420 40th St, Oakland
Best tacos in Oakland for sure, Bay Area? probably. California? wouldn't be surprised. Always changing menu with seasonal ingredients means i'm always surprised at what is on the menu and how good it is. Even if you're a meat lover, grab whatever veggie/vegan options are on the menu too, they are always as good if not better than the meat options.
Closer to 3-3.5 stars overall, but rounding up for the awesome huevos taco! I was excited to see Tacos Oscar on Bon Appetit's 50 Nominees for their 2019 Hot 10 list (the 10 best new restaurants in the US), and had a chance to stop by for an early dinner. They are only open for dinner, and weren't busy yet at 5:30pm on a Saturday. However, they have a consistent crowd, and their order window pretty much always had someone there. You place your order first at the front window and pay, they give you a number to place on your table, and then they deliver the food to you. It's outdoor patio seating only, and can be chilly even though it's covered and there were some heat lamps. There were only a few different taco options to choose from, and chips and salsa available. They do have a seitan taco option for vegetarians, and some rotating specials. I ended up trying a few different tacos: Beef Piccadillo (Ground Chuck + Brisket, Horseradish Crema, Shredduce, Cheddar, Pickled Onions, $4), Pork Chile Verde (Tomatillo Braised Pork Shoulder, Raw Avo Tomatillo Salsa, Cilantro, Onion, Chicharron Snow ($4), Huevos ($4) [https://www.yelp.com/user_local_photos?select=OsOgAvckDGswc4yYI3x9sw&userid=76vIFZcC7owykCBjMfGVXg]. The huevos was by far the favorite! I loved the how they cooked the egg (the yolk was still slightly runny), and it went really well with the cotija cheese- a must try! The beef and pork were just ok- I thought the beef was a little dry and the components on the pork chile verde taco didn't really work for me. However, their corn tortilla was amazing- it was super fresh, had a great crust to it but was still soft/chewy in the middle. I would come back here just for the huevos taco and the corn tortilla! The tacos here are on the larger size, and 3 were more than enough for me. However, one thing I noticed is that the majority of their tacos were spicy. I love spice, but not everyone does, and it might be challenging to come here if someone in your group was spice intolerant. Parking will be the other challenge- there is some street parking available, but you may need to park a couple of blocks away and walk.
Oh yeah. You have got to do this place. Best crunch in a fresh tortilla I have ever enjoyed. Another win for Temescal.
Tacos. Really good ones. With huevos. And cactus. On fresh made tortillas. Fired in a freight container. Eaten outside. At community tables. In the dark. With stark light bulbs. And good music. And all kinds of folks. Getting fed. And chatting. With strangers. Sharing great food. If that doesn't sound good, if that's not for you, go back to Boston. We won't miss ya.
Friends who have good culinary taste brought me to this place and I began drooling from watching the tortillas being made as we waited to order at the window. I'm vegetarian and while I have had good non-meat tacos a lot of times the toppings are a lackluster attempt at flavors. Not so at Tacos Oscar. I had difficulty choosing but had the cauliflower taco and the seitan taco and they were DELICIOUS. Like angels singing. No question the quality of the fresh tortilla was part of its elevation but the flavors were clearly balanced and intriguing. I thought about going up to get another one but thought having a giant taco belly at the end of the meal was probably not a great idea. Next time I'm in town I'll be back for certain, and will make a point to not eat for the day so that I can have twice as many.
It's hipster, for sure... Avoided it for a while, but recently gave it a try. Tortillas are homemade, and you can tell, taste-wise (and price-wise). Overall decent vibe, good for hanging out with a few friends.
Got the cauliflower and fired egg tacos and a hazy IPA. Delicious! Great seating area too.
Great unique tacos, everything I’ve had there has been great
This was such a great dinning experience with good food. They have such a creative menu I got egg, cauliflower, and pork tacos (each seperate), they change the menu every once in a while so you can always go and be surprised. The atmosphere is casual outside dinning and all the staff are very friendly, they have many dietary friendly options on the menu.
We were two couples that were in from out of town, one of the couples, have lived in the area for a bit and decided to take us here as a welcome to the area. Beers were good, no issues there. But it was time to close and we were caught up in conversation and barely noticed them packing up. So as we were trying to get out of their way to let them close for the night we took our beers with us and this is where the problems start. As we all are leaving one person says "thanks for taking your beers with you". Ok we thought, kinda weird but whatever, as they have removed all the trash/recycling bins but ok. But then as we're walking to the next place, someone is walking behind us for several blocks and every 20 seconds is letting out a "pssstt" and finally says hey give me your beers. So let me get this right, the initial person instead of saying hey you can't leave with your beers let's out a snarky passive aggressive comment and then we get followed several blocks to then take our beers? I'll pass on coming back or recommending just off of this strange encounter but hey try for yourself and see what you think
We were so happy when Oscar and the crew opened to the public. Their menu is varied and all of it is delicious. The charred vegetable taco is a particular highlight. Every so often they have a DJ spinning records which is a nice touch. We love coming here for a quick bite.
This is a spot that never disappoints, the flavors combined with the texture and ingenuity of each taco variety is out of this world. I have trouble not ordering 1 of every flavor every time I go here. And the Monday crunch wrap? Incredible!
Great food. $$ . nice patio decor. Good service. However I felt rushed as soon as I was done eating or almost done waitress came and took my plate and condiments of the table.
Living nearby, I'm disappointed in myself for coming here sooner...
How have I not reviewed the this place yet! The best fancy tacos ever. Vegan not vegan it is all good. They're all delicious. I only wish during the winter rainy months that there was more coverage and a tent maybe. It can get pretty chilly out there. I've been to fancy tacos made by chefs from noma and these tacos are just so much better. Get it.
I love the decor and ambience and always playing nice music. My favorite is the Huevo taco and the Tinga taco. I love the handmade tortillas. If you want a quick delicious bite this is the place.
Takeout order on a Thursday night. Had the seitan asada taco and charred brussel sprout tostada. So um yes, not traditional. Wanted to try because it sounded interesting and healthy but was not sure i would like. Surprisingly, I liked the seitan more than expected. Nice bit of smokiness to the filling, and really enjoyed the chew of the fresh made (thicker) tortilla. I feel mixed about the tostada - liked all of the parts but together somehow didn't seem quite complete. May have wanted a bolder salsa. That said, kudos on creativity and making some really tasty food. ML had the chicken tinga and the pork chile verde tacos and declared them winners. Will go back to try more options.
5 excellent tacos every evening. Vegan friendly, and carnivore friendly. Handmade tortillas, flavor packed salsas and sauces, and hardy meats/ veggie fillings makes these tacos quite irresistible. All the seating is outdoor but there are plenty of heaters to keep you warm and cozy. And once the tacos get to your table you forget about the cold. The patio is well lit with cacti all around. Taco 1 - fried huevo taco. Never really seen a fried egg taco before but no complaints at all. The crispy egg, warm soft tortilla and the creamy sauce all worked really well together. Taco 2 - pork chili verde. The succulent meat with the chili verde sauce topped with pork cracklings was absolutely delicious. I did appreciate that they serve some unique vegan tacos too. Yesterday they had a cauliflower taco (which looked super inviting), a brussle sprouts tostada (I would try it), and a seitan taco.
Wow wow wow. Amazing and creative tacos in a cool hidden outdoor space. The egg and cauliflower tacos were my favorite; the seitan (“asada”) and beef were great too, though the seitan had a surprisingly strong kick. The outdoor space has heat lamps but bring warm layers anyway. Will definitely be back.
We eat at Tacos Oscar nearly every week and are continually impressed by the rotating menu. As vegetarians, we always appreciate the care put into the meat-free options. The ingredients are always fresh, and the back patio is always cozy. This is my favorite taco place of all time!
Simple menu all well done. We had one of everything and not every taco was my favorite, but boy there's something for everybody. I left Tacos Oscar very satisfied, full and eager to return. One of the best taco shops in the bay and I take my tacos very seriously.
Creative tacos on an ever shifting menu. Love love love.
Love this spot. My fav is the huevo taco. Their tortillas are super delicious and homemade. I also normally love the veggie tostadas. Their pretty tiny but they always have really great, fresh produce on them and everything seems to be made with care. Def don't come here with a group. Even finding seating for 4 can be tough. I think 2 is the ideal number.
As soon as i bit in the taco i looked at my girl and said we definitely comming back! Dummy tasty!!
Creative combinations and hand pressed tortillas make these the best tacos.
What is this sorcery! Such good tacos! And seasonal ingredients! The tortillas are not what I'd call normal tortillas- they were thick and squishy and delicious. You can tell they are handmade. At $4 a pop, it's not a cheap taco. But it's generous and they really have their tastes down. I can't even tell you which I liked better between the two I ordered: chicken tinga or pork chile verde. I liked that they had vegan options. My friends in Oakland gave me a variety of choices and I chose Tacos Oscar for the night because of an Instagram photo they posted of the persimmon habanero sauce. The sauce only came on the quesadilla, but don't eat cheese. The lovely person at the cash register was kind about giving me a side of the persimmon habanero sauce with my tacos to try, and it was probably the best thing on my plate. Thank you so much, Tacos Oscar! The vibe is super chill and hipster. It felt like I was at home in Texas. My qualm is that it's packed and crowded, and they rushed us out of our seats before we finished our drinks. If you're looking to linger and chill for a longer period of time, this is not the right place for it. But hey, the cacti vibes are strong here. That aside, I absolutely loved my experience. Sometimes it feels like a tall order for a Texan to love tacos somewhere, but yes, I really loved the tacos.
A bit pricey but they do have a lot of flavor. They way the decorated place is really cool!
Awesome tacos with a rotational menu. All I've had are good to excellent. Fast service. Packed with young families at the 5 o'clock hour.
Had the grilled broccoli taco and the vegan tostada! Excellent and amazing. Services were quick even though it was busy. Fun, informal and charming atmosphere.
Delicious, fresh vegetarian options. Will definitely be back!
Soooo good, veg & vegan options, great neighborhood vibe, love the eclectic music playlist
As far as ambience, tacos Oscar has it down. They make tortillas from scratch, so you can smell them from about a block away. Generally speaking, they play pretty solid music. I appreciate their brick-and-mortar building is nothing more than a shipping container, iconic to the Bay Area. I like the little desert motif they have, with the canvas set up to shade from the sun; little twinkly lights are kind of cool too. I would recommend coming here with one, maybe two friends at most, or even a date. Not with a large group. There simply isn't space for that. I also enjoy the rotating selection of solid local beers they have on draft, The markup is reasonable, I believe $6 or $7. I would recommend just sticking with the tacos. I've had a torta (meh), I've had their tostada (super meh). This time I had my mind set on tacos, but the tostada sounded good. Came with beans, and baba ghanouj spread on the bottom, a few slivers of cut up radishes, and cilantro. But was just so underwhelming, yet twice the cost of the taco... I don't get it. While their tacos are $4 each, the tostada was $7... So I imagined it would be slightly bigger than a taco. Nope, not at all. It was actually smaller with fewer ingredients. So I was pretty bummed out... and it was just kind of boring. Really, the only word that comes to mind: disappointing. I saw they had chips and salsa, so ordered some. The serving size was oddly disproportionate. You basically get a mountain of chips, and about one-heaping tablespoon of salsa (really not kidding, check out the picture). Although the salsa was tasty, it really only sustained about five chips. I didn't understand at all... so after five chips, went to the front, got more salsa, ate another five chips, went back to the front, asked for more salsa, back to the table, five more chips and just gave up. Pretty annoying. Salsa came out in a little 1 ounce plastic containers. Seemed a little wasteful and unnecessary. Anyway, the place is good. Stick with the tacos. Stick with a friend or two. And expect it to be a bit crowded, and ever so slightly overpriced
They're super slow with the orders, no space to seat and the vegan options is barely 5% of the menu.
What a great little taco spot on the border of Oakland's Temescal neighborhood! If you blink, you'll miss it... so keep your eyes studied when using GPS. I heard they had flavorful tacos and that it was dog friendly, so I headed down. The menu is minimal and straightforward- tacos and a number of artisan beers. I wish they offered more menu items, like side dishes and aguas frescas. I ordered the Chicken Tinga Taco, the Pork Taco, and the Fried Egg Taco. Of the three, I thought the Pork Taco would be my favorite but, alas, I was taken by surprise because it was my least favorite. It just wasn't marinated long enough for my palate and it was pretty greasy. I did love the tomatillo salsa and chicharron dust on top though! The Fried Egg Taco was my favorite of the three- it was a creamy and also refreshing taco that surprised me with it's bursts of flavor and heat. So good! The Chicken Tinga Taco was also flavorful and the marinade was just right, also with a little heat which I appreciated after the bland Pork Taco. So after you order at the window, you turn the corner to dine in their back area, which was brightly colored and very clean. Lovely setting, like a bodega in the middle of a concrete jungle, where you can enjoy inventive tacos and cold brew with your furry friend. I would return.
What a special treat! Very yummy tacos made with soulful touch of "I Care"! Make sure to drop by and try the pork tacos and the fried egg taco !
I praise the heavens for places like Tacos Oscar. Discreet, delicious and local...everything I value and support.
Didn't totally live up to my expectations, but not terrible. Tacos Oscar has its aesthetics down. The shipping container exterior that houses the order window and the kitchen is pretty cool, but it's the patio that really impresses. The desert motif, with cacti, succulents, natural wood, tea lights and jewel tones throughout is beautiful. The food, however, is hit and miss. We went with the fried huevo taco ($4.00), a couple of pork chile verde tacos ($4.00 each), a couple chicken tinga tacos ($4.00 each), and a calabacitas taco ($4.00), along with an order of chips and salsa ($3.00). My boyfriend got the calabacitas, which I knew I wasn't going to like but I gave it a bite anyway and was unimpressed. I have no interest in getting a mouthful of squash in my tacos. Both the tinga and the chile verde tacos were sprinkled with ground chicharrones, which made for an interesting but unnecessary, distracting texture. The chile verde was flavorful and tender, but the tinga was just alright. It wasn't bland, but was missing some sort of oomph in the flavor factor that made it somewhat forgettable. The fried huevo taco was fantastic and had plenty of runny yolk. The handmade corn tortillas take these tacos up a notch. The chips and salsa were REALLY disappointing. While the chips themselves were very good, fresh, crispy, and homemade (and not at all oily), the salsa barely qualified as a salsa. It just tasted like tomato sauce and didn't have an ounce of heat. A bottle of store bought salsa would've been better. Tacos Oscar has bottles of an orange house hot sauce that's super delicious, but shaking some of that onto the chips just wasn't the same experience that I was craving. All in all, this was a middling (and overpriced) taco experience. I'd recommend the fried huevo and chile verde tacos, and shaking on some of that house hot sauce. But I wouldn't come back for much else. The staff, while cordial, bordered on mildly snooty, and I could've done without the guy who wandered in off the street, didn't order anything, served himself some water, sat behind us, and reeked of stale cigarettes and an ash tray. Wait staff walked past him and saw that he didn't have an order number and wasn't waiting on food, but didn't say anything. The smell coming off him was strong and sort of ruined part of the meal for me. I'd stop by again if I was in the area and wasn't there for Homeroom, but don't know that I'd go out of my way again to come back specifically for the tacos I did like.
Tacos were delish! You must order at window and they provide you with a number (aka they bring you your food) we had a sweet potato taco, a beef taco and an egg taco. Beef was the best. Beware of sesame allergies- I believe the egg taco had sesame! (I got to eat it - since my sister is allergic...and it was delicious.)if it was written we didn't see it! decor is nice- water is provided towards the back. Space is tight but worth it. The night we went music was a little depressing - lol... not a huge deal.
The vegan tacos are even better than the meat ones! Service can be a wait and seating can take a while, but definitely worth it!
420 40th St, Oakland, CA 94609