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Philadelphia’s vibrant, multiethnic and multiracial Latinx population makes the city a hub for delicious Latin food.
At dozens of spots throughout the city, residents and visitors can support Latinx-owned restaurants while sampling authentic eats, including Venezuelan arepas (Sazon Restaurant and Cafe), Central American street food (El Merkury), Argentine empanadas (Jezabel’s) and much more.
Below, find just a small taste of the great Latinx-owned restaurants in Philadelphia in a list compiled with help from the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Note that dining in Greater Philadelphia is a little different at the moment. Most restaurants are open, though note that many of these independently owned restaurants are small, with limited indoor space. Your best bets: If possible, make a reservation; if not, prep a backup restaurant in case your spot of choice is at capacity when you arrive.
Taking its name from a character in a famous Mexican ballad, this family-run BYO in Philly’s diverse Italian Market focuses on dishes from Mexico City and Puebla. Can’t-miss offerings include tacos (nearly a dozen options) and mole poblano.
Where: Adelita Mexican Taqueria and Restaurant, 1108 S. 9th Street
During Queer Eye’s 2019 visit to Philadelphia, the Fab Five memorably assisted Marcos Tlacopilco, owner and monger at Marcos Fish & Crab House, with work on a new restaurant. The result: Alma del Mar, named after Tlacopilco’s wife (and complete with a mural of the Queer Eye team inside). This Italian Market spot offers up a varied menu of Mexican and American dishes, including sweet breakfast options (tres leches pain perdu) and heftier entrees (branzino, pulpo al carbon).
Where: Alma del Mar, 1007 S. 9th Street
Two locations mean twice as many opportunities to enjoy the expansive menu at Amigo’s, which includes Hispanic cuisine as well as American offerings and, of course, more than a dozen different pizzas.
Where: Amigos Restaurant and Pizza, 576 Cottman Avenue, Cheltenham
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Amigos Restaurant and Pizza, 1135 E. Erie Avenue
The aesthetic may be inspired by Old San Juan, but the all-vegan menu at Bar Bombon is thoroughly modern. Patrons enjoy Latin American food with a twist, along with potent margaritas available by the glass or pitcher.
Where: Bar Bombón, 133 S. 18th Street
Along the gloriously gritty South 9th Street Italian Market, the Sandoval family serves spot-on preparations of huitlacoche quesadillas and Puerto Vallarta tacos at Blue Corn. Much of the fare is served in signature blue corn tortillas, made with cornmeal from San Mateo Ozolco, in Puebla, Mexico, the owners’ hometown.
Where: Blue Corn Mexican Restaurant & Bar, 940 S. 9th Street
Café y Chocolate, in deep South Philly, pairs its hearty, vegetarian-friendly Mexican breakfast/brunch menu (highly recommend for the chilaquiles) with hard-to-find coffees and hot drinks, such as a cajetuccino, a cappuccino with cajeta, Mexican goat’s milk caramel.
Where: Café y Chocolate, 1532 Snyder Avenue
One of the most prominent figures in Philadelphia’s food scene, Cristina Martínez is both an outstanding chef and an outspoken activist. She has racked up numerous national accolades over the years with South Philly Barbacoa (see below). Opened in February 2020, Casa México, also located in the Italian Market, serves, naturally, more of Martinez’s star-making Mexican food, with an ever-changing menu.
Where: Casa México, 1134 S. 9th Street
Hip, candlelit and craft-cocktail-laden are all perfect ways to describe this vegan restaurant in the heart of the Gayborhood. Small plates like potato croquettes and artichoke frites feel indulgent without requiring a single animal-based ingredient, and the ambitious cocktail menu is impressive enough to keep even committed carnivores content.
Where: Charlie was a sinner., 131 S. 13th Street
Colombian and Latin American food make up the absolutely massive menu at this North Philly restaurant. The spot is well-known for its crave-worthy Colombian empanadas and authentic Columbian breakfast of refried beans with rice, pork skin, sausage and eggs. Mexican fare like tacos, tortas and more rounds out the offerings.
Where: El Bochinche Restaurant & Bar, 4940 N. 5th Street
Pop-up shop turned brick-and-mortar eatery El Merkury specializes in Central American street food. Corn, chocolate, chili and beans go into popular dishes such as maize-based flatbread pupusas, available con carne or vegetarian, but the show-stoppers are the elaborate churros served in multiple flavors of ice cream and cake.
Where: El Merkury, 2104 Chestnut Street
Nearly a dozen restaurants comprise chef Jose Garces’ holdings in Philadelphia and nearby Atlantic City, New Jersey, and many specialize in Latin-American flavors. Garces, a James Beard Award winner and Iron Chef star, runs spots like tapas-heavy Amada in Old City, Distrito Taqueria in University City and Rittenhouse Square’s beloved burger joint Village Whiskey.
Where: Various locations including Amada, 217-219 Chestnut Street
Organic, plant-based ingredients dominate the menu at HipCityVeg, the fast-casual favorite with locations throughout Greater Philadelphia and in Washington, D.C. Founder Nicole Marquis embraces fresh ingredients and sustainable packaging for all-day eats that include sandwiches, salads, smoothies and delicious banana whips.
Where: HipCityVeg, 127 S. 18th Street
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HipCityVeg, 214 S. 40th Street
HipCityVeg, 121 S. Broad Street
HipCityVeg, 232 N. Radnor Chester Road, Wayne
HipCityVeg, 76 Coulter Avenue, Ardmore
Puerto Rican dishes satisfy customers in the diner-like atmosphere at Izlas in Kensington. Fried pork chops, pan-seared steak, fajitas and seafood dishes top the list of signature dishes, and the restaurant also offers family packs — six servings ready to share — and starters like chicken wings and cheesesteak spring rolls.
Where: Izlas, 2725 N. American Street
Jezabel Careaga is known for her Argentine empanadas, but she also has a way with tortilla de patatas (potato quiches), ham-and-cheese croissants and desserts, all served at the charming Jezabel’s Argentine Bakery & BYO in West Philly.
Where: Jezabel’s Argentine Bakery & BYO, 206-208 S. 45th Street
Adan Trinidad’s trio of Mexican restaurants serve patrons in three of Philadelphia’s busiest neighborhoods. Afer working at restaurants around the city, Trinidad helped launch spots in Rittenhouse, Fishtown and East Passyunk. While the menu varies across each property, patrons at Sancho Pistola’s, Jose Pistola’s and Pistola’s del Sur will find staples like shareable guacamole appetizers, a long list of tacos, and extensive tequila and mezcal offerings from the bar.
Where: Sancho Pistola's, 19 W. Girard Avenue
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Jose Pistola's, 263 S. 15th Street
Pistolas Del Sur, 1934 E. Passyunk Avenue
Breakfast, lunch, fresh breads and pastries, and a full-service deli make La Caleñita a can’t-miss eatery. This Colombian spot North Philadelphia spot serves heaping plates of arepas, chicharrónes and various sandwiches, but the bakery treats are the real stars. Try almojában (cheese bread) or treza (braided bread stuffed with fruit) alongside a fresh juice or Colombian coffee.
Where: La Caleñita Bakery & Café, 5034 N. 5th Street
Authentic Mexican food awaits in South Philly’s Whitman neighborhood at La Canasta Restaurant Grill. The spot’s titular tacos de canasta are a solid choice, as are platillos (stews), quesadillas, sopes and more.
Where: La Canasta Restaurant Grill, 2341 S. 4th Street
Those hungry for authentic Mexcian fare can satisfy a craving for mole, sopes and more at this BYOB. Tip: Go all-out by bringing a bottle of tequila.
Where: Las Cazuelas Restaurant, 428 W. Girard Avenue
Settle in for a modern cantina experience at this West Passyunk Avenue spot from Arturo Lorenzo (Café y Chocolate, La Mula Terca) and Tim Lidiak and Adrienne Salvatore-Markey (Thirsty Soul). Pair tacos, quesadillas and more with a varied bar program that makes use of rare tequilas.
Where: La Llorona Cantina Mexicana, 1551 W. Passyunk Avenue
This South Philly BYO sets itself apart with a modern, higher-end take on Mexican and Latin American street food. The lamb birria tacos have rightfully earned patrons’ praise, but diners would do well to save space for the grilled steak, ceviche and other delicious options.
Where: La Mula Terca, 2053 S. Beechwood Street
Owned by Karina and Angel Jimenez, Newbold’s Los Cuatro Soles (which translates to “the four suns”) has been dishing out authentic Mexican food to customers since 2016. Burritos, huaraches and quesadillas all get high marks here.
Where: Los Cuatro Soles, 1801 S. Chadwick Street
Tamales — masa lovingly wrapped in cornhusks or banana leaves — are a year-round favorite throughout Mexico, Central America and South America. In the South 9th Street Italian Market, bright Mole Poblano does an incredible variation on tamales soaked in their titular sauce.
Where: Mole Poblano Restaurant, 1144 S. 9th Street
Nemi’s menu follows the traditional flavors of Mexico complete with house-made tortillas, salsas, guacamole and ceviche. As far as tacos go, there are confit pork shoulder, marinated flank steak, fried cauliflower and other options for the choosing. A full tequila and mezcal bar add to the authenticity of this Port Richmond spot.
Where: Nemi Mexican Restaurant + Bar, 2636 Ann Street
The food at this North Philadelphia restaurant and lounge is as varied as the entertainment. Dungeness crabs, curry rice, catfish nuggets and chicken alfredo are on the menu indoors and out, where live music pumps through the indoor bar and around the spacious outdoor area patrons call The Yard.
Where: New Lou & Choo Lounge, 2101 W. Hunting Park Avenue
The kitchen at this Callowhill eatery dishes out soul-stirring Dominican food — and plenty of it. The beef patty, yellow rice with black beans, tostones and pasteles earn rave reviews among ex-pats.
Where: Parada Maimon, 345 N. 12th Street
Small but mighty, this colorful Society Hill BYOB has customers head to the counter to order Venezuelan street food: amazing arepas, patacónes and house-made lemonades.
Where: Puyero Venezuelan Flavor, 524 S. 4th Street
This South Street space for interacting via board and role-playing games is aimed at families by day, adults by night. Game-players pair their adventure with mozzarella sticks, meatless burgers and more, plus a lengthy beer list and cocktails with on-brand names like Wolfsbane Potion, Amidala and Phoenix Feather.
Where: Queen & Rook Game Cafe, 607 S. 2nd Street
Everyone has a favorite neighborhood taco joint, and for many, Restaurant Taqueria El Jarocho is it. A humble corner storefront slings memorably flavorful al pastor and nopales-tangled carne asada. Diners eat in to enjoy their signature sour cream-chipotle dipping sauce, which goes great with fresh salsas and tortilla chips.
Where: Restaurant Taqueria El Jarocho, 1138 S. 13th Street
At Sazon Restaurant & Cafe, Venezuelan chef Judith Suzarra-Campbell grinds the cornflour for her arepas, which she fills with shredded beef, chicken, pulled pork and scrambled eggs. Wash it all down with fresh fruit juices or chicha, a creamy Venezuelan rice drink.
Where: Sazon Restaurant & Cafe, 941 Spring Garden Street
Scarpetta, the elegant Italian restaurant inside The Rittenhouse Hotel (as well as in many other cities across the country), serves the food chef Jorge Espinoza is most passionate about. Instead of dishes from Espinoza’s native Mexico, patrons at Scarpetta will find basil gnocchi, tagliatelle, foie gras ravioli and Mediterranean dishes.
Where: Scarpetta, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square
South Philly Barbacoa’s lamb barbacoa, pork quesadillas and tamales from chef Cristina Martínez and husband/cooking partner Benjamin Miller (who also own Casa México, see above) have earned the pair features in Chef’s Table and Bon Appétit as well as multiple James Beard Award honors. The team is equally notable for advocating for immigrants’ rights.
Where: South Philly Barbacoa, 1140 S. 9th Street
For stellar Honduran-style tamales, fatter and heartier than their Mexican counterparts, Tamalex is way worth the trip. Sweetening the deal: the enchiladas and huaraches, which also rate highly here.
Where: Tamalex Restaurant, 1163 S. 7th Street
Mexican destination restaurants, date-night Cuban bistros, family-owned Puerto Rican establishments and Pan-Latin culinary innovators are located in all corners of the city, representing Philly’s growing Latinx communities. Find meat-filled Brazilian buffets, cheese-stuffed pupusas, plate-filling mofongo and Caribbean pasteles alongside fresh juices, cold cocktails and rich desserts like gourmet churros at restaurants and cafes serving a variety of Latin dishes.
Where: Various locations, including Picanha Brazilian Steakhouse, 6501 Castor Avenue
Centered at Fifth Street and Lehigh Avenue in North Philadelphia, El Centro de Oro is a major hub of Latinx culture in Philadelphia. Peppered with faux palm trees and “golden” details on the sidewalks, the distinctive block is home to residents from almost every Latin American country, and the food is no different. Here, hungry diners can find authentic tastes of Puerto Rico, Dominican baked goods, fresh Mexican dishes and mouthwatering barbecue eats. Check out our guide to some of the best restaurants in the neighborhood.
Where: Various locations, including Taqueria La Raza, 227 W. Allegheny Avenue
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