Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

En Español

Dec 31 2013

A New Wave Of Authentic Taquerias & Roving Trucks Make Philly A Bona Fide Taco Town

South Philly Leads The City’s Taco Craze

Little by little, Philly’s turned into a bona fide taco town. Between the mom-and-pop taquerias of South Philly, tried-and-true tequila bars, a roving pack of lunch trucks and the newest crop of gringo-owned joints, there’s truly a taco for everyone and their hermano. Here’s where the hungry masses can get their tacos on:

New-Wave Mexican:

  • Fishtown’s divey Loco Pez found its inspiration in L.A.’s fusion-y taco trucks, and the result is a mix-and-match menu of fun and sometimes unexpected flavors. There’s the Gabacho (ground beef in a crispy shell), for instance, or a seitan-and-spinach combo for the vegan crowd. 2401 E. Norris Street, (267) 886-8061,
  • Sibling to Ft. Washington’s Cantina Feliz and Fairmount’s La Calaca Feliz, the recently opened Taqueria Feliz in Manayunk mixes up traditional tacos (al pastor, al suadero) with new-school ones (cauliflower and nopales), as well as a short list of funky organ meat and insect varieties. 4410 Main Street, (267) 331-5874,
  • Honest Tom’s Taco Shop started as a popular food truck that evolved into a bricks-and-mortar restaurant serving up Mexican fare in a casual eat-in cafe. Breakfast tacos overflowing with bacon, potatoes, tomatoes and fresh guacamole draw crowds from all over the city. 261 S. 44th Street, (215) 620-1851
  • There’s no beer at the hipster takeaway Shifty’s Taco, but a sixer is all one needs to complete a meal of the delicious Towner (fried chicken with cheese sauce and ranch dressing) or the Fixy (sweet potato and rajas). 2730 Girard Avenue, (215) 232-1413,
  • Union Taco serves up flour tortillas stuffed with chef-ly fillings. Options include pork carnitas with chipotle barbeque sauce and mahone cheese, plus a “cheesesteak taco” with short ribs and house-made cheese sauce. 712 W. Girard Avenue, (267) 455-0445,

Auténtico Tacos:

  • Taqueria Los Taquitos de Puebla specializes in small tacos, and there’s a gigantic menu of tacos of all textures and regional styles here—grilled smoked pork chop, steak with Chihuahua cheese and al pastor. For the daring, beef eye and tripe make up some of the more bizarre taco options. 1149 S. 9th Street, (215) 334-0664,
  • Should taco cravings take a turn for the burrito, or even, say, the sizzling fajita salad, El Zarape delivers. In addition to reputable fried fish and chorizo tacos, the restaurant offers a full menu of Tex-Mex classics. 1648 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 336-1293
  • Everyone has a favorite neighborhood taco joint, and for many, El Jarocho is it. The bare-bones storefront slings memorably flavorful al pastor and nopales-tangled carne asada in tortillas. 1138 S. 13th Street, (215) 463-2020
  • The original authentic South Philly taqueria, Veracruzana has paved the way for countless others with its super-cheap (3 for $6) dishes of simple soft tortilla-wrapped delicacies, such as stewed bistec, grilled shrimp and cheese-stuffed jalapenos. 908 Washington Avenue, (215) 465-1440
  • North of Market Street, Taco Riendo satiates the Mexican-craving masses. The Old Kensington spot boasts a cozy interior, excellent tamales and generously filled tacos such as the cheese-dusted, green- and red-salsa-draped chicken and the onion-flecked lengua. 1301 N. 5th Street, (215) 235-2294
  • At South Philly storefront Los Gallos, colorful flags wave overhead, friendly service beckons and platters heave with generous, exceedingly fresh tacos, available in combinations of grilled and roasted meats, fragrant huitlacoche and spicy beef and chorizo. 951 Wolf Street, (215) 551-1251,
  • The easily overlooked Jose’s Tacos occupies an unassuming corner in Philadelphia’s Callowhill neighborhood (also called the Loft District), but this underdog taqueria doesn’t disappoint, with fillings such as pescado asado, carnitas and spicy chicken tinga. 469 N. 10th Street, (215) 765-2369
  • Tucked away in a grocery store, El Limon serves as Conshohocken’s premier spot for tortillas that are soft enough to sleep on. They’re filled with traditional meats and combinations thereof. 103 Fayette Street, Conshohocken, (610) 567-0120
  • The colorful platters at Kennett Square’s La Peña Mexicana include homemade salsas, radish slices, golden rice and refried beans. Of course, the main event is the tacos. 609 W. Cypress Street, Kennett Square, (610) 925-2651
  • Newer on the scene on Snyder Avenue, the one-table Taqueria Le Mexicanita sates late-night longings for longaniza (long sausage) or cecina (salted beef steak) in its three-fer plates. Bonus: The grill is open until 2:00 a.m. to accommodate post-bar takeaway. 12th Street & Snyder Avenue, (215) 858-4587

Carnitas & Margaritas:

  • With two locations (Passyunk and Northern Liberties) Cantina Los Caballitos and Cantina Dos Segundos have cornered the market on the Mexican gastropub. Expect a full menu of serious tequilas, creative margaritas (blood orange) and a diverse list of taco fillings (mahi mahi, goat and vegan options). 1651 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-3550; 931 N. 2nd Street, (215) 629-0500,
  • Stephen Starr set the standard for modern Mex in Philly with his flashy El Vez, where the carnitas are made with pork confit, the mahi mahi is topped with chipotle remoulade and the pineapple canela margaritas go down easy. 121 S. 13th Street, (215) 928-9800,
  • El Vez’s cross-town cousin, El Rey is set in an old diner and serves up lamb and portobello tacos and chile relleno alongside micheladas (beer, spices and lime). Tacos are also available in the speakeasy Ranstead Room, located in the back. 2013 Chestnut Street, (215) 563-3330,
  • Both the food and beverage choices are extensive at Center City hang Jose Pistola’s. Among the options are a butter-poached lobster taco with honey guajillo sauce and spicy pork with pineapple and kimchi. 263 S. 15th Street, (215) 545-4101,
  • Jose Garces’ Distrito offers a glimpse of Mexico City in University City. The high-end tacos feature Kobe beef, adobo-braised lamb or mahi-mahi with avocado; the tequilas are plentiful; and the décor is tastefully kitschy. 3945 Chestnut Street, (215) 222-1657,

Tortillas In Motion:

  • Returning tacos to their street-eat roots, University City truck Tacos Don Memo serves them up in foil-wrapped threes, bursting with saucy flavor, crisp onion and lots of cilantro. 38th Street between Locust & Spruce Streets, (610) 529-2039
  • Think of it as a taqueria on wheels: Taco Loco has it all—the red, white and green motif; jarritos; tortas; and simple but punchy al suadero, tripe and choriqueso tacos. The only difference is that this kitchen comes and goes. Jefferson Square Park, 4th Street & Washington Avenue, (215) 883-9191
  • The Diego Rivera-esque murals on the side of the Tacos El Rodeo truck are a giveaway. This mobile operation isn’t messing around. Of special note are the spit-roasted pork and variety meat tacos served with salsa on the side. 1000 Washington Avenue
  • Not exactly a moving vehicle per se, the Blue Route Taco Truck on the roof of Whole Foods Plymouth Meeting turns out some tasty fish, pork and veggie tacos (when open—hours are seasonal) and offers craft canned beer along with them. 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, (610) 832-0010

Visit Philadelphia, formerly known as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.

Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and make up the most-visited website network out of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. Visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

  • E-mail

Related Releases

Mar 14 2017

Experience A Taste Of That Famous Philly Flavor

A Guide To The Philadelphia Region’s Legendary Foods

Philadelphia’s signature flavor is a dynamic mix of traditional recipes, new culinary inventions, well-known treats and obscure dishes, and these specialties can be found everywhere—from corner stores to the fanciest haute restaurants. Among the region’s best-known foods are national favorites like Italian water ice, Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels and the ever-popular cheesesteak. More localized favorites include pork roll and scrapple, which are available here in the region and through services such as Taste of Philadelphia, one of many companies that ship Philly goodies across the United States.

Here are some of the sandwiches, snacks, meats and more that have left a

Dec 29 2016

25 Things To Know About Philly's Food Scene

Think Outside The Hoagie Roll For Great Eats In Philadelphia

Philadelphia food is so much more than the cheesesteak and the soft pretzel, or even scrapple, or roast pork sandwiches. It’s also amazing vegan fare, quirky BYOB (bring-your-own-bottle) restaurants, world-class craft local beer, emerging distillery scene, or chef-driven concepts and passion projects. Philly’s food scene is about neighborhoods that grow with their restaurants. And competing chefs who work together. It’s about sourcing ingredients from the region’s farms and giving casual dining its due. It’s about embracing delicious diversity.

Here is a primer of 25 lesser-known components of Philly’s lush and luscious food scene:

Major Attributes:

  1. Richly Rewarding Food Shed:
Dec 6 2016

The BYOB Restaurant: A Philly Phenomenon

Region Boasts 300-Plus Bring-Your-Own-Bottle Restaurants

Despite decades of popularity and expansion, one quintessential Philadelphia dining phenomenon continues to fly deliciously under the radar. It’s the BYOB, the bring-your-own-bottle restaurant—BYO, for short. Typically independently owned and operated, Philly’s BYOBs number into the three hundreds. Diners find them on dozens of corners in Center City, along avenues of renewed urban neighborhoods and tucked down rural roads. It’s a curious trend with an interesting backstory—and an even more interesting present.

Here’s a short explanation of how the BYOB scene came to be—and advice on navigating the landscape.

What Is A BYOB?:
A BYOB restaurant allows patrons to

Dec 2 2016

A Wave Of Authentic Taquerias & Roving Trucks Make Philly A Bona Fide Taco Town

South Philly Leads The City’s Taco Craze

Little by little, Philly’s turned into a bona fide taco town. Between the mom-and-pop taquerias of South Philly, tried-and-true tequila bars, a roving pack of lunch trucks and the newest crop of gringo-owned joints, there’s truly a taco for everyone and their hermano. Here’s where the hungry masses can get their tacos on:

New-Wave Mexican:

  • Fishtown’s divey Loco Pez found its inspiration in L.A.’s fusion-y taco trucks, and the result is a mix-and-match selection of fun—and sometimes unexpected—flavors. Classic preparations like al pastor and cochinita pibil share menu space with unconventional choices, like vegan-friendly seitan and spinach, and soy
Oct 13 2016

When It Comes To Vegan Dining, The Home Of The Cheesesteak Proudly Vedges Out

Philadelphia Offers An Array Of Vegan Fine Dining, Bar Eats, Fast Food & Café Fare

It’s a curious thing that a city so renowned for its cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches could also foster one of the nation’s most robust vegan food scenes. Upscale diners can find delight in the shared plates at Vedge or the coursed and the home-style elegance of Miss Rachel’s Pantry, while those seeking a quick bite can swing by Blackbird Pizza for fare that is more traditionally Philadelphian. Factor in some coffee shops, bars and even a diner, and vegan eaters will see—and taste—that the city’s offerings have something for every palate, day or night.

Here’s a look at some

Oct 5 2016

Cheesesteak 101: A Primer On The Who, What, Where And Whiz Of South Philly Cheesesteaks


Here in Philly, cheesesteaks are a civic icon, a tourist draw and a cultural obsession. Often imitated around the world, the cheesesteak is rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia. So what is an authentic cheesesteak and where did it come from? Here’s the lowdown on this region’s favorite sandwich.

What Is A Cheesesteak?:
A cheesesteak is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed rib-eye beef and melted cheese. Generally, the cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz®, but American and provolone are common substitutions. The art of cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance of flavors, textures

Sep 13 2016

Philly Pizza Pleases Every Palate

The Region’s Pizzerias Have Never Been So Bountiful Or So Diverse

Philadelphia’s gained some serious pizza cred in recent years. Not only is this city home to a pizza museum and restaurant (Pizza Brain), an artisan pizza truck (Pitruco) and, according to Bon Appétit, America’s very best pizza (Pizzeria Beddia), but it’s also a proving ground for the idea that this traditional food can be reinvented in infinite ways. Whether it’s a straightforward but studious Neapolitan round, a floppy tri-corner slice with cheese to spare or a newfangled pie laden with unexpected but carefully sourced ingredients, there is absolutely a pizza for every eater’s predilection. Here’s

Aug 10 2016

Craft Distilleries Revive Pennsylvania's Pre-Prohibition Tradition

After A Nearly 100-Year Absence, Small-Batch Distilling Has Returned To The Philadelphia Area

In just over four years, the number of craft distilleries in the Philadelphia region has increased by more than a dozen, helping to restore Pennsylvania to its once-prominent place in the national distilling conversation. Until Prohibition wiped out the state’s industry, Pennsylvania housed the country’s densest cluster of homespun and commercial whiskey producers, beginning with some of the country’s earliest settlers.

In 2011, Pennsylvania’s government passed reforms that allowed distillers to offer tours, samples and onsite sales. These new laws opened up the craft to would-be distillers who now proudly produce and sell small-batch spirits in Philadelphia. In a sign

Jul 7 2016

Beer Trail Highlights The Craft Brewing Tradition In Philadelphia, America's Best Beer-Drinking City


One hundred years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation,” according to food critic Craig LaBan of The Philadelphia Inquirer. In fact, Philadelphia taverns were, arguably, the true birthplace of the American Revolution.

In the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries, more than 90 breweries operated in Philadelphia proper, and another 100 operated in the city’s environs. One area northwest of Philly, located on the banks of the Schuylkill River near the Girard Avenue Bridge, became known as Brewerytown. As Brewerytown grew, area producers of German-style

Jun 1 2016

Beer Gardens & Outdoor Drinking Spaces Bloom In Philly

A Sudsy Summer Awaits Thanks To Pop-Up & Permanent Beer Gardens

There’s only one place for beer lovers to be this summer, and that’s Philadelphia, where beer gardens abound and where craft beer is king. In past years, the city earned countless awards and glowing reviews for its outdoor drinking spaces. This year, these warm-weather venues are back—better, bigger and more numerous than ever. Among the most attention-grabbing: Spruce Street Harbor Park, a bustling oasis celebrating its third year on the Delaware River, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Gardens, located in two different spots this year, and the highly anticipated SkyGarten, an alfresco German beer hall 51 stories up.