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

Jan 23 2018

What's In The Neighborhood?


Beyond Philadelphia’s historic Friendship Arch at 10th and Arch Streets lives a thriving Asian neighborhood, settled in the mid-19th century by Cantonese immigrants. Stretching from Vine to Arch Streets between 9th and 12th Streets, Philly’s Chinatown is packed end-to-end with restaurants and stores that represent Hong Kong, Cantonese, Fujianese, Northern Sichuan and Taiwanese cultures, with a sprinkling of Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Burmese, Vietnamese and hipster thrown in for good measure. On any given day or night, Chinatown is active and authentic, popular for steaming platters of hand-stretched noodles, seasonal street festivals, a new food hall (

Jan 3 2018

Taquerias And Taco Trucks Dot Philadelphia Neighborhoods

South Philly Leads The City’s Taco Craze

Philly’s turned into a bona fide taco town. Between the authentic, mom-and-pop taquerias of South Philly, tried-and-true tequila bars, roving food trucks and the newest crop of Mexican joints, there’s truly a taco for everyone and their hermano. Here’s where:

South Philly:

  • Blue Corn – Distinguished among its quick-serve counterparts on the 9th Street Italian Market, this family-owned and operated restaurant has genuine warmth and hospitality—not to mention a liquor license and incredible tacos made with a rotating lineup of specialty tortillas pressed on the premises. 940 S. 9th Street, (215) 925-1010, @bluecornrestaurant
  • El Compadre –
Nov 30 2017

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

Oct 11 2017

Cheesesteak 101: A Primer On The Who, What, Where & Whiz Of 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 mild or sharp provolone are common substitutions. The art of cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance

Oct 2 2017

What’s In The Neighborhood?

Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mount Airy

Diverse and historic, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Mount Airy are urban neighborhoods in northwest Philadelphia. Each enclave has a distinctive style, feel and highlights that represent the communities’ past and present. All are worth day trips, and fortunately, getting there is a cinch via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system. Check bus and regional rail schedules at before heading off to explore these vibrant neighborhoods.

Chestnut Hill (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
With a higher elevation than the rest of the city, Chestnut Hill, a National Register Historic District, was once a vacation

Jun 19 2017

Beer Trail 2017 Highlights The Craft Brewing Tradition In Philadelphia, America’s Best Beer-Drinking City


One hundred years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest beer-brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation,” according to food critic Craig LaBan of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Local taverns were arguably the true birthplace of the American Revolution, providing the well-stocked gathering spaces needed for our Founding Fathers and common men alike to execute the American Revolution.

In the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries, more than 90 breweries thrived in Philadelphia proper, with another 100 operating around the region. An area northwest of what’s now Center City, located on the banks


En Español

May 15 2017

Beer Gardens & Outdoor Drinking Spaces Bloom In Philly

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

Philadelphia has become a major hotspot for beer lovers (and food and wine lovers, for that matter) to drink outdoors, where beer gardens of the permanent and pop-up variety have sprung up all over the city and the surrounding suburbs. Summer staples such as Spruce Street Harbor Park, Independence Beer Garden and others have seen friendly competition from outdoor spaces at Evil Genius, the Philadelphia Zoo and others in recent years, and 2017 will be no different. Here are some of Philadelphia’s best places for drinking outdoors at parks, patios, porches, decks and docks:

Center City:

  • Drury Beer Garden
May 10 2017

Recap And Refuel: Philly's Dining Scene Caters To Discerning (And Famished) Night Owls

Plenty Of Options For Late-Night Eats In Philly

As Philadelphia’s dining scene continues to grow, the city’s bistros, gastropubs, brasseries, eateries, diners and fast-food spots are growing by…hours. By law in Philly, last call at the bar happens at 2 a.m. Last call for food, however, is anywhere from 11 p.m. to never. Check out this list of the hottest, coolest and coziest spots to nibble, nosh, gobble and dine well into the early-morning hours.

Until Midnight On Weekends:

  • Alla Spina – A hip and completely original approach to the gastropub, chef Marc Vetri’s bar always feels like the place to be. The crispy pig’s tails, pickled
Apr 27 2017

Philadelphia Celebrates Food & Beer, Spring Through Fall

Warm Weather Brings Visitors For Food & Beer Festivals All Over The City And Countryside In 2017

With spring in full gear and summer on its way, the Philadelphia region will keep bellies full with a delicious, mostly neighborhood-centric lineup of food and drink festivals. May through the fall feature few empty weekends on the calendar—some are even double-booked. The Food Trust’s popular Night Market returns with four dates over the next six months. Other highlights include Philly Beer Week, the 9th Street Italian Market Festival, 2nd Street Festival and many more. Here’s a chronological list of the region’s top food and drink festivals:

May 6, 2017
Downtown Phoenixville sees thousands of people—rain

Apr 24 2017

Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & the Supernatural

Also Explore The Region By Foot, Trolley, Horse Or Smartphone

Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from an assortment of options to explore the region, including those of the air, automotive, audio, culinary, self-guided and water-based varieties. And the sightseeing fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Those who come out at night can join tours that feature behind-the-scenes action and, if so desired, spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:

History Lessons By Day & Night:

  • Bow Tie Tours – Learning about Philadelphia’s—and America’s—history through the true tales of real-life characters who walked the city’s streets is the secret to the success of