A Year in Review: Philadelphia’s Top 5 Latino Restaurants
Get a taste of the best of the best of Philly's Latino restaurants featured in AL DÍA in 2018.
Our Chef Series has had an incredible year, visiting 30+ Latino restaurants, bakeries, groceries and ice cream parlours across Philadelphia. For our final edition of the year, we’d like to do a recap highlighting five of the best places we’ve had the pleasure to visit in 2018.
This authentic Argentinian steakhouse run by Argentine Walter Aragonez serves up a wide variety of delicious meats, pastas and empanadas. The crown jewel of the menu is the parrillada, an enormous platter for two filled with grilled Angus short ribs, sausage, blood sausage, sweetbreads, and skirt steak. My favorite, though, were the spinach and mozzarella empanadas. Be sure to grab a seat on one of the cowhide covered benches and enjoy a glass of Malbec with your meal.
Website: www.malbecsteakhouse.com Address: 402 S 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19147. Prices: $16 - $39
This charming family-run restaurant in the Italian Market is named in honor of Adelita - a symbol of strong Mexican women fighting for their rights. Menu highlights include al pastor, shrimp and suadero tacos as well as the fabulous mole enchiladas. Chef Hernandez creates the mole’s wonderful sweet and spicy flavor using pasilla chiles, nuts, chocolate, raisins, garlic, cinnamon and other spices. Visit Adelita if you are looking for a classic Mexican restaurant with an extensive menu.
Facebook: @AdelitaPhilly Address: 1108 S 9th Street Philadelphia, PA 19147. Prices: $7 - $20
Philadelphia is fortunate to have not just one, but two terrific Peruvian restaurants. Both serve delicious renditions of Peru’s eclectic gastronomy marked by its diverse immigrant population. Highlights at each include ceviche and lomo saltado (beef sauteed with onions, tomatoes and fresh cilantro and served with fries and rice). Also available are pisco cocktails, such as the Pisco Sour - Peru’s national beverage made with pisco, lime, egg whites, simple syrup and bitters. Vista Peru has a gorgeous interior meant to reflect the country’s art, music and geography, while Chalaco’s design is meant to evoke the restaurant’s namesake port in Lima.
Vista Peru- Website: vistaperuphilly.com Address: 20 S 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19106. Prices: $10 - $25
Chalaco’s- Website: chalacos.com Address: 1030 N. Second Street Philadelphia, 19123 Prices: $10 - $25
Guisados, Spanish for stews, are often overshadowed in Mexican restaurants by tacos, tortas, quesadillas or other classic dishes. Chef Roman Figueroa is challenging the status quo with his fabulous guisados that are the highlight of the menu. He develops the rich flavors of the stew by boiling the meat for two hours, then mixing it in with the sauce for an additional 30 minutes. The meat and sauce change daily depending on the particular guisado he is making. Also excellent is the pozole soup made of chicken with white home corn, a guajillo chili base, cilantro, black pepper and garlic seed.
Website: http://guisados-don-roman.business.site/ Address: 1629 South 7th Street, Philadelphia 19148. Prices: $5 - $14
There’s a reason young entrepreneur Diana Martinez, owner and operator of Pupuseria El Cuscatleco, is flooded with food orders from Spanish university departments across the city. Her restaurant, now in its eighth year, offers Philadelphians an authentic and truly excellent taste of Central American cuisine. The most popular item is the pupusa - a traditional Salvadoran dish consisting of a thick corn tortilla stuffed with a savory filling. Also delicious are the baleada (a flour tortilla filled with refried beans, sour cream and parmesan cheese) and the pollo con tajadas (fried chicken on a plate of green bananas, cabbage, tomato sauce and parmesan cheese). Be sure to wash everything down with a glass of Guatemalan horchata or nance juice.
Phone: (484) 461-3156 Address: 29 Garrett Road Upper Darby, PA 19082 (5 min walk from 69th Street Station). Prices: $2.50 - $15
Other Honorable Mentions: South Philly Barbacoa, El Merkury, El Rancho Viejo, Tio Flores, Jezabel’s Studio, Los Gallos, Blue Corn, Tamarindos.