For a unique and intimate dining experience without too big a hit on your wallet, check out Mr. Pollo, in San Francisco’s Mission district. The delightful intimacy of the tiny room also makes advance reservations a must. 

Here chef-owner Manny Torres Gimenez serves inspiring South American food specializing in a set four-course tasting menu that changes daily, but always includes a specialty Arepa. This staple of Colombia and Venezuelan cuisine is a cross between a taco and a pupusa featuring white corn disks fried and filled with a variety of savory filllngs.