The Tried and True

Posted by: Abigail

Today on SFblotter we have a contributing column from the extraordinary and versatile Abigail Wick. She takes us down memory lane to revisit a renowned San Francisco institution: El Farolito. Enjoy & happy eatings!

San Francisco’s ‘60s-era cultural revolution spawned more than widespread ingestion of birth-control pills and perennially-unfashionable tie-dye trousers; it’s also the decade in which Mission District-based El Faro taquería handcrafted the world’s first-ever burrito, marking a Cal-Mex culinary milestone. Fast forward several decades, and El Faro has spawned many offspring taquerías, all named by the Spanish-language diminutive form, El Farolito (little lighthouse). The most locally-beloved location is right above the 24th BART station, where the scrappy eatery transforms into a post-midnight menagerie of pub-drunk meal-seekers.

They come for El Farolito’s tried-and-true burritos, which haven’t evolved so much as endured. There are no upscale trappings at this restaurant—if it’s organic avocados plucked from the neighbor’s backyard that you seek… El Farolito is where you go for authentic, late-night, alcohol-absorbing fat and protein all rolled-up in aluminum foil. Astonishing in size and staggeringly-cheap, these burritos are uniformly perfect, even if you skip the meat and just get beans-and-rice. Itching to keep the party going beyond San Francisco’s early bedtime? Good. You’re invited to El Farolito for mingling into the wee hours and warding off a hangover with good grub.

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