Where to eat the Best Chilaquiles in Sonoma County Restaurants

Mexican chilaquiles are a breakfast and brunch staple at taquerias and upscale restaurants throughout Sonoma County. Here are some of the best...

Chilaquiles breakfast at Viola Pastry Cafe in Santa Rosa, California
Chilaquiles breakfast at Viola Pastry Cafe in Santa Rosa, California ©heather irwin

Chilaquiles, pronounced chil-a-KEE-les are a tried-and-truer hangover remedy you’ll be hard-pressed not to love. Translated as either “broken up old sombrero” or “herbs in a chili broth”, they’re a smart way to use up old corn tortillas as well as a hearty morning repast, and pretty easy to find throughout Sonoma County.

Despite being deadly simple to make, but hard to get just right — soft and crispy at the same time. Whether soaked overnight or given a quick spritz, the idea is to give stale corn tortillas a quick fry, then a leisurely bath in either salsa or mole until they’re pliable. Scramble in some eggs, top with cheese, sour cream, avocados and a side of beans and you’re fueled up for the day.

Most taquerias serve them for breakfast (and even into lunch), but snazzier spots are also getting in on the action. Here are some favorite places to find this Mexican morning treat. Prices range from $9 to $20, depending on what you add on.

Uptown Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles with some chef-inspired flair.

Chilaquiles at Jeffrey’s Hillside Cafe in Santa Rosa

Jeffrey’s Hillside Cafe: Another reader favorite, the secret here is the sauce. Chef Madura does a blend of tomatillos, cilantro, chilies and garlic that hugs the fried tortilla strips. Eggs and beans are served on the side.2901 4th Street  Santa Rosa, (707) 546-6317.

Gypsy Cafe: A bowl of eggs scrambled with tortilla strips, cheddar, red tomato chile sauce, avocado and cilantro pesto with toast. 162 North Main Street  Sebastopol, (707) 861-3825.

Flavor Bistro: They’ve just started serving breakfast Wednesday through Sunday, and chilaquiles is on the menu with a zesty red sauce. 96 Old Courthouse Square  Santa Rosa, (707) 573-9600.

Downtown Chilaquiles

Demolished chilaquiles

More authentic Mexican versions of chilaquiles, made with traditional ingredients.

La Texanita: The chilaquiles that started a quest for great chilaquiles began at this unassuming Roseland eatery years ago. This authentic version is simple and straightforward, served with either red or green sauce. Go for the green and add some carnitas to really spice things up. (1667 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa).

Las Palmas: Readers raved about this real-deal version at one of Santa Rosa’s best Mexican taquerias. 415 Santa Rosa Avenue  Santa Rosa, (707) 546-3091.

Agave: I’m a huge fan of the mole, made daily by Octavio Diaz’ Oaxacan mother in Healdsburg. Their version of chilaquiles comes with tasajo, thinly sliced grilled beef. 1063 Vine Street  Healdsburg, (707) 433-2411.

El Molino Central: Everything here is done from scratch, including the stone-ground masa for the ultra-fresh tortillas. They’re thick and toothy, with a spicy roasted tomato and chipotle sauce, soft scrambled eggs and Rancho Gordo beans on the side. Chilaquiles “El Cardenal”, $10.50, available before 11a.m.

What’s your favorite place for chilaquiles?


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16 thoughts on “Where to eat the Best Chilaquiles in Sonoma County Restaurants

  1. No one makes it like Grandma! I do love everything Las Palmas, especially the Chilaquiles. They even have a habenero paste available on request that is delicious.

  2. Nice to see El Molino Central mentioned. My absolute favorite despite a 30 mile (one way) drive from our place. Best chilaquiles ever, hell, best EVERYTHING ever. They make the tortillas that are served in Heaven. Two badger paws WAY up!!!

  3. My favorite place for anything breakfast(including Chilaquiles)is Colibri on Montgomery. Nice people, great food.

  4. I’ve had them at Jeffrey’s and Las Palmas– and totally agree they are fantastic! Thanks for the good story Heather– I will definitely be venturing out to some of these other spots to try more Chilaquiles!!

  5. I agree with Casey… SuCas (on Calistoga Road) has hands down the BEST chilaquiles, not to mention some amazing breakfast burritos applesauce filled pancakes. And for Huevos Rancheros – Carlos’ Country Kitchen on College Avenue.

  6. Please remove La Texanita from the”Best Chilaquiles” list. I have had great meals there, however a few weeks ago I ordered chilaquiles and they were absolutely awful. Overcooked (not fried, overcooked) tortillas and sauce (which did not taste fresh), with horrible chicken that tasted reheated and simply awful. As much as I have loved La Texanita in the past, it was so bad last time I am wary of trying it again. Las Palmas, Elenita, others are safer bets as they are always high quality.

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