El Rey - Philadelphia

4.7
53 reviews
$30 and under
American
Inspired by the cuisines of Puebla and Veracruz, El Rey captures the essence of Mexican home cooking. Boisterous and broken-in like a laidback roadside cantina, the dining room hums from midday to late-night. Folk art, kitchsy found objects and vintage movie posters adorn the walls, providing plenty of visual stimuli for eaters digging into authentic tacos, tortas, enchiladas, sopes and more. Add a bar stocked with the best tequilas, mezcals and cervezas and you’ve got a cantina fit for a king.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective equipment
  • Waiting staff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 53 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.6
Service
4.5
Ambience
4.4
Value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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G
vipGreg
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Best Mexican food and drinks in the city. Great service. Good prices.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Had a great time here, service was amazing. Food was great. Highly recommend for a fun night out with friends or date night

DK
DiamondK
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 16 January 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience4

The food was good and the service was great. The mango margaritas are absolutely amazing and strong!

DK
DerrickK
1 review
Dined on 12 January 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great outdoor experience and even better food. Service was great also.

KM
KatieM
1 review
Dined on 9 January 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Monica is the best server. Super friendly, makes it a great experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on 2 January 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food and experience!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 2 January 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Went to El Rey for the first time mainly because my bf has celiac. The service was great, the set up was good. We got the nachos and fajitas with two pitchers of margs and it was all amazing. Big portions and all gluten free!

MA
MaryannA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great food and service for an early NYE dinner with family. The outdoor venue worked and we were comfortable even with temperatures in the upper 30s. Fun time!

CL
CLDP
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

Great night out but we will have to come back once indoor dining is permitted by Comrade Wolf....

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined on 30 December 2020
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience2

Considering the ban on indoor dining El ray has set up cute enclosures. Food was good but had to tell them not to bring out all at the same time as it being cold would make the food cold.
It seemed like not enough staff help, as we told the waiter we were sharing and they didn’t split anything up or provide enough silverware. By the time they brought silverware out the food was cold.
It is a difficult time and I understand but there should be some sensitivity about trying to keep food warm.
All in all ok, but the service was lacking.

S
vipSandy
Philadelphia
45 reviews
Dined on 20 December 2020
Overall3Food5Service1Ambience3

I usually love this restaurant
However the service was horrible
Our waiter never came except to bring our drink or the food— never came to fill water or ask anything
Our heater was not working properly
Asked twice to replace the propane- he did everyone else but ours
Told him when we left how that was horrible to see all others replaced around us—

I do love the food here but not sure I would come back

J
Jeffreye
1 review
Dined on 13 December 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Been here before and food and service was fantastic..now with outdoor dining only they built a great seating area with covid-19 guidelines and provide 2 heaters at each table..views good..the staff was great..

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 12 December 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This was an amazing COVID times dining experience. The heated outdoor seating was amazing. The food was equally as amazing and our service was impeccable. Everyone was so friendly and we can’t wait to come dine again.

2
vip215foodie
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on 12 December 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We were in our own little outdoor pod. Well ventilated but separated from other diners. Our server was friendly and helpful. And the food and drinks were delicious!

ED
EDWINJ
1 review
Dined on 14 November 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

What an awesome vibe! Server was so attentive. Drinks and food were on point. Lawd, those enchiladas though...

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 12 November 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing food! Will be back!

s
vipsduff
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Amazing service and delicious food!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 7 November 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It was the best!! Can’t wait to come back. Amazing food, amazing service, amazing atmosphere.

k
kkoth
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 24 October 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The special margarita was a smoky pineapple, which was phenomenal. I’m always appreciative of the price to (good) food ratio. The fajitas and salsa were good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 21 October 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was delicious

B
Bradley
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on 17 October 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great dinner!! Very fast and friendly service. They have done a great job at accommodating the current pandemic situation. Will definitely return!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 10 October 2020
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience3

The service was fair! Our server was friendly but seemed a bit unengaged. We did ask for an appetizer which never made it to the table, but our entree made it out promptly. We realize perhaps the server did not hear us or was not focused. The food definitely reasonably priced. Although it was the first time my husband and I have dined out since COVID. Maybe given the circumstances is why it did not seem so great. However, we’re grateful to have had El Rey as one of the places to have open slots for dining. El Rey is one restaurant we have not tried in the city and decided to go for it. In the future, El Rey would be a place I’d prefer to walk in or get a quick bite to eat. Cool atmosphere, perhaps take out in the future.

KL
KristenL
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 8 October 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great place for late drinks and dinner. Sat outside - street was energetic but not too busy or noisy. Margaritas and food were excellent and waitstaff were super accommodating, efficient and nice.

B
vipBruce
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on 7 October 2020
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience2

Average Mexican food. Pork tacos were blah. No taste. Modelo beer was cold.

SL
ShannaL
1 review
Dined on 3 October 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Love El Rey, one of my all time favorite restaurants. We drive to Philly from NYC just to eat here. The food, drinks, and staff are fantastic. We felt very safe on our last visit - tables are distanced, wait staff wear masks and shields, temperatures are taken at the door. They went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and comfortable.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 3 October 2020
Overall4Food4Service1Ambience4

Waiter gave friend number. Felt really uncomfortable

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 3 October 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent job of social distancing. Love that we had a booth and the protection in between. Felt almost normal. We will be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on 1 October 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great experience overall. We did outdoor dining and felt safe thanks to barriers in place along the road. Our server was knowledgeable and gave great recommendations about their awesome margaritas. The queso was amazing... we ordered two.

JP
JPAWIMINYDE
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on 30 September 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

El Ray is offering outdoor seating and heaters; a real plus in these pandemic times. We are thankful that we can eat there in a safe setting. Plus, the pico de gallo was really good, as were the tortilla chips.

J
vipJasonleeskinner
Philadelphia
29 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

As with all Starr restaurants, excellent food and great service.

R
vipRatoncito22
Philadelphia
39 reviews
Dined on 27 September 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Overall, just good. The food is good, but not great. OK, the chayote salad was very good, refreshing. The service was just very simple, basic. Never got our waters refilled (OK, we did not ask for it, but I feel they should ask). Not very friendly, but not rude either. The inside has a nice ambiance, and sitting outside is just not the same. Don't know if it's worth it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2020
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience5

Nachos and margaritas were top notch but we did have to wait like 15 mins to be seated even though we had a reservation and the drinks are expensive for the amount served!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was great the atmosphere was relaxing the service was extremely good I would definitely attend again they had wonderful drinks. I had a really nice time

k
kkoth
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fantastic. I brought a friend who hadn’t done any dining out since COVID started and she felt very safe and happy with how El Rey handled everything. The tables are distanced and blocked off parking spaces with barriers instead of crowded onto the sidewalk. Our waitress was attentive and nice. We ordered queso, guac, fajitas, enchiladas, and a margarita pitcher and everything was good. The guac price to taste/amount is perfect. I am always surprised that they serve two big scoops.

ST
STEPHANIEM
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2020
Overall3Food2Service4Ambience3

The fish tacos were just edible. The menu needs to be revamped. Put the tamarind margaritas back on!

JM
JunnyM
1 review
Dined on 18 September 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Customer service was nice +

Food was great and drinks were aswesome..

DD
DouglasD
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Even on Chestnut Street the ambiance and sound were fine! Almost as good as Paris.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2020
Overall2Food1Service1Ambience2

The server was probably one of the worst servers I’ve ever had. Menu was so limited with only a couple of basic things on the menu

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Enchilada was delicious!!

NC
NickChips
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Overall, El Rey is an affordable Tex / Mex style food under the Steven Starr umbrella of restaurants. As with all of their establishments, I am never disappointed and El Rey also lived up to the expectations for a Starr experience.

FAQs

El Rey - Philadelphia does offer delivery in partnership with Caviar and Uber Eats.

El Rey - Philadelphia is rated 4.7 stars by 53 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.