San Francisco is about to gain a new spot for scratch-made Mexican-American cuisine served with a Bay Area twist. Xica is under construction at 1265 Battery St. at Levi’s Plaza. The restaurant is the next chapter for chef and owner Maria Esquivel, who you may recognize as the face behind CHICA Oakland.
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Since its founding in 2014, Esquivel has been serving up nourishing Chicana-style cooking, which includes Mexican-American dishes such as Chilaquiles, Pozole, Lenguiça & Papa breakfast tacos and more. In addition to catering, CHICA established a restaurant in 2016 on Oakland Avenue, where it has become a true neighborhood spot.
This isn’t Esquivel’s first time across the bridge. From 2015 to 2020, the Oakland native previously operated a take-out window in Levi’s Plaza but now, she will be returning with a full-fledged permanent restaurant. “We’re super excited and humbled to be back in this beautiful space,” Esquivel tells What Now San Francisco, adding that she hopes to open in November.
Taking cues from CHICA Oakland, Xica will serve up a similar menu but Esquivel says the new locale will allow her to take things to the next level. The developing menu will be more playful and flirty, while in addition to brunch and lunch, Xica will remain open for dinner.