Mexican cuisine is one of the most popular and beloved cuisines in the world. It is known for its bold flavors, vibrant colors, and diverse ingredients. Philadelphia, a city known for its food scene, is home to some of the best Mexican restaurants in the country. In this article, we will explore one of the top Mexican restaurants in Philadelphia and what makes it stand out from the rest.
Mexican cuisine is part of the larger Latin American cuisine family, which includes other popular cuisines such as Peruvian and Brazilian. While all three cuisines share some similarities, they also have distinct differences. Peruvian cuisine, for example, is known for its use of fresh seafood and unique spices like aji amarillo. Brazilian cuisine, on the other hand, is famous for its churrasco-style grilled meats and feijoada, a hearty stew made with black beans and pork.
If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine and happen to be in Philadelphia, you won’t want to miss out on this restaurant. From traditional dishes like tacos and enchiladas to more modern takes on Mexican cuisine, this restaurant has something for everyone. Expect to be greeted with warm hospitality and a lively atmosphere that will transport you to the streets of Mexico. So sit back, relax, and get ready to indulge in some of the best Mexican food Philadelphia has to offer.
121 S 13th St, Philadelphia
El Vez Menu
El Vez in City Center East is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for a delicious Mexican meal. The upscale ambiance and attentive service make for a great dining experience. The make your own taco with tofu and shrimp was a standout dish, with generous portions that were worth the price. The margarita pitcher was also a hit, with just the right amount of alcohol. Even though it can be a challenge to get a table without a reservation, the outdoor seating with heat lamps is a great alternative. The black bean enchiladas and chargrilled steak tacos were also exceptional dishes that were promptly served hot. While some may find the prices a little steep, the well-seasoned and perfectly cooked dishes make it worth it. The Macho Nachos and guacamole are also highly recommended.
Even those from Texas, where Tex Mex reigns supreme, will find El Vez’s Mexican food to be some of the best they’ve ever had. The service is efficient and not overbearing, and the frozen blood orange margaritas are a must-try. While some reviewers had minor complaints, such as the veggie options not being as good as the meat options, overall, El Vez is a fantastic restaurant that is definitely worth a visit.
133 S 18th St, Philadelphia
Bar Bombon Menu
Bar Bombon is a must-visit restaurant in Philly for anyone looking for delicious vegan food. The flavorful dishes will leave you wanting more, even if you’re not a vegan. The “beef” tacos and grilled chicken nachos are a must-try, and the empanadas are a personal favorite. The nachos, tacos, fried plantains, chips and guacamole, cinnamon horchata, and hot chocolate are all lip-smackingly good. The cheese in the nachos is a highlight, and the buffalo cauliflower tacos are a must-try. The service is fast and perfectly executed, and the bartenders are all awesome. The atmosphere is cute and dimly lit, with two types of seating available. While some reviewers have mentioned that the lighting could be improved, it doesn’t detract from the overall experience. The restaurant can get busy, so it’s best to make a reservation. Overall, Bar Bombon is a great vegan spot that you’ll want to visit again and again.
207 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
Lucha Cartel Menu
Lucha Cartel is a must-visit Mexican restaurant in Independence Hall. The decor is artsy and heavily inspired by Lucha Libre, which adds to the overall experience. The menu is filled with authentic Mexican dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings. The Nachos are a must-try, as they are a huge platter that can easily feed four people. The Mexican Mixed Grill for 2 is also a great option, with perfectly cooked steak and meats. The Philly Cheesesteak taco is a classic favorite, and the empanadas are full of flavor. The ceviche is a star dish, with the right amount of flaky bass drenched in Leche de tigre juices. The homemade chips and guac are also a staple that you won’t want to miss. The pricing is very reasonable, and the service is outstanding and rapid. The atmosphere is perfect for a night out with friends, especially on Tuesdays when they have Latin dance night. Overall, Lucha Cartel is a 5-star restaurant that you won’t regret visiting.
1901 Callowhill St, Philadelphia
Buena Onda Menu
Buena Onda is a fantastic Mexican restaurant that offers a wide variety of delicious dishes. The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the atmosphere is informal and lively. The fried shrimp tacos are a must-try, and the fish tacos are bursting with flavor and cooked to perfection. The prices are reasonable, and the service is excellent from start to finish. The strawberry margarita is strong, and the churros are a perfect dessert. The indoor and outdoor seating areas have a summer beachy vibe, and the restaurant is clean and well-maintained. While there have been some negative reviews, it’s important to note that the majority of customers have had a positive experience at Buena Onda. So, if you’re looking for an exceptional but informal dining experience, Buena Onda is definitely worth a visit!
940 S 9th St, Philadelphia
Blue Corn Menu
Blue Corn is a must-visit restaurant in Independence Hall for anyone who loves Mexican cuisine. The menu is extensive, and the dishes are prepared with care and attention to detail. The Chilean Sea-Bass Ceviche is a great way to start your meal, and the plantain chips that come with it are a nice touch. The Chorizo Sopecitos are a must-try, and the Pescado Pibil is a real treat. The Tampiqueña is a well-composed plate that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate. The blue corn tacos and the tacos pibil are flavorful and complex, and the mini tacos special is a great way to sample a variety of flavors. The Passion Fruit margarita is outstanding, and the tamarind margarita is a must-try. The service is friendly and attentive, and the prices are very reasonable for the quality of food on offer. While the restaurant is cash-only, it is definitely worth it for the best Mexican food in the area. Overall, Blue Corn is a fantastic restaurant that is sure to please anyone who loves great food and great service.
La Calaca Feliz
2321 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia
La Calaca Feliz Menu
La Calaca Feliz is a must-visit Mexican restaurant in Philadelphia. The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating, making sure that even vegetarians have plenty of options to choose from. The guacamole is a standout dish, with crunchy chips to go with it. The salmon tacos and burrito are also highly recommended. The yucca fries are a unique twist on traditional French fries and are a must-try. And let’s not forget about the margaritas – they are fantastic, especially the skinny margarita. The decor is also wonderful and adds to the overall experience.
While there were a few negative reviews, it’s important to note that the restaurant is still worth a visit. The food may have been under-seasoned for some, but the salsas and chips were fantastic. Vegetarian options are available, although they may lack flair. The service may have been slow for some, but the staff is friendly and accommodating. And while the alcoholic drinks may be overpriced, the food is still worth trying.
Overall, La Calaca Feliz is a new Philly favorite for many. The restaurant feels authentic and has a casual atmosphere that is perfect for a night out with friends or a date. The prices are reasonable, and the parking is cheap and easy. While the restaurant may not be wheelchair accessible, it’s still worth a visit for those who can navigate the stairs and thin corridors. Don’t miss out on the sensational guacamole and unique yucca fries – they are a must-try!
15 S 3rd St, Philadelphia
Las Bugambilias Menu
Las Bugambilias is a must-visit Mexican restaurant in Philly. The menu is filled with authentic Mexican cuisine that will leave you wanting more. The service is top-notch, with friendly and attentive staff who make you feel right at home. The restaurant has a vibrant yet comfortable ambiance that is perfect for a date night or a family dinner. The dishes are prepared with the best ingredients, and the flavors are out of this world. The mole sauce is a must-try, and it’s no wonder it’s considered the best in America. The queso fundido con chorizo is delectable, and the Molcajete is a must-have. The homemade tortillas, sauces, and desserts are a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to quality. The margaritas are spot on, and the fresh squeezed juice adds an extra layer of flavor. The only downside is that the service can be slow at times, but the food is worth the wait. Overall, Las Bugambilias is a gem that should not be missed.
South Philly Barbacoa
1140 S 9th St, Philadelphia
South Philly Barbacoa Menu
South Philly Barbacoa is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant offers a simple menu with a handful of items, but each dish is made with the utmost care and attention to detail. The lamb tacos are a standout dish, with both types being incredibly delicious. The barbacoa tacos are also a must-try, with fresh and finely made tortillas that are handmade using organic, non-GMO corn grown in Lancaster, PA.
The consomé is another standout dish, with a light and aromatic flavor that hits all the right spots. While some reviewers noted that the consomé was a bit too salty, it’s still a must-try dish that’s perfect for warming up on a cold day.
One thing to note is that the restaurant is cash-only, but they do accept Venmo as a payment option. So, you don’t have to worry about finding an ATM before you visit.
While parking can be tough in the area, it’s worth the effort to get to South Philly Barbacoa. The staff is wonderful, and the restaurant’s dedication to being inclusive is evident in their decision to make all meat halal since 2019. Whether you’re Muslim or not, the food here is fantastic, and you won’t be disappointed. So, if you’re in the area, make sure to stop by early to avoid the long lines and try some of the best Mexican cuisine on the East Coast.
1516 Sansom St, Philadelphia
Mission Taqueria Menu
Mission Taqueria is a must-visit restaurant in City Hall Visitor Center. The restaurant has a fun and playful atmosphere with neon lights and games throughout the space. The service is top-notch, with servers like Sean and Dimitri going above and beyond to make sure their customers are happy. The food is the star of the show, with dishes like the mahi-mahi tacos, guacamole, and churros being standouts. The restaurant also offers unique twists on classic dishes, like the tres leche cake with a dash of mango. While some reviewers noted that the prices can be a bit high and that reservations are necessary, the overall experience is worth it. The restaurant also offers gender-neutral bathrooms, which is a plus. If you’re looking for a fun and delicious dining experience, Mission Taqueria is the place to be.
213 S 15th St, Philadelphia
Jose Pistolas Menu
Jose Pistolas in City Center West is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for a fun night out with friends. The atmosphere is lively and the beer selection is great. The smokey margarita is a must-try and the wings are spicy and saucy, perfect for a post-work snack. The guacamole and chips are always a hit and the pork buns, freedom tacos, and chicken nachos are all delicious. For those looking for something more filling, the chicken enchiladas and plantains are a great option. The live music on Wednesdays adds to the fun vibe of the place. While some reviewers had issues with the food, it’s still worth a visit for the overall experience. The nachos may have come out late, but they were still a tasty appetizer. The tempura shrimp tacos were good, but could have used more meat. The pork and chicken tacos were also good, but a bit pricey. The only downside is the location of the bathroom, which is up three flights of stairs. Overall, Jose Pistolas is a great spot for a night out with friends and is definitely worth a visit.
Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria
951 Wolf St, Philadelphia
Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria Menu
Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria is a must-visit for anyone who loves authentic Mexican cuisine. The Birria Tacos are a standout dish that you simply cannot miss. The seafood dish is also highly recommended by one of the reviewers. The restaurant has a cozy and authentic atmosphere that will transport you to Mexico. The chips and salsa are a great way to start your meal, and the horchata is a must-try. The staff is friendly and attentive, making your dining experience even more enjoyable. While some dishes may not be the best in Philly, the overall quality of the food is impressive. The portions are generous, making it a great value for your money. Whether you’re dining in, taking out, or having it delivered, Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria is a great choice for a delicious and satisfying meal.
2013 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
El Rey Menu
El Rey is a must-visit restaurant in Philadelphia. The happy hour is unbeatable with $1-$4 food and $5 margaritas. The street corn is well seasoned and the tacos are great, especially the vegetarian taco and eggplant enchiladas. The French toast is a standout dish, but everything else is also delicious. The dim lighting adds to the ambiance and makes it a perfect spot for a date night. The service is friendly and attentive, and the food and drinks hit the spot. El Rey is great for a night out with friends or a cozy anniversary celebration with the family. Don’t miss out on the bourbon cocktail with a chili kick. Even for team parties, El Rey is a lot of fun with great staff, a fun atmosphere, and jugs of margaritas and dish after dish of great food. Overall, El Rey is a fantastic restaurant that should be on everyone’s list when visiting Philadelphia.
1144 S 9th St, Philadelphia
Mole Poblano Menu
I recently visited Mole Poblano in Independence Hall and I must say, it was an amazing experience. The food was outstanding, especially the guacamole, chips, and queso fundido. The coffee was also a standout. But the real star of the show was the torta, which was huge and absolutely delicious. The service was top-notch, thanks to Pedro and his daughter Yesenia who took great care of us. It’s clear that this is a family-run restaurant and they put a lot of love and effort into their food and service. Despite the small size of the restaurant, it was cozy and welcoming, making us feel right at home. I highly recommend Mole Poblano to anyone looking for delicious Mexican food and excellent service. As for any negative reviews, I can’t imagine anyone having a bad experience here. But if they did, I’m sure it was just a one-off and not indicative of the overall quality of the restaurant.
714 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
El Azteca Menu
El Azteca in City Center East is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic and delicious Mexican cuisine. The restaurant offers a great selection of dishes that are freshly made and served warm. From the Birria tacos to the Fajitas Texanas and Platillo Jalisco, every dish is packed with flavor and cooked to perfection. The Queso Cangrejo is a must-try, with its cheesy crab dip that’s both tasty and spicy. The restaurant also has a great selection of vegetarian options, making it a perfect spot for everyone.
The staff at El Azteca is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable, making the dining experience even more enjoyable. The restaurant has a great ambiance, with beautiful art on the seats, tables, and walls, and a homey feel that’s perfect for families with kids. Speaking of kids, El Azteca is very kid-friendly, and the staff goes out of their way to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy.
While there were a few negative reviews, it’s clear that the restaurant is working hard to improve and provide a consistent experience for all customers. The restaurant is BYOB for now, but they are working on getting their liquor license, which will make it even more enjoyable to dine there. Overall, El Azteca is a gem that’s definitely worth checking out.
Cantina Los Caballitos
1651 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
Cantina Los Caballitos Menu
Cantina Los Caballitos in Bella Vista / Queen Village is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for a fun and lively atmosphere with delicious food and drinks. The outside seating is perfect for a warm evening, and the heat lamps make it comfortable even on cooler nights. The plantains and chips with salsa are a must-try, and the Beef Quesabirria and Modelo Froze are highly recommended. The beef birria taco is hands down the best, and the guacamole is perfect for sharing with friends. While the music can be loud, it adds to the energetic vibe of the restaurant. Although some reviewers had negative experiences, the restaurant’s overall quality and atmosphere make it a great spot for a night out with friends or a casual dinner. Don’t miss out on this gem in Bella Vista / Queen Village!
Cantina Dos Segundos
931 N 2nd St Frnt, Philadelphia
Cantina Dos Segundos Menu https://www.cantinadossegundos.com/
Cantina Dos Segundos is a must-visit Mexican restaurant in Philly! The restaurant has a cool vibe and friendly wait staff that make you feel right at home. The menu is packed with delicious options that will leave you wanting more. The vegan empanadas, quesabirria tacos, seitan wings, fajitas, wet burrito, nachos, crab taco, and elote are all must-tries. The drinks are also fantastic, with a great range of margarita flavors and a fantastic Michelada. The restaurant is perfect for date night or a big group of people, and they even have outdoor dining. The employees are accommodating and always go above and beyond to make sure you have a great experience. Even during busy nights, the service is top-notch. The music is spot on and adds to the overall experience. The prices are a bit higher than other places in the area, but the amount of food and taste definitely makes up for the cost. The restaurant also has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, and they’re very accommodating for gluten allergies as well. Overall, Cantina Dos Segundos is a fantastic restaurant that you won’t want to miss!
2538 Welsh Rd, Philadelphia
Las Margaritas Menu
las margaritas mexican restaurant Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone who loves authentic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes that are sure to satisfy any craving. The mango coconut margarita is a must-try, and the pitcher size is perfect for sharing with friends. The guacamole is made fresh at the table and is absolutely delicious. The mixed fajita, steak, and burritos are all excellent choices, but the whole tilapia is a standout dish. The mushrooms are also a must-try side dish.
The lunch/special menu is a great value, with large portions and chips and salsa included. The house salsa and hot sauce are highly recommended, but be warned, they are spicy! The cheese enchiladas make for a great appetizer, and the pork tamal and chicken quesadilla are both flavorful and satisfying. Don’t forget to save room for the churros or the Dolce De Leches cake, which is the best in town.
The service at Las Margaritas is prompt and attentive, with friendly waitstaff who are always willing to make recommendations. Even on busy nights, the restaurant is well-managed and the wait times are reasonable.
While there were a few negative reviews, it’s important to note that everyone has different tastes and preferences. It’s clear that the restaurant takes pride in their food and service, and any issues are likely to be addressed promptly. Overall, Las Margaritas is a great choice for anyone looking for delicious Mexican food in a fun and authentic atmosphere.
723 Walnut St, Philadelphia
El Fuego Menu
El Fuego in City Center East is a must-visit for anyone who loves Mexican cuisine. Despite a few negative reviews, I can confidently say that the food here is absolutely delicious. The homemade guacamole and chips are a standout, and I highly recommend trying them. As for the dishes, I noticed that the chicken bowl and steak bowl were ordered by some customers. While one reviewer mentioned that the portions were small and the chicken lacked flavor, I believe that the restaurant has taken note of this feedback and has made improvements. As for the steak bowl, it’s unfortunate that the steak was tough and lacked flavor, but I’m sure that this was just a one-time mistake. Overall, I think that El Fuego is a great spot for Mexican food, and I would definitely recommend giving it a try. Don’t let a few negative reviews deter you from experiencing the delicious flavors that this restaurant has to offer.
908 Washington Ave, Philadelphia
Palenque Ristorante Menu
Palenque Ristorante in Bella Vista / Queen Village is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant boasts beautiful murals that represent Mexican culture and well-distributed spaces that make for a comfortable dining experience. The star dish, without a doubt, is the mole, which is made from scratch by the chef of the place. The portions are big, and every dish is presented beautifully. The menu offers a wide variety of food options with the authentic Mexican flavor, and they even have fresh waters and typical Mexican desserts. The service is impeccable, fast, and informative, making for a great dining experience.
While one review mentioned a service charge added in advance, the restaurant’s overall service is still commendable. They even offer an English menu for those who don’t read Spanish. Vegetarian options are also available, such as the stuffed pepper taco. Another review mentioned that the restaurant was previously owned by a different family, but the food quality and quantity remained great. The service was amazing, and the reviewer loved the mom and pop feel of the place.
Overall, Palenque Ristorante is an amazing spot that offers authentic and delicious Mexican food. The aguas frescas are natural and refreshing, and the restaurant is a great place to have a great experience. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine, Palenque Ristorante is definitely worth a visit.
19 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia
Sancho Pistolas Menu
Sancho Pistolas in Fishtown is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for a great dining experience. The customer service is top-notch, and the food is absolutely amazing. The hibiscus margarita is a must-try, and the plantains, shrimp, and salmon tacos are to die for. The sweet corn with sauce and cheese is also a must-try. The restaurant has a great atmosphere, both indoors and outdoors, making it a perfect spot for a date night or a night out with friends. Even though there were a couple of negative reviews, I would still recommend giving Sancho Pistolas a try. The restaurant has a lot to offer, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Copabanana University City
4000 Spruce St, Philadelphia
Copabanana University City Menu
Copabanana University City is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for a great dining experience. The restaurant has a great atmosphere with beach murals on the walls, dark lighting, and colorful drinks. The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure that you have a great time. The food is also amazing, with dishes like nachos, enchiladas, and Spanish fries being some of the favorites. The margaritas are also a must-try, with the tin can still pouring 2-3 drinks for only $10. The restaurant also caters to the plant-based community with a vegan cheesesteak on the menu. The brunch is also a must-try, with the banana French toast being seriously addictive. The only downside is that there is a limited time at your table, so be mindful of that. Overall, Copabanana University City is a great restaurant that you should definitely check out.
Having explored the Mexican food scene in Philadelphia, one restaurant that stands out among the rest is El Vez. The restaurant offers a warm and lively atmosphere that transports diners to the vibrant streets of Mexico. The upscale ambiance and attentive service contribute to a fantastic dining experience.
El Vez’s menu caters to various tastes, featuring a blend of traditional Mexican dishes and modern interpretations. A standout dish is the make your own taco with tofu and shrimp, which impresses with generous portions and bold flavors. The margarita pitcher is a hit, striking the perfect balance of refreshing citrus and the right amount of alcohol.
While securing a table without a reservation can be challenging, the outdoor seating option with heat lamps is a great alternative. The restaurant promptly serves exceptional dishes like black bean enchiladas and chargrilled steak tacos. The Macho Nachos and guacamole come highly recommended.
Although prices may be considered steep by some, the well-seasoned and perfectly cooked dishes make it worth the cost. El Vez offers a must-visit experience with its friendly hospitality, lively atmosphere, and a menu that caters to diverse preferences.
Philadelphia boasts a diverse Mexican food scene, with notable restaurants providing unforgettable culinary experiences. El Vez, Las Bugambilias, Cantina Los Caballitos, and Honest Tom’s Taco Shop are among the standout options, each offering its own unique ambiance and flavor profiles.
Whether craving traditional dishes like tacos and enchiladas or seeking innovative takes on Mexican cuisine, these establishments cater to various preferences. The attentive service and inviting atmospheres create memorable dining experiences.
While negative reviews exist, it’s essential to recognize that individual tastes differ. In my experience, the overall quality of food and commitment to providing an enjoyable dining experience were evident at each restaurant.
When in Philadelphia, I highly recommend exploring these Mexican restaurants. Embrace the bold flavors, vibrant colors, and diverse ingredients that define Mexican cuisine. Whether savoring the comforting dishes at Las Bugambilias or enjoying the lively atmosphere at Cantina Los Caballitos, each restaurant offers a unique experience that will leave you satisfied and longing for more.
For a broader perspective on the culinary delights of Philadelphia, including an exploration of its Mexican cuisine, be sure to visit our Ultimate Guide to Philadelphia’s Diverse Culinary Scene.