Publico Urban Taqueria - Mexican - 550A Gene Friend Way, SoMa, San Francisco, CA - Restaurant Reviews

Publico Urban Taqueria   - Mexican - 550A Gene Friend Way, SoMa, San Francisco, CA - Restaurant Reviews
8/13/2016

I eat everything here all the time to the point where they know my face and it's a little embarrassing.The MexiCali salad probably isn't as healthy as I think it is, but those black beans and that lettuce makes my intestines feel like there's enough fiber to get things going, so I'm not complaining.The other thing I love? The California burrito. It's basically a steak dinner (beef, french fries) stuffed inside a tortilla with some tomato salsa. And the fries are crispy, but also a little mealy. Which means it's the full package. Thank you, California burrito, for everything you do.Looking for something a little tangier? Get the fish and chips burrito. It still comes with those delicious fries, and fish that's perfectly seasoned, and that spicy mayo that puts you into a food coma. Amazing.

10/7/2016

Looking for some lunch near the UCSF Mission Bay campus, I decided to give Publico a try.  The number of people ordering made me think it was a popular spot, and I was looking forward to seeing what all the fuss was about.Unfortunately, my taco was a disappointment.  I usually rate a taqueria based on their carnitas, and the Publico version was a greasy and fatty mess.  I didn't even the whole taco, as the unappetizing oil-slicked tortilla was a turnoff.  The meat was bland, and the side of tortilla chips and guacamole that I got also failed to impress.  The service was friendly, and there is outdoor seating if you want to get some fresh air.  However, I don't think I'll be back anytime soon.

10/6/2016

Two burritos for $27, no guac, poor service.I took my customer to Publico and ordered two California Burritos. The bill was $27.08 and the burrito didn't have guacamole as advertised. When I informed the young, facially-pierced service man of the company's mistakes, he was indifferent and rude. Let's break this down. The price for a California Burrito is advertised on their website at $8.75 and includes guacamole. At the restaurant the same burrito is on the menu at $9.99 and includes guacamole. I paid $12.45. When I ordered the California Burrito the pierced service man said, "the menu is wrong." And charged me to add Guacamole. I relented and he insisted. I paid $27.08 for two burritos with guac added despite different pricing on the restaurant menu and website menu (see receipt image). That's insane pricing by the way. Here's the kicker; there was NO GUACAMOLE IN THE BURRITO even though I paid extra for it. That's BS. Inconsistent and non-transparent pricing, false advertising, poor service, overlooked meat. Not going back.

A California burrito with guacamole is $12.45, not $8.75 as advertised on their website. A California burrito with guacamole is $12.45, not $8.75 as advertised on their website. Website pricing is very wrong. A California burrito is $12:45, not $8.75 Website pricing is very wrong. A California burrito is $12:45, not $8.75 6/4/2016

I come here frequently more out of convenience because it's on campus. I usually get the torta with carne asada. It's not the most amazing torta ever, but it's pretty satisfactory when I need comfort food from work stress.I had a small issue the last time I was here. I was dining in because all the good spots outside with shade were already taken on a hot day. I waited about 15 minutes for my food and still nothing. I was busy answering emails on my phone to notice how much time went by. Once I noticed, I went to the cashier to ask him what was up with my order. They haven't even made it and probably wouldn't have if I didn't ask. I don't understand because it wasn't even busy? I wasn't super upset (even though I was starving) because the cashier seemed sincerely apologetic. I could tell it was the cook's fault for not even working on my order. I'm not sure what the miscommunication between the cook and cashier is about.

10/17/2015

3.5 starsLiven up your taco Tuesday with excellent baja fish tacos. For $4.75, you get a pretty big chunk of fried tilapia dipped in corona beer batter, served on red cabbage in a flour tortilla and topped with chile lime sauce. The place looks like a taco truck was stuffed inside the building (it's a weird set-up!) There isn't any "salsa" bar available, but there's a tray by the window with some bottles filled with the green and red stuff that you pour onto your tacos. With the scarcity of Mexican joints in the neighborhood, I'll take Publico over Subway any day.

Fish taco Fish taco 4/13/2016

Ordered a kid's size bean and cheese burrito for 5.17 totalGood size portion! Note: They give you a lot of beans (a little too much lol)Food came out SO QUICK (came around 1pm)Would love to try something else next time.

2/24/2016

The California burrito drew me here and the entirety of my experience was okay. A small spot catering to the people on the go or grabbing quick lunch. The workers usual seem oddly miserable and annoyed at life, but they get the job done.The Cali burrito was underwhelming. The tortilla was simply there. It added nothing but being a method to put the other ingredients in my mouth. The carne asada was underwhelming. The fries were actually very good for the burrito. The rest of it was standard. As a whole, the burrito was edible but nothing special. The red salsa was quite hot and the verde quite flavorful, but the meat and tortilla need work. Maybe some sour cream would help too.A large amount of food decently priced. Simply okay.

5/20/2016

I didn't really expect this place to be as disappointing as all the Yelp reviews suggest, but it was. I ordered a super burrito with carnitas. Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. First I waited to order at the cash register for several minutes until one of the cooks told me the cashier was not there. The cook said he had left, and he'll come back, but he didn't know when. We waited several annoying minutes, but when the cashier did arrive, he was friendly and ordering and receiving our food was a smooth process. BUT THE FOOD: My burrito was rolled terribly; it was loose, had no butt, and fell apart immediately. It was the greasiest burrito I've ever had or seen in my life. Grease from my still-wrapped burrito dripped all over my kitchen floor. It was so greasy that I ended up not eating the tortilla (which became completely soaked in grease after a few bites) at all. It was disgusting. My wife ordered a carne asada burrito and did not have the grease problem, but did have the terribly-rolled  and fally-aparty problem. The good? The flavor was actually pretty decent and they grilled the tortilla, which would have been a nice touch had it not been completely soaked in grease, rendering it inedible. Even though I just moved upstairs from Publico, I don't think I'll  eat there again.

12/4/2015

Excellent fish tacos! Average everything else.For the price of $10, I would expect a authentic-tasting burrito, but that is not what you get at Publico. It tastes like something you get at an undergrad on-campus dining hall. You do get a huge portion of food though, so there's that.

1/27/2016

Service was rather awful today. Only 1 register was open during the lunch rush.I ordered a carne asada super burrito with no beans and no sour cream. After a sufficient wait, I finally picked up my order and left. In that first bite, I found a mouthful of beans. So I ripped the burrito in half, and in that top half was nothing but beans and with a giant dollop of sour cream.Had I not already walked away from the store front, and if there was actually time left during my lunch hour, I would have returned with my dismembered burrito and requested a new one with the ingredients I originally ordered, or requested a refund.

Unwanted beans and sour cream I picked out of my burrito and into a bag. Unwanted beans and sour cream I picked out of my burrito and into a bag. 4/8/2016

The staff here was very friendly and were ready to make suggestions and answer all of my questions. It is also a convenient place to eat if you are coming from the UCSF Mission Bay gym. My food was ready for me quickly. I would come back here for a post-workout meal the next time I am in the area.

3/31/2016

Well, I've had better food from a real taco truck. People here are nice enough, friendly. But the food is meh. And they put hot sauce in their ketchup container, so my son smothered his burger in hot red sauce unintentionally. Sigh. They have a loud fan running all the time from the fridge unit by the counter - this place needs some TLC.

Feels like a truck Feels like a truck 4/24/2016

A hipster version of a taqueria.  I came in and didn't even know how to order.  You have to pick from three different spots on the menu.  The total price seemed high for taqueria fare.  There was a large crowd hovering around the pick-up window.  The place is tiny to it's pretty much a take out only spot.  The food was a let down in taste.  Salsas were bad.  Juices were just OK.  This place should be a lot better than it is.  Maybe some cooks with Mexican food experience?I don't know.  Something's off on this place.Parking is difficult in the area.

5/31/2016

Great food, good concept. I went to Publico at the recommendation of my daughters nurse during a week long stay at UCSF Childrens Hospital. The food was delicious, the space is super cool, and the staff is nice! Definitely look forward to going back next time we are in the area. I recommend checking it out!

1/17/2015

If you're too hungry, and there are no options whatsoever try the California burrito.  It's so good.  Their tacos and burritos are good but can be very greasy sometimes. The California burrito is probably the best in the city.

6/30/2016

The lunchtime wait is usually untenable but worth it for the mexicali salad. It's got black beans, salad greens, sour cream, salsa, cheese, and whatever meat if you want.

7/7/2016

Their veggie burrito (build burrito with vegetariano filling) is soo good. Definitely will be going back.

5/29/2015

It's a taco place on campus.  The food is cheap and pretty good.  I like their tortas and they're pretty cheap and delicious.  Great spot for a quick lunch.

Pick up counter Pick up counter 5/1/2015

This place has AMAZING burritos. Try getting there before 12 since the line gets long during lunch rush. Menu has a different selection of fish, chicken, steak, and veggie combinations. Oh and the fresca drinks are delicious. Try mixing them, you won't regret it.

FISH AND CHIPS BURRITO! Try it with chipotle mayo sauce since the fries make it a bit dry FISH AND CHIPS BURRITO! Try it with chipotle mayo sauce since the fries make it a bit dry Carnitas burrito with rice & avocado. Sure is tasty Carnitas burrito with rice & avocado. Sure is tasty 8/30/2014

If it weren't for Publico I would have starved at Mission Bay, because I refuse to eat at Subway, Peasant Pie portions are small, and Terzetto is not good for anything besides really really strong coffee.The service is pretty fast except during peak lunch hours so it's the perfect grab-and-go meal.  Although the prices are on the high end for Mexican food, Publico makes it a point that they use grass-fed beef, natural ingredients, etc.  Plus, it's impressive that they have a perfect score for health inspections (though this is expected as part of UCSF).  My main complaint is that all their meats are fairly salty (not expected for UCSF) but I guess that's what it so tasty.They have food for every occasion in the typical life cycle of a grad student:-the vegelicious MEXICALI SALAD ($8.50) for something (relatively) healthy--my staple.  Bonus health freak points for black beans, radish, and avocado- the high-fat-diet CARNE ASADA SUPER FRIES ($8.75) for pre-gaming pre-carbing - the comfort food CARMEN'S NACHOS ($7) for satisfying cravings of nachos and the general salsa-meat-guac-melted cheese Mexican food flavors- the basic STREET TACO ($2.75)  for a simple snack, with the healthier/fancier/pricier option of a GRILLED FISH TACO ($4)- the massive SUPER BURRITO ($8.75) for a super massive appetiteConclusion: Exactly what the residents of Mission Bay need--tasty taqueria food that you can pick up after a long day (and a long bumpy shuttle ride) that you can bring up to your room and stuff your face in preparation for a long night of work to get done.  The downside is that it is only only on Saturday lunchtime on the weekends, which means I'm always eating spring mix from Safeway on Sundays.

Super burrito Super burrito Burrito Burrito Carne asada fries, $8.75 Carne asada fries, $8.75 See all photos from Edna C. for Publico Urban Taqueria
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