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Best Street Food San Francisco 2005 -

Mission Taco Trucks

El Tonayense, 22nd Street & Harrison, 550-9192, and Doña Tere, 21st Street & Alabama

There are two local eateries within blocks of each other that are not only unequaled in the areas of gustatory satisfaction and affordability, but they also serve their specialties from the side of a truck. At Doña Tere's friendly, rustic establishment you can get one of the city's finest snacks, sweet corn drenched in mayo, queso cotijo, and cayenne, as well as a custardlike chicken tamale, hot little flautas stuffed with carnitas, and fresh mango dashed with salt and lime juice. El Tonayense's gleaming chrome truck offers a slightly larger bill of fare, including burritos filled with everything from pork and chicken to brains and tripe, but our favorite is the carne asada torta, a soft roll packed with tender, smoky chunks of beef, pickled carrots and peppers, and a wonderful cilantro salsa. You can eat like a king at either venue for under $5 -- most items are $1.50 each -- and although neither offers on-site seating, it's nice to prop yourself against the nearest building and enjoy the sunshine while you feast on delicious, two-handed micromeals that almost redeem the concept of fast food.

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