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  5. Forest Hill / West Portal
Elena's, San Francisco, CA

Elena's

4.6
4.6
90 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
A family’s love for authentic Mexican food, combined with California-inspired elements and signature Mexican-American dishes.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 48 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Mexican
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Thu 11:30 am–10:00 pm Fri 11:30 am–11:00 pm Sat 10:30 am–11:00 pm Sun 10:30 am–10:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (415) 622-4440
  • Dress code
    Business Casual

What 90 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.8Ambience
  • 4.4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • San Francisco Bay Area

    Mexican

90 Reviews
  1. CherylL

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious food and great service. Beautiful restaurant, and great atmosphere.

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  2. twildb

    Hawaii

    12 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    12 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    We had a most disappointing experience. We arrived (party of two) to a very busy restaurant ten minutes early for a 9:15 reservation. At 9:30 we still were not seated after diners (2 parties of 3, who arrived after us) were offered seats in the dining room). We asked to sit in the bar, since we didn’t want to continue to wait and host/managers couldn’t give us an estimate. At the bar we ordered 2 appetizers and 2 entrees which apparently were order-fired and all came out at one. We asked management to take the first course away and remove from our tab. The bar staff proceeded to conduct breakdown activities right in front of us including a messy squeegee of the bar well, while we tried to enjoy our main course. We were left feeling unwelcome and certainly not appreciated guests.

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  3. MarilynM

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My 2nd time here. Beautiful interior, very good food and nice variety on the menu. Try the churros!

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  4. 4dining

    San Francisco

    31 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    31 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    I first judge a Mexican restaurant by its Enchiladas Suissas and its Carnitas. Elena passed the first test as it tomatillo suace was perfectly tangy and mildly spicy. Will have to return for carnitas. The fried calamari was also perfect as was the avocado forward tasting guacamole. The drink pours of wine were generous. The menu has no unusual items except may the whole Brazino. It is a cavernous spot and the lunch crowd even at 3 pm was too loud for my old ears. Beautiful space.

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  5. FrancineF

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Elena's is definitely a wonderful addition to the West Portal neighborhood - the food, ambience, and design of the restaurant are amazing. I can't wait to go back. The group behind this restaurant knew what they were doing - they got it right.

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  6. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious food and great service! Birria tacos and Elena’s margarita are a must!

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  7. josephm

    Exclusive

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Will come back for everything on the menu . Only have had three things on the menu and all are super. The service is very good and attentive.

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  8. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Had reservations and was seated on time. We were in a booth so it was comfy. Our hostess greeted us immediately and took our drink orders and gave us a menu. Our hostess suggested guacamole and it was soooo delicious. The fresh salsa and chips were great too! We tried the margaritas and lemon drop and entrees were delicious as well. Dessert didn't disappoint as we shared the churros dipped into melted chocolate and the icebox cake was the best. The ambiance was so nice and relaxing.

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  9. ChristinaR

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My aunt, cousin and myself went for a birthday lunch. Place was packed. We were seated and the waitress was very polite. Service was excellent. Food arrived was very appetizing and hot. I will go back again. Delicious! Thank goodness the sunset has a nice and elegant Mexican restaurant.

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  10. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Appreciated our meal. Based on the host staff experience, it might be hard to get seated when the restaurant is really busy. Very lovely. Would come back.

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  11. louise123

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Beautiful place, beautifully warm, friendly + efficient service, delectable food, yummy drinks, we will definitely be back!

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  12. AmyW

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Took my friend here for her birthday and wrote that down in the occasion — even ordered 2 desserts and there was no birthday sparkler for my friend. On top of that, we were asked if we wanted to sit at the back of the restaurant when seated towards the front — unsure why, the host didn’t give a reason. Besides that, the food was great!

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  13. Nocnurse

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Perfect Birthday Celebration from the kind hostess to our waitress to the best boys to the delicious food. Everything was just perfect. My birthday friend was overwhelmed with gratitude.

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  14. OpenTable Diner

    Seattle

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food and good service, second time there. The only thing I had reservations at 3:30. Got there at 3:18, it was a party of three and only two of us was there waiting for the other party. They said they couldn’t sit us until the third-party got there. When 3:30 arrive they said I can sit you now. Meanwhile the table was empty, within 2 minutes the third person showed up. Didn’t understand the wait 🥹 since I requested a booth because I had my 96 year old Aunt with me. I did get the booth everything was fine, but was puzzled about the wait since the table was waiting for us. I will go back beautiful decor.

    1 person found this helpful

  15. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Elena's is a wonderful restaurant to celebrate a special occasion. The atmosphere is wonderful and the service is impeccable. Our favorite part of the dinner was dessert. We had churros with chocolate sauce and they were wonderful!!

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  16. Lori07

    San Francisco

    124 reviews

    5.0

    124 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Elena's was exceptional in every way! The newly remodeled space is gorgeous and the high ceilings keep noise levels pleasant. The food was excellent and moderately priced. Our server was friendly and helpful without being intrusive. I'm pinching myself that this wonderful restaurant is in the Sunset!

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  17. SFDinerAud

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Overall, nice modern high ceiling space with fun bar, open kitchen and cozy booths. Food was on the higher end Mexican fare with $30 avg dish price, with plenty of free homemade Chevy-esque chips and salsa, large portion entree sizes and yummy drinks. We had fresh guacamole and calamari to share which are always tasty staples. I had the combo fajitas with shrimp and beef and there was definitely enough to share for two people. Overall, probably the most authentic Mexican food I've had outside of the Mission. I was shocked that the only reservation I was able to make this month (May) was on a Monday at 2:15pm for 5 people and it was still packed. We came 15 minutes early but was seated right on time as it looked like the first group of lunch reservations were finishing up. The restaurant was pretty noisy and busy, but the energetic vibe made it a fun scene and ok for us with two loud kiddos. The service was good and friendly, but had to flag the busy waitress to get extra tortillas and boxes/check. The mix of clientele was diverse, but being from the neighborhood it was good to see a lot of locals with their families including babies dining there. Overall, glad this opened up in the neighborhood! We are loyal Westlake Joe's customers so it's nice to see this open up closer in West Portal. A must try new restaurant!

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  18. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Really delicious Mexican food made in the traditional way, each member of our party had something different and we all enjoyed our meals.

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  19. DianeS

    San Francisco

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Best Mexican food and drinks we’ve had in a long time!

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  20. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing new West Portal favorite. Great in every way - a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

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  21. Swenson26

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on May 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious food and great service. Highly recommended

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  22. anabela

    Exclusive

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    I had reservation but still had to wait. The host was not friendly and she seemed bothered. The waitress did not come to table right away even though WE had to wait for table. No consideration from establishment. Foods was NOT good and it was COLD. It did not appear to be made to order because it look like food was sitting since opening then reheated. Food was bland and chips were greasey. Very disappointed

    1 person found this helpful

  23. PeterD

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 7, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    We had lunch. Made reservations three weeks ahead; the place is weirdly busy, even lunch is packed. Food was a real surprise: exactly like a typical taqueria except the price was three times higher. That said, the food was okay, but not at all interesting and the ingredients seemed commonplace. Would I go back? Not for lunch or dinner, but I’d sit at the bar and order some appetizers.

    1 person found this helpful

  24. EileenT

    San Francisco

    47 reviews

    3.0

    47 reviews

    Dined on May 7, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Gorgeous upscale looking restaurant, not typical for the West Portal neighborhood. Quick seating with reservation. Comfortable booths, reminiscent of Original Joe’s. Our waitress was friendly, polite and accommodating. The food was so-so. Perhaps should have tried some of the authentic dishes. My chicken enchiladas were good, but similar to what is served in other Mexican restaurants. The bus servers need to learn how to remove used dishes in a less intrusive manner. They reached over us and around us with a lack of respect. I am regular to that area and frequent the more rustic restaurants, that are tried and true. Will probably stick with those for now.

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  25. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Fun, friendly and the food was really good! We had a dining reservation but decided to sit at the bar and the staff was very attentive. Overall a great experience at Elena's.

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  26. Violet

    San Francisco

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on May 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Ambiance, food and service were all excellent, however the restaurant is quite loud and the tables are too close together.

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  27. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 2, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Elena's chips and dip was excellent, fish tacos very good and churros excellent. Service was wonderful but noisy.

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  28. CarmineF

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on May 2, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    We felt like we were in Mexico City. Beautiful place with a variety of foods in great portions.

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  29. KIERSTINC

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 1, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Beautiful restaurant. Excellent service. Nice cocktail. Food was good, not amazing- heavily salted. Huge portions. Very busy and loud.

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  30. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 1, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food is amazing! I’m Mexican so in the US is hard to find good authentic Mexican food and Elena’s is the best Mexican restaurant I’ve been to in the US.

    1 person found this helpful

  31. DeniseS

    San Francisco

    60 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    60 reviews

    Dined on April 30, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our first visit to this beautiful new restaurant! Fresh ingredients, delicious and spicey flavors, excellent service ! Looking forward to returning soon & trying out the bar too!

    1 person found this helpful

  32. Kathyb

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 30, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The queso fundido is excellent! Love the chips and salsa!

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  33. AliceB

    San Francisco

    23 reviews

    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on April 30, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Had a special lunch at Elena’s. Best to come between 2:30-4:30 as reservations are very difficult to get. The two of us shared tortilla soup, ala carte pork tamale, beef tacos and shrimp Diablo. All were prepared wonderfully. Expect it to take some time for the food to arrive because the place is slammed so… order a Margarita and enjoy people watching and the lovely interior!! 

    1 person found this helpful

  34. LCSFNative

    Central Coast

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on April 29, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Terrific!!! Decor, hospitality, food. All outstanding. Can’t wait to return.

    1 person found this helpful

  35. Joyceee123

    San Francisco

    38 reviews

    5.0

    38 reviews

    Dined on April 29, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was my third visit and as always it was fabulous.

    1 person found this helpful

  36. TracyN

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our server Caitlin was very friendly and a fantastic. Hostess was nice and we were seated immediately with our reservation.

    1 person found this helpful

  37. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 25, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The service at Elena's is superb. They have friendly wait staff & host. The food is always hot and very fresh. 10's across the board for the restaurant. If only there was more than one location. If you're looking for a reservation I suggest booking a 2 weeks out, or you can always add your name to the waitlist. I absolutely love this place.

    1 person found this helpful

  38. Katarina

    San Francisco

    90 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    90 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our first meal at Elena's was excellent and we will definitely return! Four of us loved the new space for lunch; it was vibrant and very attractive, and the noise was not too loud, a real coup for those of us who wear hearing aids. We loved the margaritas and the thin, tasty chips with the lovely smokey salsa. One of our group loves HOT, so the server kindly brought him a small bowl of hot sauce that he could add to his salsa as needed. She also accommodated his wish for a plate of carnitas, since there is not one on the menu, and that request was accommodated as well, accompanied by rice and beans and a small salad, with a reasonable price of $28. The rest of us had 2 fish tacos with grilled cod, 2 fish tacos baja style (breaded & fried fish), and Gracie's 3 crispy tacos with ground beef and perfect spices. All four dishes were excellent and the fish tacos had a very nice white baja creme that spruced up the flavor very nicely. For dessert, we all split a Chocoflan, a marvelous melding of a thin layer of chocolate cake topped with vanilla flan and caramel sauce, superbly delicious without being too sweet. A fine finish to a filling meal that put smiles on our faces. Kudos on a great start, Elena's! Thank goodness for an upscale Mexican restaurant in San Francisco's West Portal. We will go back!!

    1 person found this helpful

  39. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Caitlin (hope i spelled that right) was outstanding. She provided us with multiple recommendations and spieled the menu for us perfectly. Will definitely come back and will ask for Caitlin again. 10/10 would recommend!

    1 person found this helpful

  40. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 23, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Absolutely a lovely experience again! Food is wonderful and the environment also great. Nicest people working here, always willing to make accomodations.

    1 person found this helpful

FAQs

Elena's is rated 4.6 stars by 90 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 48 times today
Google Map for Elena's

255 W Portal Ave, San Francisco, CA 94127-1401

Additional information

  • Neighborhood
    Forest Hill / West Portal
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Thu 11:30 am–10:00 pm Fri 11:30 am–11:00 pm Sat 10:30 am–11:00 pm Sun 10:30 am–10:00 pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Mexican
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Parking details
    None
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