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Before owner Antonio — who used to be an Oakland school counselor before going vegan in 1999 and starting to experiment with meatless versions of his favorite Mexican family dishes — opened this brick-and-mortar restaurant, his satisfying and surprisingly spicy vegan and vegetarian tamales, tacos, taquitos, and other homestyle delights used to be available on a takeaway basis only. Regulars would eagerly wait even in the rain for this hearty fare whose faux-meat fillings make nice foils for mole sauce and eye-poppingly hot salsa. Mexican food is traditionally heavy, greasy, lardy, and meaty, but Antonio — whose integrity shines in every bite — has worked hard to make his meatless versions look, feel, and taste authentic.

Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m.

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