From the outside, Cafe Talavera looks just like any other Mexican deli or taqueria. But while the restaurant does serve a pretty mean carne asada, it’s far from a taco shop. Instead, a range of regional specialties from Central and South America — Guatemala, Ecuador, Argentina, and beyond — make the place stand out. Chef Zoila Talavera’s pan-Latin cooking doesn’t involve the kind of flashy ingredient combinations that “Latin fusion” usually implies — no Asian-inflected pork belly tacos or high-end variations on ceviche. Instead, Talavera serves Guatemalan-style fish tacos (topped with cheese and pico de gallo instead of the usual Baja white sauce) and steak sandwiches that feature Argentinian chimichurri and the kind of bread that Mexican cooks use for tortas. The desayuno chapin (featuring eggs, refried beans, and fried plantains) is a breakfast bargain at just $3.95, and the Venezuelan-style baked empanadas — which feature delicious non-traditional fillings like bacon and potatoes or spinach and feta cheese — aren’t to be missed.

— Luke Tsai

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.–3 p.m.

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Price: $-$$

Payment Type: Cash, all major credit cards

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