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Nov 14, 2009 08:54 PM

In Search of Corn Tortillas in Philadelphia

I bought a Bayless cookbook and I'd love to start making some tacos. The problem is, every corn tortilla I've bought in Philadelphia in the last year has been brittle and dry. It seems like all the grocery stores in Philadelphia that I've been to refrigerate their tortillas. Is this the law in PA? Can somebody recommend a place where I can buy some great corn tortillas in Center City or South Philly? Or even passable tortillas near Rittenhouse Square?

I am thinking somebody will recommend a shop in South Philly. Bonus points for recommending anything else worth picking up which I'm getting the tortilas...

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  1. All the little Mexican grocery stores I have been to have the corn tortillas stored at room temperature and are reasonably fresh for pre-packaged tortillas. They aren't great, as they are mass produced corn tortillas with preservatives and lime, but they are authentic and not dry. Pop into any of the little groceries on 9th St near Washington or in the surrounding neighborhoods and I think you find passable stuff. I can vouch for the little store at 9th & Snyder and the one at 8th & Tasker, but there is really no reason to go that far.

    The only place I know that actually makes their own fresh corn tortillas is the La Lupe taqueria on Passyunk near Federal. I don't know if they will sell just tortillas for take out, though, unless you put in an advance order for a larger quantity.

    It is pretty wild that there are no tortilla presses in South Philly given the large Central and South American popular. That is a great business idea for someone.

    6 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      There actually is now a fresh tortilla press in South Philly, Tortilliera Y San Roman, it's at 9th and Carpenter in the Italian Market. They said they have been open since May but I never noticed it before. All they do is make tortillas and tortilla chips.

        1. re: Buckethead

          I must be as blind as you are Buckethead - actually more since I still haven't seen it! Since May??? wow. I have to head there this week!

          1. re: Buckethead

            Awesome, thanks, I will be checking this place out soon!

            1. re: Buckethead

              Buckethead, I could kiss you! I got fresh corn tortillas (still warm!!) and chips from this little store on Saturday! They were so good - I frequently use flour tortillas instead of corn because the ones in most stores are so bad - the flavor just tastes off to me, well no more! great find Thanks!

              1. re: Bigley9

                Like barryg, I found it perplexing that we have so many Mexican residents and restaurants in South Philly, but no local tortilleria. Every tacqueria I've been to with the exception of La Lupe uses bought tortillas, and fresh ones make such a huge difference! Hopefully this place will start selling to some of the local tacquerias.

          2. Los Taquitos del Pueblo has freshly made tortillas--when they have their booth at the Head House Square farmers market you can watch them being made from a big pile of masa. I've not been to the restaurant but I assume it's the same. Maybe they'd sell a couple dozen. Also, what about 12th St Cantina in the Terminal?