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Nick’s Crispy Tacos

Nick Brings Mexican to Russian Hill

In early 2005, Nick Fasanella opened a gem of a taqueria in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood, offering cheap and quick eats made with quality ingredients.

Nick's Crispy Tacos
If you haven’t been yet, Nick’s Crispy Tacos is worth the trip. Fasanella has brought some of the best tastes of Baja straight to SF, and put them in a fun and unique atmosphere. It’s the true definition of a taco “joint” -- inexpensive, casual, relaxed, but most importantly offers great food. The décor is something unique.

Nick’s shares space with Harry Denton’s Rouge, a nightclub which takes over nightly at 9pm. What you get until 9 is a funky taqueria with red walls and disco balls, resplendent with Sponge Bob and Tweety Bird piñatas hanging from chandeliers, and chill roots reggae piping from the stereo.

There are usually 2 or 3 tables outside when the weather’s nice, but most of the seating is inside. There you’ll find about a dozen tables for two, and a few booths where you could comfortably fit four people and a mound of food. The atmosphere comes together well, offering the quality of two-person Baja vacations for just $20.

To the food. There’s several items worth eating here, so you may need to come more than once or twice. It’s such a simple thing, but the chips and salsa served with guacamole ($3.00) are too good to miss. The chips are thick and crispy, and the salsa and guac are both freshly prepared. Nick was rightly proud enough of his tacos to name the place after them.

The pescado taco ($3.75) is to die for. These are a selection of fresh fish, fried up crispy in a beer batter, served in a corn tortilla with crunchy cabbage, a few onions, a sprig of cilantro, fresh picante, and a touch of lime mayonnaise to add a bright citrus flavor with a creamy texture.

If you’re willing to splurge on a few extra calories, any taco can be served “Nick’s Way”, i.e., an additional crispy (fried) tortilla is added, along with guacamole and jack cheese. Tacos and burritos can be made with carne asada, pollo, carnitas, pescado, grilled fish, or vegetarian. Quesadillas ($5) come in the same varieties, minus the pescado and grilled fish. For a great accompaniment, try the tortilla soup ($5) and wash it down with an agua fresca ($2), a Modelo Especial ($3), or a Mexican Coke ($2.50) and you’ll be a happy amigo.

Nick’s Crispy Tacos Mexican
Russian Hill
$, cash only
Reservations Essential? No