Living in San Luis Obispo for the past three years has been an amazing experience. Nestled halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, SLO offers beautiful beaches, amazing hikes and delicious food. But if there's one thing I've been missing from home since the day I left for college, it's authentic Mexican food.

If you've ever been to the Bay Area, you know restaurants don't mess around when it comes to delicious food. Whether you're craving Thai, Indian, Japanese, Cuban or Mexican, you are guaranteed to find an authentic spot somewhere in the Bay Area.

After calling the Bay home for nearly twenty years and lots of trial and error, I found the best authentic Mexican restaurants the Bay Area has to offer.

Los Panchos, Pacheco

With a few locations throughout the East Bay, Los Panchos is a locals favorite. This family-owned restaurant has been serving authentic Mexican food since 1991 and features a full menu of Mexican specialties guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. You can't go wrong with the traditional BCR: beans, cheese and rice burrito. It's simple yet perfect, and highly addicting. Aside from their burritos, Los Panchos is famous for their homemade bean dip. Made with delicious spices and topped with Monterey jack cheese, you'll be seeing this gooey dip in your dreams. Try it with some chips or smothered on top of your tacos, whichever way you eat it, I promise you this bean dip will change your life.

New Mecca Cafe, Pittsburgh

New Mecca Cafe is famous for their legendary bean dip and homemade flour tortilla chips. This authentic little cafe serves indulgent and comforting Mexican food, bringing in customers from all over the Bay Area. Some of their most popular items are their crunchy tacos and cheesy enchiladas. The creamy beans and fluffy rice will melt in your mouth, and you can enjoy them wrapped in a tortilla, by themselves or with their homemade flour tortilla chips.

Fun fact: The longtime owner of New Mecca Cafe catered locker rooms for the Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers, so you know the food is legit.

La Taqueria, San Francisco

This taqueria located in the Mission district is home to one of the best burritos in the Bay Area (and possibly the country). Pretty much everyone in San Francisco will agree with you, hence the daily long lines. La Taqueria is famous for their rice-less "El Dorado-style" burritos which are grilled to perfection. When you order your burrito or taco "El Dorado-style", you'll receive a perfectly golden, crispy tortilla with a melted interior. No matter what you order here, do yourself a favor and make it "El Dorado-style".

Taqueria El Farolito, San Francisco

Last, but surely not least is Taqueria El Farolito. This Mexican restaurant located in the Mission district serves authentic Mexican food until the wee hours of the night. Although you'll have to endure a long line, it is surely worth the wait. People line up around the block for their insanely delicious super burritos, tacos and suiza quesadillas. They load their burritos with sour cream, avocado, marinated meat, rice and beans, giving it just the right amount of creaminess. Top your burrito off with some of their homemade salsas and thank me later.

Although I consider these places the best Mexican restaurants in the Bay Area, my search for authentic Mexican food is a quest that will never end. The Bay Area is home to some of the best food in the country. If you haven't ventured far from American food, I suggest booking a trip to the Bay and exploring all of the food it has to offer.