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The Nite Owl- Doña Tere’s Market

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As a general rule, straying from the main drag for the purposes of late night calorie consumption would seem counterintuitive. As Fattmink mentioned in last week’s post, my neighbourhood, not as well-trafficked as other Mission environs, would definitely qualify as off the beaten path unless you consider “psych ward– close” social buzz words.

Yet, while the rest of the abuelitas on the street are pulling their shades and turning the latches, one keeps her light on just in case.

In a storefront reminiscent of one might find in her home state of Jalisco, Doña Tere pats out tacos and steams up tamales for the stragglers that had not the strength to muscle their way into the drunken fish ladder that is El Farolito.

For those in the hood, most of you would know her for her elote stand and it’s loyal post-school day following outside the Mission Boys & Girls Club. When the sun dips below Twin Peaks, however, she consolidates her operation and waits with much needed sustenance for late commuters and stumblebums alike. If the neighbourhood has a grandmother, Doña Tere is she.

The beauty part is that the tacos, tamales, pupusas et al come in at five dollars or (mostly) less despite being hand-made to order. No treachery intended towards El Farolito, but that might make you take a dim view of those stale chips they shovel out for a 50¢ premium. While on the subject of price-gouging, if you are also a slave to post-binge hot dogs enrobed in bacon, remember they sell for $2.50 here, next time you are getting hustled for $4.00 outside the bar by the guy with the tongs and his intoxicating wares.

Now mind you, Doña Tere is no all-night party girl, so if things are looking thin she starts shutting down ’round midnight. However, much like my own grandmother, if some bleary-eyed red nose shows up, she has been known to fire up the griddle for one more act of grace.


Doña Tere’s Market
2780 21st Street (@ Florida)
[Inner Mission]

Weeknights ’til 11:30 p.m./ 12:00 a.m.
Weekends ’til Midnight/ 1:00 a.m.

Photo courtesy of  Hotdogger G. on Yelp.


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Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen's early years were spent in a boxcar overlooking downtown Los Angeles. From there he moved around the state with his family before settling under the warm blanket of smog that covers suburban Southern California. Moving around led to his inability to stay in one place for very long, but San Francisco has been reeling him back in with its siren song since 1999.
By trade he pours booze, but likes to think he can write and does so occasionally for the SF Bay Guardian, Bold Italic and 7x7. He also likes to enjoy time spent in old eateries, bars and businesses that, by most standards, would have been condemned a long time ago.