30+ Latino-Owned Restaurants in Philadelphia to Check Out Right Now
Puerto Rican, Mexican, Argentine and more Latin eats await at these Philly eateries...
Philadelphia’s vibrant, multiethnic and multiracial Latino population makes the city a hub for delicious Latin food.
At dozens of spots throughout the city, residents and visitors can support Latino-owned restaurants while sampling authentic eats, including Venezuelan arepas ( Sazon Restaurant and Cafe ), Central American street food ( El Merkury ), Argentine empanadas ( Jezabel’s ) and much more.
Below, find just a small taste of the great Latino-owned restaurants in Philadelphia in a list compiled with help from the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce .
Taking its name from a character in a famous Mexican ballad, this family-run BYO in Philly’s diverse Italian Market focuses on dishes from Mexico City and Puebla. Can’t-miss offerings include tacos (nearly a dozen options) and mole poblano.
Alma del Mar
During Queer Eye ’s 2019 visit to Philadelphia , the Fab Five memorably assisted Marcos Tlacopilco, owner and monger at Marcos Fish & Crab House, with work on a new restaurant. The result: Alma del Mar , named after Tlacopilco’s wife (and complete with a mural of the Queer Eye team inside). This Italian Market spot offers up a varied menu of Mexican and American dishes, including sweet breakfast options (tres leches pain perdu) and heftier entrees (branzino, pulpo al carbon).
Two locations mean twice as many opportunities to enjoy the expansive menu at Amigo’s , which includes Hispanic cuisine as well as American offerings and, of course, more than a dozen different pizzas.
Where: Amigos Restaurant and Pizza, 576 Cottman Avenue, Cheltenham
VIEW OTHER LOCATIONS (1)
The aesthetic may be inspired by Old San Juan, but the all-vegan menu at Bar Bombon is thoroughly modern. Patrons enjoy Latin American food with a twist, along with potent margaritas available by the glass or pitcher.
Along the gloriously gritty South 9th Street Italian Market, the Sandoval family serves spot-on preparations of huitlacoche quesadillas and Puerto Vallarta tacos at Blue Corn . Much of the fare is served in signature blue corn tortillas, made with cornmeal from San Mateo Ozolco, in Puebla, Mexico, the owners’ hometown.
Café y Chocolate , in deep South Philly, pairs its hearty, vegetarian-friendly Mexican breakfast/brunch menu (highly recommend for the chilaquiles) with hard-to-find coffees and hot drinks, such as a cajetuccino, a cappuccino with cajeta, Mexican goat’s milk caramel.
One of the most prominent figures in Philadelphia’s food scene, Cristina Martínez is both an outstanding chef and an outspoken activist. She has racked up numerous national accolades over the years with South Philly Barbacoa (see below). Opened in February 2020, Casa México, also located in the Italian Market, serves, naturally, more of Martinez’s star-making Mexican food, with an ever-changing menu .
Hip, candlelit and craft-cocktail-laden are all perfect ways to describe this vegan restaurant in the heart of the Gayborhood. Small plates like potato croquettes and artichoke frites feel indulgent without requiring a single animal-based ingredient, and the ambitious cocktail menu is impressive enough to keep even committed carnivores content.
Make a Reservation
Colombian and Latin American food make up the absolutely massive menu at this North Philly restaurant . The spot is well-known for its crave-worthy Colombian empanadas and authentic Columbian breakfast of refried beans with rice, pork skin, sausage and eggs. Mexican fare like tacos, tortas and more rounds out the offerings.
Pop-up shop turned brick-and-mortar eatery El Merkury specializes in Central American street food. Corn, chocolate, chili and beans go into popular dishes such as maize-based flatbread pupusas, available con carne or vegetarian, but the show-stoppers are the elaborate churros served in multiple flavors of ice cream and cake.
Nearly a dozen restaurants comprise chef Jose Garces ’ holdings in Philadelphia and nearby Atlantic City, New Jersey, and many specialize in Latin-American flavors. Garces, a James Beard Award winner and Iron Chef star, runs spots like tapas-heavy Amada in Old City and Rittenhouse Square’s beloved burger joint Village Whiskey .
Organic, plant-based ingredients dominate the menu at HipCityVeg , the fast-casual favorite with locations throughout Greater Philadelphia and in Washington, D.C. Founder Nicole Marquis embraces fresh ingredients and sustainable packaging for all-day eats that include sandwiches, salads, smoothies and delicious banana whips.
Where: HipCityVeg, 127 S. 18th Street
VIEW OTHER LOCATIONS (4)
HipCityVeg, 214 S. 40th Street
HipCityVeg, 121 S. Broad Street
HipCityVeg, 232 N. Radnor Chester Road, Wayne
Puerto Rican dishes satisfy customers in the diner-like atmosphere at Izlas in Kensington. Fried pork chops, pan-seared steak, fajitas and seafood dishes top the list of signature dishes, and the restaurant also offers family packs — six servings ready to share — and starters like chicken wings and cheesesteak spring rolls.
Jezabel Careaga is known for her Argentine empanadas, but she also has a way with tortilla de patatas (potato quiches), ham-and-cheese croissants and desserts, all served at the charming Jezabel’s Argentine Bakery & BYO in West Philly.
Adan Trinidad’s trio of Mexican restaurants serve patrons in three of Philadelphia’s busiest neighborhoods. Afer working at restaurants around the city, Trinidad helped launch spots in Rittenhouse, Fishtown and East Passyunk. While the menu varies across each property, patrons at Sancho Pistola’s, Jose Pistola’s and Pistola’s del Sur will find staples like shareable guacamole appetizers, a long list of tacos, and extensive tequila and mezcal offerings from the bar.
Where: Sancho Pistola's, 19 W. Girard Avenue
VIEW OTHER LOCATIONS (2)
Jose Pistola's, 263 S. 15th Street
Breakfast, lunch, fresh breads and pastries, and a full-service deli make La Caleñita a can’t-miss eatery. This Colombian spot North Philadelphia spot serves heaping plates of arepas, chicharrónes and various sandwiches, but the bakery treats are the real stars. Try almojában (cheese bread) or treza (braided bread stuffed with fruit) alongside a fresh juice or Colombian coffee.
Authentic Mexican food awaits in South Philly’s Whitman neighborhood at La Canasta Restaurant Grill . The spot’s titular tacos de canasta are a solid choice, as are platillos (stews), quesadillas, sopes and more.
Those hungry for authentic Mexcian fare can satisfy a craving for mole, sopes and more at this BYOB . Tip: Go all-out by bringing a bottle of tequila.
Make a Reservation
Settle in for a modern cantina experience at this West Passyunk Avenue spot from Arturo Lorenzo (Café y Chocolate, La Mula Terca) and Tim Lidiak and Adrienne Salvatore-Markey (Thirsty Soul). Pair tacos, quesadillas and more with a varied bar program that makes use of rare tequilas.
This South Philly BYO sets itself apart with a modern, higher-end take on Mexican and Latin American street food. The lamb birria tacos have rightfully earned patrons’ praise, but diners would do well to save space for the grilled steak, ceviche and other delicious options.
Make a Reservation
Owned by Karina and Angel Jimenez, Newbold’s Los Cuatro Soles (which translates to “the four suns”) has been dishing out authentic Mexican food to customers since 2016. Burritos, huaraches and quesadillas all get high marks here.
Tamales — masa lovingly wrapped in cornhusks or banana leaves — are a year-round favorite throughout Mexico, Central America and South America. In the South 9th Street Italian Market, bright Mole Poblano does an incredible variation on tamales soaked in their titular sauce.
Nemi ’s menu follows the traditional flavors of Mexico complete with house-made tortillas, salsas, guacamole and ceviche. As far as tacos go, there are confit pork shoulder, marinated flank steak, fried cauliflower and other options for the choosing. A full tequila and mezcal bar add to the authenticity of this Port Richmond spot.
The food at this North Philadelphia restaurant and lounge is as varied as the entertainment. Dungeness crabs, curry rice, catfish nuggets and chicken alfredo are on the menu indoors and out, where live music pumps through the indoor bar and around the spacious outdoor area patrons call The Yard.
The kitchen at this Callowhill eatery dishes out soul-stirring Dominican food — and plenty of it. The beef patty, yellow rice with black beans, tostones and pasteles earn rave reviews among ex-pats.
Small but mighty, this colorful Society Hill BYOB has customers head to the counter to order Venezuelan street food: amazing arepas, patacónes and house-made lemonades.
This South Street space for interacting via board and role-playing games is aimed at families by day, adults by night. Game-players pair their adventure with mozzarella sticks, meatless burgers and more, plus a lengthy beer list and cocktails with on-brand names like Wolfsbane Potion, Amidala and Phoenix Feather.
Everyone has a favorite neighborhood taco joint, and for many, Restaurant Taqueria El Jarocho is it. A humble corner storefront slings memorably flavorful al pastor and nopales-tangled carne asada. Diners eat in to enjoy their signature sour cream-chipotle dipping sauce, which goes great with fresh salsas and tortilla chips.
At Sazon Restaurant & Cafe , Venezuelan chef Judith Suzarra-Campbell grinds the cornflour for her arepas, which she fills with shredded beef, chicken, pulled pork and scrambled eggs. Wash it all down with fresh fruit juices or chicha, a creamy Venezuelan rice drink.
Scarpetta , the elegant Italian restaurant inside The Rittenhouse Hotel (as well as in many other cities across the country), serves the food chef Jorge Espinoza is most passionate about. Instead of dishes from Espinoza’s native Mexico, patrons at Scarpetta will find basil gnocchi, tagliatelle, foie gras ravioli and Mediterranean dishes.
Make a Reservation
South Philly Barbacoa ’s lamb barbacoa, pork quesadillas and tamales from chef Cristina Martínez and husband/cooking partner Benjamin Miller (who also own Casa México, see above) have earned the pair features in Chef’s Table and Bon Appétit as well as multiple James Beard Award honors. The team is equally notable for advocating for immigrants’ rights.
For stellar Honduran-style tamales, fatter and heartier than their Mexican counterparts, Tamalex is way worth the trip. Sweetening the deal: the enchiladas and huaraches, which also rate highly here.
Mexican destination restaurants, date-night Cuban bistros, family-owned Puerto Rican establishments and Pan-Latin culinary innovators are located in all corners of the city, representing Philly’s growing Latino communities. Find meat-filled Brazilian buffets, cheese-stuffed pupusas , plate-filling mofongo and Caribbean pasteles alongside fresh juices, cold cocktails and rich desserts like gourmet churros at restaurants and cafes serving a variety of Latin dishes.
Centered at Fifth Street and Lehigh Avenue in North Philadelphia, El Centro de Oro is a major hub of Latino culture in Philadelphia. Peppered with faux palm trees and “golden” details on the sidewalks, the distinctive block is home to residents from almost every Latin American country, and the food is no different. Here, hungry diners can find authentic tastes of Puerto Rico, Dominican baked goods, fresh Mexican dishes and mouthwatering barbecue eats. Check out our guide to some of the best restaurants in the neighborhood .
A Guide to Black-Owned Restaurants in Philadelphia
Some of the city's top Black-owned cafes, coffee shops and eateries...View More