Best Sit-Down Mexican - 2004
There are dozens of taquerias littering the Mission District that are ideal for quick, inexpensive snacks. But if you'd like to sit down in comfort for a while and enjoy a real meal ordered from a server rather than at a counter -- perhaps a plate of delicious pork carnitas, cheesy chile rellenos, or (on the weekends) big, restorative bowls of menudo (stewed tripe redolent of chiles) or birria (stew made from mutton or goat) -- Chava's, now relocated to Mission from 18th Street, is your place. It's a large, airy, simple room, bigger than the old place (if less pleasingly decorated), with a long open kitchen running down one side. The menu includes all the classic dishes you'd expect, plus nice touches such as homemade tortillas, and everything is blindingly cheap.