El Rey

El Rey

Mexican Restaurant$$$$
Center City West, Philadelphia
  • The folks at Visit Philly and Philadelphia Magazine like this place. Would you agree?
    • Visit Philly
    • Philadelphia Magazine
  • Andrew F.
    "$1 tacos and $2 tecate beers Monday - Friday, 5pm - 6:30pm"(10 Tips)
    Greg M.
    "$1 tacos, $2 beer, $4 margaritas (plus other specials)!"(5 Tips)
    Richard F.
    "Great happy hour specials."(4 Tips)
    Patrick W.
    "Go to the speakeasy the Ranstead Room afterwards."(3 Tips)
105 Tips and reviews
  • margaritas
  • tacos
  • happy hour
  • lively
  • nachos
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • Leah V.
    Leah VogelyJanuary 2, 2015
    Happy with my happy hour decision (as it should be). Thick cut chips, guacamole sampler, and a bunch of $1 tacos really hit the spot. The blood orange margarita was on point. Rich decor, low light.
  • Brandon C.
    Brandon CainApril 19, 2015
    One of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the philly/Jersey area. Great happy hour deals on food & drinks. Tacos are amazing. Don't skip those. Guacamole here is simple & amazing.
  • Madison B.
    Madison BackOctober 4, 2015
    This place is exceptional for many reasons, but my favorite being their care and consideration toward allergies, food sensitivities, and dietary restrictions. Simply amazing food and service!
  • Phabi
    PhabiApril 4, 2014
    Very cool little place. The food was delish! I shared their app special that night which was 4 different flavored guacs, wow great twist on guac!! Then I ate their short rib enchiladas yummy!!
  • Jonah
    JonahSeptember 20, 2015
    Simply amazing. You have to get the Zarape, it was delicious! Very filling. Great ambiance. Friendly staff. One of the best places in Rittenhouse.
  • Leslie W.
    Leslie WetzelOctober 8, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Camerones are delicious and buttery. Happy hour tacos are tiny but tasty-- beware they're topped with cilantro and raw onion if that's not your thing. Steak is shredded. Churro a and guava marg rock.
  • Jessica P.
    Jessica PuglieseFebruary 10, 2016
    Nachos come served on a tray the size of a medium pizza and are AMAZING. Margaritas are good, and so are the moles. Go crazy. Get one of everything. You won't be disappointed.
  • Dennis M.
    Dennis MorrisSeptember 21, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Salsa and chips are made on premises and are the the best I have had in Philly so far. Service is also tops at brunch/lunch. Food is a close second behind Jose Pistoles on 15th.
  • Joe C.
    Joe CSeptember 2, 2014
    The happy hour here is almost too good to be true. Also, try the enchiladas. Tacos are on point but the enchiladas are a gem
  • Karli S.
    Karli ScottApril 2, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Awesome happy hour Monday- Friday 5:00-6:30pm. $4 margaritas, $1 tacos, $2 can of tecate, and more! Show up early to get a table before the crowd comes!
  • Ryan E.
    Ryan EscobarMay 18, 2015
    Happy Hour, Happy Hour, HAPPY HOUR! Dollar taco's and discount beer and drinks! Service is great too, they make splitting checks really easy!
  • JP
    JPAugust 29, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    the alambre de pollo has great flavor. you can't go wrong with perfectly-cooked chicken, onions, bacon, hot peppers, cheese, mushrooms, and onions.
  • Marianna H.
    Marianna HunterSeptember 2, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    The Fast Lunch menu is a great price and just the right size portion. Try the cactus salad and chicken enchiladas. The Apple soda is pricey but very good.
  • Reinhold Residential
    Reinhold ResidentialSeptember 13, 2012
    Nacho average Mexican diner with specialties like wild mushroom soup and short rib enchiladas. A "secret" passageway leads to its sexy sister bar, the Ranstead Room.
  • devon r.
    devon roseApril 9, 2011
    ASK THEM FOR THEIR HOTSAUCE... they make it in-house, it differs daily and can be really spicy depending on peppers used. i would buy this if i could (i can't, i asked)
  • Juan F.
    Juan FuentesJuly 31, 2013
    Tortilla soup (sopa de tortilla) id served in a way i have never seen, so distinctive, you gotta try it. And of course it's good :)
  • Dan G.
    Dan GeigerOctober 19, 2015
    Enchiladas come three to and order, and are more than filling enough so no need to pony up the extra $$$ for the rice and beans sides.
  • Kay T.
    Kay TOctober 1, 2016
    A classical Mexican cantina, yummy food. Can get crowded and really loud during rush hours, but you come there for eating, not talking! Nom nom!
  • Song Z.
    Song ZhengSeptember 7, 2013
    Monday-Friday is $1 tacos, $2 tecates, $3 coors, $4 margaritas, $5 flavored margarita!
  • Neha B.
    Neha BajajFebruary 26, 2016
    Best nachos!! Put your name on the waiting list for speakeasy as soon as you get there to dine! Deff a must check out!
  • Aileen T.
    Aileen TseMarch 19, 2013
    used to love the steak tacos but the current brisket tacos ain't bad either, still prefer the steak tacos though...bring those back!
  • Daniel K.
    Daniel KentJune 10, 2010
    New steven Starr restaurant in the old midtown diner. Completely new menu but the decor has small upgrades and much is original to the diner. Definitely get the churros for dessert!
  • S.M. L.
    S.M. LukeMarch 14, 2011
    The corn on the cob is slathered in three different gross sauces. Just be warned. The tacos are very tiny. But the guacamole is delicious! Better than that of El Vez.
  • Greg M.
    Greg MaughanOctober 8, 2014
    Happy hour is the way to go here. $1 tacos, $2 beer, $4 margaritas (plus other specials)!
  • STARR Restaurants
    STARR RestaurantsJune 9, 2011
    El Rey is all about celebrating the kind of great food you’ll discover in Mexico’s smaller towns, open-air markets, roadside joints and home kitchens.
  • Karen F.
    Karen FlamMarch 30, 2012
    I come here alot - especially for $1.00 tacos (fish or beef) at happy hour. Good for lunch, too.
  • Chris B.
    Chris BetzMay 21, 2012
    Been here 25+ times
    Grab a seat at the counter and try a Tamarind Margarita or a draft craft beer in a boot.
  • Bullfrog & Baum
    Bullfrog & BaumJanuary 24, 2011
    This is an awesome kitchsy Mexican Joint in Philly! Chef Dionico Jimenez makes the best short ribs in a sandwich-like torta.
  • JP
    JPAugust 29, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    if you like spicy drinks, ask for sliced jalapenos or their house-made habanero sauce for your drink.
  • Jennifer S.
    Jennifer SJuly 2, 2016
    The chicken tacos are delicious. They are small so you might want two orders.
  • David B.
    David BudimirAugust 16, 2014
    Best taco happy hour on the city.
  • Patrick W.
    Patrick WardAugust 3, 2015
    Go to the speakeasy the Ranstead Room afterwards. Ask your waiter and they can take you through the kitchen
  • Gabriel E.
    Gabriel EvansMarch 1, 2016
    Try the duck Confit if u come with a friend!
  • Grace L.
    Grace LeeSeptember 1, 2014
    Definitely go for the happy hour specials! Of the tacos I preferred the fish tacos.
  • Amber
    AmberOctober 5, 2011
    Good, strong margaritas & guacamole! Try the plato fiesta - great way to sample everything!
  • Richard F.
    Richard FisherJune 18, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Great happy hour specials. Margaritas and $1 tacos. Steak are the best.
  • Brad T.
    Brad ThiesMarch 28
    Ok, start with happy hour. I was so sold on the cheap eats that I had to try the eggplant enchilada-let me just say wow!
  • Philadelphia Magazine
    Philadelphia MagazineSeptember 15, 2010
    Great Hangover Cure: tortilla chips topped with salsa verde and a fried egg, liberally sprinkled with cotija cheese. Read more
  • Celeste M.
    Great Mexican food and drinks. I look forward to my next visit.
  • Christopher C.
    Christopher C.April 26, 2011
    Make sure to come during happy hour. The matgarita glasses are minature and drinks measured with jiggers.
  • Bre B.
    Bre BonnerMarch 3
    Nachos and jalapeño pineapple margarita is the way to go!
  • Emma M.
    Emma McTagueApril 24
    Get the tamarind marg. Just trust me.
  • Qianna B.
    Qianna BrooksApril 27, 2013
    Why wait for a table? Eat at the bar with the super comfy seats and purse hooks.
  • B N.
    B NaxAugust 21, 2015
    Blood Orange Margarita, Mezcals, Corn on the cob and nachos- happy campers! 👍👍🍹
  • Ankur O.
    Ankur OberoiSeptember 7, 2013
    Try the mint habanero sauce. It's not hot, it's light and cooling.
  • Andrew F.
    Andrew FurmanNovember 3, 2015
    $1 tacos and $2 tecate beers Monday - Friday, 5pm - 6:30pm
  • Adriane R.
    Adriane ReillyJuly 13, 2013
    The horchata wasn't the best, but the mixed berry lemon margaritas were insane.
  • Jodi H.
    Jodi H.March 13, 2012
    Lunch: Guac = good. Carnitas = awful. Service was friendly and attentive.
  • Christopher P.
    Christopher PowisSeptember 26, 2016
    The house margarita is a crowd pleaser. Get a pitcher (or two).
  • My N.
    My NguyenNovember 21, 2012
    For a Texan living in Philadelphia, this is a nice place to get back to Mexican. :)
  • Bruna P.
    Bruna PintoOctober 24, 2016
    The food is amazing! Highly recommended!
  • Melissa
    MelissaMarch 24, 2013
    Try the mango margarita, and delicious guacamole!
  • Bryant G.
    Bryant GarrettJuly 20, 2016
    Good tacos, amazing margs, chips and salsa/guac
  • David
    DavidSeptember 23, 2014
    What kind of Mexican restaurant uses flour tortillas for their chips? This kind. #gluten
  • Jennifer W.
    Jennifer WalkerFebruary 17, 2012
    Happy hour margarita is 4 dollars a must do. Delish.
  • Chris P.
    Chris PolicinoFebruary 20, 2011
    huevos rancheros is delicious if you add chorizo to it!
  • Sam T.
    Sam TroyDecember 6, 2014
    Good authentic Mexican. Great service ask for Holly!👍
  • Pat B.
    Pat BellotMay 3, 2015
    Great drinks, food is very mediocre. Don't get the lamb burrito
  • Larisa G.
    Larisa GrollemondSeptember 2, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Happy hour margs and $1 tacos!
  • Chefs Feed
    Chefs FeedAugust 22, 2014
    Marc Vetri, chef of Alla Spina, eats here on his nights off. He loves the Sopa de tortilla. Read more
  • Aaliyah P.
    Aaliyah PFebruary 27, 2013
    Hh is legit ! $1.00 tacos and $4.00 Marggies duh I like it
  • Joe V.
    Joe VitelliMay 6, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Ask for Laura, she's the best server ever!
  • Tyler S.
    Tyler ShapiroJune 15, 2010
    Queso Fundido is good. Tamarind marg could use some work and underwelmed by the guacamole. Distrito is better.
  • Chris B.
    Chris BetzMarch 17, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Ask for the gluten-free menu. It's extensive!
  • Stavros M.
    Stavros MitchelidesDecember 3, 2014
    Crazy good happy hour specials!
  • Emily D.
    Emily DavisJuly 10, 2011
    This place is awesome!!!! Get their coke in a bottle $3.50
  • Dina R.
    Dina RughaniJuly 31, 2016
    Tacos and the cemita
  • Vicki M.
    Vicki McGinleyJanuary 18, 2013
    Great Food; cool atmosphere
  • Connie C.
    Connie CrosbyJuly 27, 2011
    Happy hour - $1 tacos, $4 margaritas. Ole!
  • Visit Philly
    Visit PhillyJuly 26, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    In the mood for a cocktail? Check out the Ranstead Room, an speakeasy annex of El Rey.
  • KC C.
    KC CollinsJune 12, 2010
    Talk to Kevin the bartender. He knows everything, and is so helpful!
  • Patrick W.
    Patrick WardAugust 3, 2015
    Great food and great margaritas.
  • Richard
    RichardJanuary 27, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Nachos wonderful, coffee very good Chicken tostadas not so great- bland
  • Chris B.
    Chris BetzJuly 14, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Ask for the gluten-free menu
  • Bradly.
    Bradly.June 7, 2011
    Some of the best Mex I've had. Read more
  • William S.
    William SparksNovember 23, 2014
    Guava margarita is awesome
  • Allison E.
    Allison EspositoMarch 21, 2014
    Try the blackberry ginger margarita.
  • Gunter
    GunterJuly 22, 2011
    Gotta snack on their tortilla chips they are AHMAZEBALLS
  • Campbell B.
    Campbell BirdDecember 4, 2014
    Load up on $1 tacos at happy hour.
  • sockii
    sockiiJuly 25, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Frozen pineapple margarita for the win.
  • Lee
    LeeAugust 17, 2016
    Great Mexican diner theme
  • jordan l.
    jordan levineFebruary 1, 2011
    Great happy hour specials M-F 5-6:30. $2 beers, $4 margaritas, $1 tacos
  • Sarah .
    Sarah 😊September 10, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Chile en Nogada is amazzzzzzing!!!
  • ruth k.
    ruth kimApril 5, 2015
    Grapefruit jarritos!!
  • Patrick C.
    Patrick ClarkAugust 25, 2014
    Easy: get the nachos.
  • Michelle G.
    Michelle GonzalezNovember 9, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Best nachos in the city!
  • Principessa L.
    Principessa LisaFebruary 4, 2011
    They have no hot sauce, no red hot or tabasco!!! What kind of mexican place doesn't have hot sauce?
  • Noufi ..
    Noufi .BJuly 19, 2016
    Too noisey not for those looking for a quiet place, not the authentic Mexican food....No salsaaa?!!
  • Alex Y.
    Alex YamamotoSeptember 22, 2015
    Dankest nachos in the land.
  • Roniel T.
    Roniel TesslerNovember 25, 2015
    Yummy, AFFORDABLE Mexican food.
  • Eddie W.
    Eddie WellsFebruary 19, 2012
    Do not order a michelada. There is nothing good about this drink. But it's in a boot...
  • Rebecca J.
    Rebecca JulienJuly 27, 2014
    Taco Tuesdays
  • Greta B.
    Greta BaithJune 10, 2010
    Made me miss the old Midtown Diner! Now that was classic!
  • Jordon K.
    Jordon KatzSeptember 28, 2011
    Soup is amazing
  • Dan M.
    Dan MackJune 15, 2010
    Refer to this place only as "El Rey, El Rey, El Rey, El Rey, El Rey." Say it five times every time. Read more
  • Chris S.
    Chris SaxbyMay 4, 2010
    Chorizo tacos are yummy.
  • Jenny K.
    Jenny KornMay 7, 2010
    Absolutely overpriced with tiny portions  $9 for 3 small tacos?  Only Starr's name could pack this place out  Unjustifiably 
  • Jen14221
    Jen14221October 5, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Michelada = fucking awesomeness.
  • Kyle P.
    Kyle PiaseckiApril 27, 2010
    Don't ask for Patron'....Gauc is good!
  • Principessa L.
    Principessa LisaFebruary 4, 2011
    They call this Mexican?
  • Julia D.
    Julia DiazJanuary 3, 2016
    Excelente el sabor de la comida y la atención
  • Sergio L.
    Sergio Lavilla-AlonsoAugust 9, 2014
    Cenita rica
  • Nicole M.
    Nicole MiniumAugust 5, 2015
    Nachos, margaritas, tacos
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