Chilean Empanadas in San Francisco

Before heading out to see the Golden Gate Bridge, R’s husband JP, my tour guide for the day, decided that we should have breakfast. Since I had woken up at 5:30 that morning (jet lag) and had eaten breakfast around 7:00, by 11:00 I was ready to eat again.

With visions of scrambled eggs and pancakes in my mind, we set off. I should have realized that even though we were in the U.S, my tour guide was Chilean and breakfast for him is not waffles or bacon at a diner.

“Do you want to eat an empanada?” he asked me.

“What? Where?” I asked.

“I know a place,” he told me, “my friend works there.”

So we went and got empanadas at Chile Lindo in San Francisco. We both got the traditional pino flavor (chopped steak with onions, a raisin, half a hard-boiled egg and an olive), although they also have cheese-jalapeño and a vegan option.

The empanada was good. I’m not a huge fan of pino empanadas in general, but it was maybe one of the best I’ve ever had. Definitely in the top five. At US $5.00 a pop, it better have been good. In Chile, you can get a pino empanada for a little over US $1.00. I guess that is how supply and demand works. 🙂

We met the owner, Paula, who was very nice and invited us to a Chilean music concert for the next night. We were unable to attend because we had to go to Santa Cruz, but it was a nice gesture.

If you’re in San Francisco and craving a taste of Chile, check out Chile Lindo. It’s a small shop at 2944 16th Street in San Francisco. It’s mostly to-go, but there is a small counter with three stools.

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12 thoughts on “Chilean Empanadas in San Francisco

    • I’ve had Argentine and Bolivian empanadas, in comparison Chile’s are bigger and have less complicated fillings. What types of empanadas have you tried?

  1. Hi Abby:

    Thanks so much for your write up about Chile Lindo. Please visit ChileLindo.com and join my newsletter, as I’m always publishing events that relate to Chile and the Mission District, San Francisco. Also, if you want to get the word out about your blog, an event, so on, I would be happy to publish it. My goal is to link Chile/South America and the Bay Area/EEUU, and create networking opportunities through the site, fb, twiiter, etc.

    As far as the pricing of the empanadas goes, …actually the price is set at $5.50 w/tax not because of demand, but because of how expensive it is to run a business in San Francisco. We use nothing but top of the line ingredients, such as Niman Ranch beef, and cage free eggs. Also, labor and taxes in San Francisco are extravagan!. I want to produce the best possible product, and try to keep it as affordable as possible.

    I can’t tell you how important it is for a small business to get this sort of “word-of-mouth” publicity. It helps a great deal.

    Once again MUCHAS GRACIAS,
    PAULA

    • Hi Paula, I’ll be sure to sign up for your e-mail list and try to get the word out. And I completely understand about everything being more expensive in the U.S. than in Chile…and the empanadas were so good it was worth it!

      • Hi Abby, once again thank you very much getting the word out about Chile Lindo. Word-of-mouth is the most valuable marketing our business could hope for. Muchas gracias.–Paula

  2. Pingback: The Golden Gate Bridge « Abby's Line

  3. Pingback: The Golden Gate Bridge « Abby's Line

  4. Oh nostalgia … true story:
    Chile Lindo has been around in the Mission District for YEARS … in fact, when I was little and had first arrived to the U.S. with my mom, we didn’t have much money so we ventured out all the way to the Mission District to a free clinic, where my pediatrician used to work.
    Back then Chile Lindo was owned by another Chilean family, and we also used to go in and every once in a while eat the empanadas and other Chilean things that mostly my mom was nostalgic over (being 4, I had no clue.)
    Eventually we stopped going there because we moved out of SF and also, the shop changed owners. I wonder now how many owners its had in total?
    In any case, I have memories of eating there after very painful vaccinations down at the free clinic … who knew your trip to SF would bring out so many old memories of mine!

    • That’s awesome! I had no idea it had been open that long! I met Paula, the current owner (see her comments below), maybe she knows how many owners it has had. Glad I could bring back some memories. 🙂

  5. Oh nostalgia … true story:
    Chile Lindo has been around in the Mission District for YEARS … in fact, when I was little and had first arrived to the U.S. with my mom, we didn’t have much money so we ventured out all the way to the Mission District to a free clinic, where my pediatrician used to work.
    Back then Chile Lindo was owned by another Chilean family, and we also used to go in and every once in a while eat the empanadas and other Chilean things that mostly my mom was nostalgic over (being 4, I had no clue.)
    Eventually we stopped going there because we moved out of SF and also, the shop changed owners. I wonder now how many owners its had in total?
    In any case, I have memories of eating there after very painful vaccinations down at the free clinic … who knew your trip to SF would bring out so many old memories of mine!

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