The national Mexican food chain Taco John's holds a national trademark on the phrase "Taco Tuesday," but you'd never know it; the phrase has transcended ownership to become a common special everywhere in the United States.
Here in the Bay Area, we may be snobby about our food — but we're not too good to approach Taco Tuesdays ("s" added to avoid infringement) with style and flavor. We even have a DJ Taco Tuesday who spins in local clubs. Check out five notable specials:
5. The Blue Light (1979 Union, 922-5510)
If you're stranded in the Marina on a Tuesday with little cash in your pocket, you can flirt with a post-frat boy to get dinner, or you can come here for soft corn tacos filled with beef, chicken, or fish for $1.
4. Mas Sake (2030 Lombard, 440-1505)
This "freestyle sushi" spot surprisingly offers large and crispy "super tacos" for $4 on Tuesdays (regularly $11-$12). There's a choice of grilled chicken, carne asada, spicy shrimp, and seared ahi, and it's the only place in town where you can get an order of teriyaki to go with it.
3. Lake Chalet (1520 Lakeside, Oakland, (510) 208-5253)
Gaze at Lake Merritt from the restaurant deck while enjoying $2.50 soft tacos in grilled jicama, braised chicken, or fresh fish varieties. A similar deal is offered at sister restaurant Beach Chalet in San Francisco, minus the jicama tacos but with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop.
2. The Taco Shop at Underdog's (1824 Irving, 566-8700)
A Sunset District sports bar got immeasurably better when Nick Fasanella (who used to operate Nick's Crispy Tacos and now runs Tacko) started selling tacos inside. Tuesdays means $2 soft tacos (carnitas, chicken, beef, veggie) and $2 Tecates. It was voted SF Weekly's Best Taco Tuesday in 2011, the last time a prize in this category was awarded.
1. C.R.E.A.M. (2399 Telegraph, Berkeley, (510) 649-1000)
At this popular ice cream sandwich shop, get $1 off of ice cream tacos and free toppings between 8 and 10 p.m. You can far surpass the convenience store Choco Taco with C.R.E.A.M.'s many flavors of ice cream and cookies.