Everyone in the Bay knows you go to Oakland for the best Mexican food. Some people will argue you go to the Mission in San Francisco, but I was born and raised in the East Bay so I will go to my grave arguing that Oakland has the best home-style Mexican food in the Bay Area. One thing we can all agree on? You don’t go to Berkeley for Mexican food.
Los Cilantros is run by local resident Dilsa Lugo, who is actually an old coworker of mine. She started her business with the super awesome La Cocina, a non-profit that helps entrepreneurs start their own food business by lending their commercial kitchen space. Dilsa then found a spot at the famed La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, and set up shop there. All of the food at Los Cilantros is homemade, and–in true Berkeley fashion–cooked with local, organic, sustainable ingredients. You will not find greasy, cheap cuts of meat, or a hint of lard anywhere. The salsa is outstanding, and they make their own aguas frescas (perfect timing for this recent heat wave!
Everything here is fantastic. From left to right: carnitas, barbacoa, taco de tinga, and taco de mole. The meats are braised and super tender, nothing is greasy (not even the carnitas!) and the sauces are full of complex, layered flavor. The mole is especially good here, and the homemade tortillas are the best I’ve had. Sometimes homemade tortillas are a bit too thick and doughy, but Los Cilantros gets it just right. Everything here is made with love, and the flavors shine through. Los Cilantros brings traditional Mexican flavors to your tastebuds, so what are you waiting for? Head over and support your local business, and grab some of the best Mexican food in Berkeley!
Los Cilantros is located at 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705. They are currently open for lunch Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM – 2:30 PM, and dinner Wednesday-Sunday, 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM. Visit their website here.