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Nov 9, 2007 02:12 PM

Mexican food in Philly

Looking for good Mexican-American food. Nothing too cutting edge. Anywhere in the city proper is fine. I don't want to go to far afield since I'm here on business and have to take a cab.




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  1. Lolita is my favorite, 13th and Sansom. They're BYO though, if you need drinks as well you can head across the street to El Vez, though I don't like their food as much.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Buckethead

      I would also recommend Tequilas 1602 Locust. Good Queso Fondido, Ceviche, Black Bean Soup and Carne Asada.

      I also used to like Zocalo, 3601 Lancaster Ave in West Philadelphia. I heard there is a new partner/chef there so I dont know what it is like today.

    2. Try Cantina Los Caballitos, 1651 E. Passyunk in South Phila. It is the same owners as Royal Tavern. Also more authentic try La Lupe (right next to Genos Steaks I think) or Las Cazuelas on 4th and Girard.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Alissavlad

        i would second la lupe and las cazuelas but not cantina. that place is chock full of american servers who can't even pronounce the food that they are serving. no thank you. but they do make good margaritas....

        taqueria la veracruzana at 9th and washington and molcajete mixto at 8th and christian are supposedly very good as well.

        1. re: mazza3

          How does pronunciation have any impact on the quality of the food? If that meant anything you couldn’t enjoy a meal virtually anywhere in Chinatown.

          1. re: Chinon00

            I personally like the Cantina a lot, and I can't say what mazza3's reasons are for his/her opinion. However, I was at Zot recently for the first time, and the servers there were mangling the pronunciations of quite a few different things, mainly wines, beers, and liqueurs. As a result, I couldn't believe a word they said about what's good on the menu, what dessert is the best, etc. For a place that has a very wide selection of beers and 15 or however many different animals they serve, that's a problem if you don't know exactly what you're ordering. So the server's pronunciation did have an effect on the dining experience, if not the food.

            Molcajete Mixto used to be fantastic, it was noticeably not fantastic on my most recent visit but I'd be curious if anyone has been more recently (last month or two)?

        2. re: Alissavlad

          I LOVE Cantina Los Caballitos but I've only been for Saturday or Sunday brunch. Then the atmosphere is generally 3/4 full, mellow (i.e. Patsy Klein playing) with 20-something hipsters and olders folks (30-somethings) like me and my wife. My question is what is the atmosphere like between 8 and midnight Thurs-Sat? I've heard that it gets "active".


          1. re: Chinon00

            I have been there on Saturday, early evening, and it was pretty packed but we put our name in, went to the bar, and were seated before even finishing our drinks. No problems with service or noise.

            1. re: Alissavlad

              Is it a "scene" or is it still a restaurant at that hour (or later)?


              1. re: Chinon00

                Never order a pitcher of margaritas at Cantina. I think they substitute tequila with water.

                1. re: Chinon00

                  Cantina on the weekends at night is still definitely a restaurant in the sense that people are eating, and the times I've been it has generally been pretty busy. Definitely a good bar scene going on as well at those times, I actually spent my most recent birthday there - eating followed up with a few pitchers of margaritas. I've never noticed my margaritas to be watery though, perhaps I've just had some really good luck!

          2. You don't say which meal, but if you are near the Reading Terminal Market, the 12th St Cantina is open at lunch.

            1. Consistently good, year after year.
              The Mexican Post
              104 CHESTNUT ST.
              PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106