Tacos Sinaloa sets up shop in Berkeley

Karen Chow/Staff

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A crowd gathered on Telegraph Avenue on Friday to attend the grand opening of Tacos Sinaloa, Berkeley’s newest Mexican restaurant.

Although the restaurant is new to Berkeley, the business’s roots stem from its original Oakland location. While the restaurant started out in a building, the owner later decided to run it out of two food trucks in the restaurant’s parking lot as well. The restaurant, which can be found at the intersection of International Boulevard and 22nd Avenue, is incredibly popular among Bay Area residents, especially — according to owner Lupe Bueno’s daughter, Marlem Bueno — those from Berkeley.

Marlem Bueno said her father had always wanted to open a location in Berkeley because many of their customers were Berkeley residents. It was difficult, however, for them to find a location for a food truck. When 2384 Telegraph Ave. became available, the Buenos saw their chance and opened their restaurant in a building instead of a food truck.

Tacos Sinaloa’s opening comes as good news for Marty Berg, the owner of neighboring business Bill’s Footwear. The property has been going on and off the market for several years, which, as Berg said, has left the space empty at times.

“Empty storefronts don’t do anybody any good,” Berg said, adding that the more foot traffic there is on Telegraph Avenue, the more business stores receive. He hopes turnover will stop now that Tacos Sinaloa occupies the space.

According to campus junior Lupe Ruvalcaba, “There’s always room for authentic Mexican places (in Berkeley).”

Tacos Sinaloa’s “authenticity” is one of its selling points. According to the business’s Facebook page, its name is taken from the Mexican state Sinaloa, the home state of owner Lupe Bueno.

On the same page, Tacos Sinaloa promises to continue to serve “authentic Mexican Tacos and mariscos (seafood) with flavors from the state of Sinaloa just like the ones from Oakland” at its new Berkeley location.

Jackie Hong, a UC Berkeley junior from Oakland and a Tacos Sinaloa customer, said at the grand opening that he was excited the business had set up shop near campus.

“I love the tacos here,” he said.

Jerry Wu, a campus junior who attended the grand opening, agreed with Hong. He said he liked that Tacos Sinaloa offered a unique selection of meats, such as beef tongue. He ordered three meat tacos: carne asada, carnitas and pastor — a type of spicy pork.

Alongside its tacos, Tacos Sinaloa also sells burritos, super burritos and quesadillas, as well as various aguas frescas.

Contact Laurel Bard at [email protected].