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Los Cuatro Soles in South Philadelphia
Angela Gervasi

Where to Eat Tacos in Philadelphia

21 places to get classic combinations, vegetarian versions, and more

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Los Cuatro Soles in South Philadelphia
| Angela Gervasi

Endlessly customizable to satisfy every craving, tacos are a perfect food. Luckily, Philly has no shortage of great tacos, from over-stuffed tortillas served up on styrofoam plates in no-frills neighborhood spots to fancied-up versions from big-name chefs. South Philadelphia, with its population of Mexicans from Puebla, is an especially good place to find an excellent taco (and several other Mexican dishes). While a complete list of taco spots worth checking out in this city would be nearly impossible, here are 21 solid choices, from long-time staples to newer additions.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Los Gallos

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951 Wolf St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 551-1245
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Serving generous portions in a cheerful space, Los Gallos is a neighborhood staple for good reason. There’s no shortage of worthwhile taco options on the huge menu at this casual South Philly spot.

2. La Virgen de las Nieves Mexican Restaurant

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1839 S 8th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 372-0144
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This unassuming South Philly taqueria hits all the right notes, as evidenced with the tacos dorados: crispy-fried rolled tacos filled with chicken, steak, chorizo, or mashed potatoes. While the space bills itself as a grocery, there are a handful of tables up front for eating in.

3. South Philly Barbacoa

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1149 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 694-3797
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Cristina Martinez’s lamb barbacoa tacos turned a small South Philly eatery with limited hours and only a couple of items on the menu into a major destination spot. Martinez and her husband, Ben Miller, have since moved operations into a bigger space in the Italian Market. The tacos are as excellent as ever, but the hours are still limited — it’s only open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday — so expect a line (it usually moves quickly).

An overhead photograph of two corn tortillas, one filled with crumbly orange meat and another with brown- and pink-colored meat slices. Ted Nghiem

4. Mole Poblano

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1144 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 372-0243
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With a name like Mole Poblano, ordering anything with Ynes Sandoval’s signature mole sauce is an easy decision, but grab a few tacos too. Along with traditional fillings like steak and carnitas, this Italian Market eatery offers lengua (tongue) tacos.

5. Taqueria La Prima

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1104 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 339-5000

Formerly named Prima Pizza Taqueria Mexicana, this tiny, no-frills, counter-service spot turns out some of the city’s very best plates of tacos. Better yet, it serves all day until at least 4 a.m. This food is conversation-stopping good, which might be just what the doctor ordered by after a night out drinking.

6. Taqueria La Veracruzana

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908 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 465-1440

Washington Avenue’s original taqueria has a loyal following thanks to its tasty and cheap (3 for $7) tacos. Fillings included steak, grilled shrimp, chorizo, al pastor, and chicken tinga. Save room for churros.

7. Blue Corn

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940 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 925-1010
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The goal at this Italian Market gem was to create something a step above the typical taqueria, inspired by the cuisine of Mexico City — but don’t let that dissuade you from settling in for a simple plate of tacos, which are excellent here. The full bar is an added bonus.

8. Los Cuatro Soles

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1801 S Chadwick St
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(215) 755-1125
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At colorful corner spot Los Cuatro Soles, choose from a list of tacos ranging from al pastor with pork and sweet pineapple to an all-vegetable option.

Angela Gervasi

9. Philly Tacos

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2011 Reed St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 334-1200
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Juan Carlos Romero is famous for his tacos al pastor, which he’s been cooking in Philly for a while — first in the Italian Market and now in his newer Point Breeze restaurant. With a couple dozen taco options on the menu, it’ll take a few trips to order them all. Go on on a Friday to score Romero’s favorite chile rellenos dish too.

Philly Tacos [official]

10. Cafe Ynez

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2025 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 278-7579
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This Mexico City-inspired spot from the owners of Jet Wine Bar and Rex 1516 aims to be “your neighborhood Mexican cafe,” and they hit that nail on the head with flavorful tacos, a relaxed vibe, and a great brunch. It’s a bright spot on a stretch that’s mostly industrial.

11. Lolita

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106 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 546-7100
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Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s Lolita is more sleek and refined than many of their taco competitors, but make no mistake: These neighborhood pioneers are taking their tacos seriously (tortillas are all pressed fresh in-house) while keeping the vibe fun with a full bar and great happy hour deals.

Jason Varney

12. Mission Taqueria

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1516 Sansom St., 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 383-1200
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Upstairs from sister spot Oyster House, this brightly decorated Center City taco shop grinds its own masa, presses its own tortillas, and seeks out local, seasonal ingredients to fill them with. The results aren’t always traditional, but the unusual takes on classic combinations are well worth trying.

13. El Rey

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2013 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 563-3330
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Set in a former diner, Stephen Starr’s El Rey is generally more chill than its 13th Street sister, El Vez (though it still gets noisy). The taco options — including lamb, fish, duck, brisket, and Brussels sprouts — pair well with the fruity margaritas.

14. Honest Tom's Taco Shop

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261 S 44th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 620-1851
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Born from a food truck, Honest Tom’s is an affordable West Philly favorite, with one thing that sets it apart from many other taco shops around here: it’s completely vegan. Head here for plant-based takes on traditional taco fillings, such as a carrot and lentil version of barbacoa.

15. Distrito

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3945 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 222-1657
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Jose Garces’ Distrito takes its cues from Mexico City. The University City spot cranks out tacos served on house-made corn tortillas, with fillings including carnitas, braised beef, and adobo chicken. The restaurant features more than 600 Lucha Libre masks hanging in the buzzy, brightly colored space.

16. El Purepecha

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469 N 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 765-2369

Set in a tiny, bright space near the newly opened Rail Park, this taqueria keeps the neighborhood happy with a variety of tacos, including crispy breaded fish, grilled shrimp, carnitas, and chorizo.

17. Sancho Pistola's

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19 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 324-3530
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Sancho Pistola’s in Fishtown is one of three restaurants from the same crew serving worthwhile tacos. The selection here can satisfy cravings for the classics (mahi mahi, chicken tinga) or more out-there whims, like calamari and chorizo or falafel with feta and jalapeño yogurt. Drop by after midnight for half-price taco specials. In Center City, head to Jose Pistola’s (263 S. 15th Street). South Philly denizens have Pistola’s Del Sur (1934 E. Passyunk Avenue).

18. Taco Riendo Restaurant

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1301 N 5th St
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 235-2294
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The massive menu at Kensington’s Taco Riendo includes nearly two dozen taco options, all battling it out for your order with the daily specials. Seating is plentiful: There’s the colorful interior and an outdoor patio with umbrellas.

19. Heffe Tacos (multiple locations)

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1431 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 423-2309
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Chef Peter McAndrews of Paesano’s and Monsu also has two taco shops. The original Heffe is a walk-up window on Frankford Avenue. The new location, at 1543 Spring Garden, has a bigger menu, breakfast, and a 30-seat dining room. McAndrews aim was to serve “tacos that don’t suck,” and that’s exactly what Heffe does. Go sea-themed with the Kraken tacos (fried octopus and chimichurri) or the Merman (crispy white fish, black bean and pineapple relish, and pickled veggies).

20. Loco Pez (multiple locations)

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2401 E Norris St
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 886-8061
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This Fishtown bar offers a casual taqueria-meets-pub grub menu, with tacos ranging from the basics to unusual specials, plus meat-free versions like soy chorizo and seitan with spinach. Other things to try here include the nachos de Kenzo and a selection from the impressive tequila list.

21. Taqueria Feliz (multiple locations)

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4410 Main St
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(267) 331-5874
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Taco fillings run traditional at this Manayunk restaurant — there’s more fusion at its sister location in Horsham — but that doesn’t mean choosing from the same selection as most other taquerias. For those who’ve been itching to try the Mexican delicacy chapulines (grasshoppers), this is the place.

1. Los Gallos

951 Wolf St, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Serving generous portions in a cheerful space, Los Gallos is a neighborhood staple for good reason. There’s no shortage of worthwhile taco options on the huge menu at this casual South Philly spot.

951 Wolf St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

2. La Virgen de las Nieves Mexican Restaurant

1839 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148

This unassuming South Philly taqueria hits all the right notes, as evidenced with the tacos dorados: crispy-fried rolled tacos filled with chicken, steak, chorizo, or mashed potatoes. While the space bills itself as a grocery, there are a handful of tables up front for eating in.

1839 S 8th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

3. South Philly Barbacoa

1149 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
An overhead photograph of two corn tortillas, one filled with crumbly orange meat and another with brown- and pink-colored meat slices. Ted Nghiem

Cristina Martinez’s lamb barbacoa tacos turned a small South Philly eatery with limited hours and only a couple of items on the menu into a major destination spot. Martinez and her husband, Ben Miller, have since moved operations into a bigger space in the Italian Market. The tacos are as excellent as ever, but the hours are still limited — it’s only open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday — so expect a line (it usually moves quickly).

1149 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

4. Mole Poblano

1144 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

With a name like Mole Poblano, ordering anything with Ynes Sandoval’s signature mole sauce is an easy decision, but grab a few tacos too. Along with traditional fillings like steak and carnitas, this Italian Market eatery offers lengua (tongue) tacos.

1144 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

5. Taqueria La Prima

1104 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Formerly named Prima Pizza Taqueria Mexicana, this tiny, no-frills, counter-service spot turns out some of the city’s very best plates of tacos. Better yet, it serves all day until at least 4 a.m. This food is conversation-stopping good, which might be just what the doctor ordered by after a night out drinking.

1104 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

6. Taqueria La Veracruzana

908 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Washington Avenue’s original taqueria has a loyal following thanks to its tasty and cheap (3 for $7) tacos. Fillings included steak, grilled shrimp, chorizo, al pastor, and chicken tinga. Save room for churros.

908 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147

7. Blue Corn

940 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

The goal at this Italian Market gem was to create something a step above the typical taqueria, inspired by the cuisine of Mexico City — but don’t let that dissuade you from settling in for a simple plate of tacos, which are excellent here. The full bar is an added bonus.

940 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

8. Los Cuatro Soles

1801 S Chadwick St, Philadelphia, PA 19145
Angela Gervasi

At colorful corner spot Los Cuatro Soles, choose from a list of tacos ranging from al pastor with pork and sweet pineapple to an all-vegetable option.

1801 S Chadwick St
Philadelphia, PA 19145

9. Philly Tacos

2011 Reed St, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Philly Tacos [official]

Juan Carlos Romero is famous for his tacos al pastor, which he’s been cooking in Philly for a while — first in the Italian Market and now in his newer Point Breeze restaurant. With a couple dozen taco options on the menu, it’ll take a few trips to order them all. Go on on a Friday to score Romero’s favorite chile rellenos dish too.

2011 Reed St
Philadelphia, PA 19146

10. Cafe Ynez

2025 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19146

This Mexico City-inspired spot from the owners of Jet Wine Bar and Rex 1516 aims to be “your neighborhood Mexican cafe,” and they hit that nail on the head with flavorful tacos, a relaxed vibe, and a great brunch. It’s a bright spot on a stretch that’s mostly industrial.

2025 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19146

11. Lolita

106 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Jason Varney

Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s Lolita is more sleek and refined than many of their taco competitors, but make no mistake: These neighborhood pioneers are taking their tacos seriously (tortillas are all pressed fresh in-house) while keeping the vibe fun with a full bar and great happy hour deals.

106 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

12. Mission Taqueria

1516 Sansom St., 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Upstairs from sister spot Oyster House, this brightly decorated Center City taco shop grinds its own masa, presses its own tortillas, and seeks out local, seasonal ingredients to fill them with. The results aren’t always traditional, but the unusual takes on classic combinations are well worth trying.

1516 Sansom St., 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

13. El Rey

2013 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Set in a former diner, Stephen Starr’s El Rey is generally more chill than its 13th Street sister, El Vez (though it still gets noisy). The taco options — including lamb, fish, duck, brisket, and Brussels sprouts — pair well with the fruity margaritas.

2013 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

14. Honest Tom's Taco Shop

261 S 44th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Born from a food truck, Honest Tom’s is an affordable West Philly favorite, with one thing that sets it apart from many other taco shops around here: it’s completely vegan. Head here for plant-based takes on traditional taco fillings, such as a carrot and lentil version of barbacoa.

261 S 44th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

15. Distrito

3945 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Jose Garces’ Distrito takes its cues from Mexico City. The University City spot cranks out tacos served on house-made corn tortillas, with fillings including carnitas, braised beef, and adobo chicken. The restaurant features more than 600 Lucha Libre masks hanging in the buzzy, brightly colored space.

3945 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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16. El Purepecha

469 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Set in a tiny, bright space near the newly opened Rail Park, this taqueria keeps the neighborhood happy with a variety of tacos, including crispy breaded fish, grilled shrimp, carnitas, and chorizo.

469 N 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19123

17. Sancho Pistola's

19 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Sancho Pistola’s in Fishtown is one of three restaurants from the same crew serving worthwhile tacos. The selection here can satisfy cravings for the classics (mahi mahi, chicken tinga) or more out-there whims, like calamari and chorizo or falafel with feta and jalapeño yogurt. Drop by after midnight for half-price taco specials. In Center City, head to Jose Pistola’s (263 S. 15th Street). South Philly denizens have Pistola’s Del Sur (1934 E. Passyunk Avenue).

19 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

18. Taco Riendo Restaurant

1301 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122

The massive menu at Kensington’s Taco Riendo includes nearly two dozen taco options, all battling it out for your order with the daily specials. Seating is plentiful: There’s the colorful interior and an outdoor patio with umbrellas.

1301 N 5th St
Philadelphia, PA 19122

19. Heffe Tacos (multiple locations)

1431 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Chef Peter McAndrews of Paesano’s and Monsu also has two taco shops. The original Heffe is a walk-up window on Frankford Avenue. The new location, at 1543 Spring Garden, has a bigger menu, breakfast, and a 30-seat dining room. McAndrews aim was to serve “tacos that don’t suck,” and that’s exactly what Heffe does. Go sea-themed with the Kraken tacos (fried octopus and chimichurri) or the Merman (crispy white fish, black bean and pineapple relish, and pickled veggies).

1431 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

20. Loco Pez (multiple locations)

2401 E Norris St, Philadelphia, PA 19125

This Fishtown bar offers a casual taqueria-meets-pub grub menu, with tacos ranging from the basics to unusual specials, plus meat-free versions like soy chorizo and seitan with spinach. Other things to try here include the nachos de Kenzo and a selection from the impressive tequila list.

2401 E Norris St
Philadelphia, PA 19125

21. Taqueria Feliz (multiple locations)

4410 Main St, Philadelphia, PA 19127

Taco fillings run traditional at this Manayunk restaurant — there’s more fusion at its sister location in Horsham — but that doesn’t mean choosing from the same selection as most other taquerias. For those who’ve been itching to try the Mexican delicacy chapulines (grasshoppers), this is the place.

4410 Main St
Philadelphia, PA 19127

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