches cake are also excellent.

The restaurant has a homey and welcoming atmosphere and the owners are delightful. This is a great place to try if you're looking for delicious and authentic Puerto Rican food.

15. Artesano

Artesano
2335 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Google Maps)

Artesano is a Latin American restaurant that serves empanadas and other comfort food. The food is consistently great and the portions are large.

The staff is friendly and accommodating. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere with a colorful decor.

They offer a variety of dishes from ceviches to vegetarian options. The wines are regional and complement the food well.

The prices are a little high, but the quality of the food makes it worth it. Artesano is a great neighborhood spot for Latin American cuisine.