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The East Bay has no shortage of Cal-Mexican eateries, with their Chez Panisse pedigrees, immaculate farmers’ market produce, and higher-priced versions of traditional Mexican dishes. But few examples of the genre are as unpretentious as Aztecali. Yes, the tortas are served on Acme deli rolls. Yes, you can order Highwire cold-brew coffee that’s mixed with house-made horchata. But in the end, it is the homey simplicity of chef Juana Ojeda’s cooking that will win you over. The focal point of the taqueria’s menu is a selection of guisados, or stews, the best of which is the chicken tinga: gently poached chicken breast shredded and tossed in a chipotle sauce whose smoky heat is incredibly addictive. If you are very lucky, though, you will have timed your visit for a day when Aztecali is serving its chicken pozole verde, which is one of the very best versions in town.

— Luke Tsai

Hours: Tue.–Fri. 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.


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Price: $-$$

Payment Type: Cash, all major credit cards

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