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Dec 26, 2008 03:23 PM

Taco Trucks in the Philly area?

I'm starting to plan a summer taco tour of the east. I am familiar w/ the Philly/ Northeast corridor area. Are there any taco trucks around? If so short review and directions, please. Thanking you in advance.

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  1. What's up with a taco tour of the east? Isn't that like doing a lobster tour of the midwest? Aren't you supposed to be staying home all summer, waiting for fellow Chowhounds to show up so you can do the Fried Clam tour?

    There are probably some taco carts in the Temple University and the University City area, and maybe near 30th Street Station, but I couldn't tell you specificaly. I'd love to know as well.

    If you can make a taco exception, there is an exceptional falafel truck at 20th & Market Streets. The guy who runs it is not unlike the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld.

    12 Replies
    1. re: PattiCakes

      It is a quest for the Holy Taco!
      Thanks, come on up for clams! Gotta go check on stuff back home. I lived in the southwest for a long time and can't afford time or money to fly out west. Gotta visit my kids in asia when school's out. I was supposed to be a grandfather xmas eve, but He hasn't decided to show up yet!
      Stock up on scrapple and Taylor pork roll too.

      1. re: Passadumkeg

        The little bugger likes it where it's warm & safe! He'll pop out when he's good & ready. Congrats in advance, grandpop!

        Unfortunately, you will not find the holy taco in Philly, but you will certainly be able to stock up on Taylor pork roll & scrapple. Are you a crispy on the out side, but thick & mushy on the inside scrapple guy, or a thin & crispy? Ketsup or syrup?

        We visited my son in Reading PA over Christmas & renewed our love of Lebanon bologna. Gotta love those nitrates!

        1. re: PattiCakes

          gotta find the Hispanic enclaves and then I'll find the Holy Taco. Mom lived near New Brunswick gotta see it there is a Rutgers Frat Truck taco truck. There is a taco truck just south of Toms river.
          Scrapple both ways w/ syrup. Lebenon bologna; a lost love. gotta hit Yocco's in Allentown too. and Pitz in Hazelton.
          I just came in from working on my '67 VW camper, the transport in my quest for The Holy Taco.
          Listen to my Latin music show on line 1/3, next Saturday morning from 11 until !. I'll play Yerba Buena's "Burrito"!, community radio!

            1. re: PattiCakes

              I've added an email address to my profile, if I don't get to it straight away.

      2. re: PattiCakes

        UCity has a few MexCali/TexMex trucks that are decent for the local population but nothing worth making a trek for. Around Penn, there used to be a fantastic Mexican food truck called Don Memo. They've moved to a restaurant location as of a few months ago:

        If the requirement is just for a good taco, not neccessarily from a truck, try Washington Ave. around 9th.

        1. re: Ali

          Upper Darby? Main line? A pretty posh area for low down Mexican isn't it ? For give me, but I had a room mate from Upper Darby and another from Lower Merion (sp?), it was a long time ago, but I remember being impressed w/ the area. But thanks for the tip, the site does look good, but no prices?

          1. re: Passadumkeg

            Posh? I don't know that I'd necessarily put that area down as posh. However, I've also never been to the restaurant so maybe it is. Either way, the truck prices were extremely reasonable and none of the raves about the restaurant thus far says anything about a major price hike.

            But for posh, maybe try Distrito. It's a rather upscale Mexican restaurant with a twist -- I think it describes itself as new Mexican?

            If you search the PA board, you'll find quite a few reviews of these two places.

            1. re: Ali

              Distrito looks like Mexican fusion. to me , personally from my southwest experiences, Mexican food = cheap! The peoples food. A taqueria is the southwest equivalent of a Philly cheesteak shop.
              Posh? I come from a small coal mining town, McAdoo, just outside of Hazelton. Compared to that, south is Philly upscale!

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Distrito = funkdified & expensive (although good). If it's basics you're looking for, that's not it. The old "Italian Market" now has a significant hispanic presence, with numerous nice taquerias. That's where I would head.

                1. re: PattiCakes

                  old"Italian Market" and is that on 9th st and something like passaduk(keg)? It's been a while.

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    The Italian Market is the stretch of 9th St. between Fitzwater and Wharton (roughly) and its immediate surroundings. The Mexican places are mostly at the southern end, from Washington Ave. down to Federal.

      3. Trucks I don't know about, but try Taqueria del Pueblo on 9th between Washington and Federal. They also have a stand at the Sunday Market at Headhouse Square (closed til April/May) Some folks like La Lupe on the corner of 9th and Federal and the taqueria on Washington just west of 9th is good as well. All very authentic

        1. I ignored this thread originally because you asked specifically about taco trucks, not tacquerias, but if tacquerias are OK, then several you should visit are Los Taquitos de Puebla (get the tacos al pastor), Tacqueria Veracruzana (get the carnitas tacos), and El Jarocho (get the chorizo tacos). Avoid La Lupe and the two Cantina locations.

          Los Taquitos de Puebla Restaurant
          1149 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

          Taqueria Veracruzana
          908 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

          Restaurant Taqueria El Jarocho
          1138 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

          8 Replies
          1. re: Buckethead

            There is a taco truck on 37th street within one block of the Septa 37th trolley stop on the U Penn campus.

            There is an authentic Mexican taco house across the river in Pennsauken, NJ
            5245 Marlton Pike # D (Route 70E to the right of Duncan Donuts) Pennsauken, NJ 08109 (856) 665-6006. It is a BYOB which is nice. ‎

            1. re: Buckethead

              Last time I drove down Washington toward Delaware Ave, I noticed a taco truck by a park. It would be around 5th and Washington. Can't speak to the food, but it's not terribly far from the other Washington St tacquerias, if you wanted to give both a shot.

              1. re: lbmsw

                Ive been dreaming about that taco truck for months, haven't tried it yet. And I second that el Jorocho (13th & Ellsworth) is fantastic, maybe one of the best for authentic mexican..
                feel like I see a new tacqueria every day around southeast philly, even down below the ital market tucked away on corners & such, probably worth some exploration

                1. re: lbmsw

                  That's Taco Loco. I've always just eaten whenever I go by there :(

                  1. re: lbmsw

                    Tried Taco Loco for the first time last weekend - Tacos al pastor, pretty good - not as good as Los Taquitos de Puebla - but I'd go back!

                    1. re: lbmsw

                      I recently stopped at this truck, and was unimpressed. It wasn't horrible, but right up the street at 9th & Washinton at the little resterant, the food is better, and the tacos are cheaper. They're $2+ at the truck, but you get a taco platter at the resterant. 3 for $6. And as I said, the tacos are better. The truck on the edge of North Philly at Rising Sun Ave., and Tabor Rd. is better, too.

                    2. re: Buckethead

                      Ditto. My daughter's Mexican FIL is a fan of all of those places Senor Cabesa de Bucket mentions.

                    3. Patticakes is wrong - you WILL find the holy taco in Philly if you go to the Tacos Don Memo cart on 38th street (corner of Sansom) in West Philly on the Penn campus.

                      I'm a former LAer who used to pine hopelessly for real, fresh tasting Mexican like I ate growing up. I pine no more. Try the carnitas or carne asada tacos - so very good, and $2 a pop. I almost feel like I'm stealing when I eat there.

                      The chef has also opened a real live restaurant in Upper Darby with an expanded menu (ceviches, chiles rellenos, flautas, mole alongside their regular tacos and burritos) that I'm dying to try. Here's the website and address for the restaurant. If you go, please give us a report!

                      57 Garrett Road
                      Upper Darby, PA 19082
                      (866) 904-2737

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: GDSwamp

                        It is a joy to stand corrected where good Mexifood is concerned! I will put both places on my list. Muchas gracias!

                        1. re: PattiCakes

                          Hope you like it, PattiCakes. It has made my east coast life easier....

                        2. re: GDSwamp

                          I live in Upper Darby, and was glad to find this out. I've been there twice now, and the tacos are outstanding. They don't skimp on the meat, but the price has gone up to $2.50 per taco since you last posted. As for the other things, I don't know how they are, as I'm not extremely familiar with Mexican cuisine. I've only tried the tacos so far.

                        3. There's a pretty good taco truck in the North Philly area if you find yourself over that way. It's on Rising Sun Ave., just north of Tabor Ave. It's outside of a little Mexican Grocery store. I've had their tacos. They're good.