So let’s do a study in Bay Area relativity. Raw oysters, those perfectly sculpted pieces of oceanic art, come to your table virtually untouched by a chef’s hands (unless you count a little lemon and Tabasco). Contrast tacos, another Bay staple, one of the most adaptable items in a cook’s toolbox (See: this, or this, or this).
But despite the pristine, untouched simplicity of an oyster, and the sloppy, human-crafted abundance
of a taco, they are both available to the lucky San Franciscan for a mere dollar…if you know where to
look. We recently did a roundup of the best dollar oyster specials and now, let’s give the dollar taco its glorious due.
Pancho Villa - For our money, this old workhorse still serves up some of
the city’s finest tacos any time of the day. The standard prices are totally fair, but from 3 to 5 pm on
weekdays, all tacos come for a buck. Bonus: Doctor your tacos up fancy with Pancho’s award-winning,
expansive salsa bar.
El Toro - El Toro is Pancho Villa’s smaller, mellower sibling. The tacos are the same
level of quality, and the happy hour has the same timeframe, but the vibe inside is just a little less
intense. (For the record, we prefer Pancho Villa’s wildness).
Blue Light - This Marina mainstay’s Taco Tuesdays are a neighborhood
legend. And while they certainly won’t be the best tacos you’ll eat in this city, they’re more than fair for
a buck. And pair them with enough dollar Jell-O shots (fo’ reals) and two-dollar Coronas and you won’t
notice any flaws at all.
Andalu - This place is more known for its tapas than its Mexican fare but if
you’re in the market for a fusion ahi-ahi taco with chili-lime vinaigrette and mango salsa, this is your
place. Normally these babies run two dollars but get ‘em half price on Tuesday nights.
Nick’s Crispy Tacos - Yet again, this deal is on
Tuesdays only, but it’s a good one. Nick’s serves up some of the only crunchy tacos in town, and we can
attest that their guacamole is out of this world. Be warned, though: things can get kind of bananas on
dollar taco nights.
Underdog’s Sports Bar - Underdog’s is a sports bar, in the Outer Sunset,
that serves one-dollar street tacos on Monday nights. Their remote location and sporty status would
seem to make them the underdog of this list but take note: the tacos were crafted by Crispy Nick
himself. You probably won’t be disappointed.