El Rey - Philadelphia

4.5
263 reviews
$30 and under
American

Top tags:

Casual
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 263 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
Food
4.4
Service
4.3
Ambience
4.3
Value
Noise · Moderate
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P
Pinktennisball
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Love their chips and salsa! Their chicken enchiladas was excellent! Tacos are always great too!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on 20 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great outdoor setting. Very good service

l
viplisamyers1
Philadelphia
26 reviews
Dined on 20 November 2021
Overall2Food2Service2Ambience1

I made a reservation for 2 and mistakenly made it for outside. At this time of year there should not be any outside seating. They were "heated" spaces partially covered with strips of plastic and yet it was still freezing. I ordered the Queso with sausage which was more cheese than anything, the Mexican corn off the cob-no seasoning, guacamole on a plate, and a strawberry margarita-that did not match the description but was okay. I love all Stephen Starr restaurants but I will never go back to this one.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on 19 November 2021
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience4

My little brother and I came here to have dinner and for the most part, everything was great. Great food and drinks were pretty good. Service was okay…everyone was polite but we had to flag other staff members a few times because our waitress was not around. Overall not a bad a experience, I would still come back.

D
Delicious
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on 13 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience3

First time here, celebrating my wife’s birthday. Sat outside in the heated sitting area. Food was delicious. Will come back when in the city again.

AS
AlexisS
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 12 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing food and service. We had the chorizo and cheese dip, tortilla soup (best ever), and tacos. We were so full so we had leftovers for the next day. Highly recommend!

KG
KaGe
1 review
Dined on 9 November 2021
Overall3Food4Service2Ambience3

Food was good, but while other tables were served their drinks, and tables were bussed we had to remind the server for our drinks and to get plates removed.

J
Jrhjr
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 7 November 2021
Overall3Food2Service4Ambience4

Have always loved this place . It seemed like everywhere it was under staffed . Was there at 4:30 pm on Sunday only about 6 tables full and food took forever to get to table . When dinner got to table one was ice cold ! This took At least 45 minutes after apps to get to table , that’s 45 minutes after eating apps . Only thing they said was sorry ! Won’t be back , it’s sad because I like supporting places I use to love .

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 6 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Great good! Waitress was pleasant. Good value for the price

SB
SusanB
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 6 November 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Very good food -but margaritas were very weak!! :(

A
Artem
1 review
Dined on 6 November 2021
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience5

Food was ok, meat(steak) had no seasoning whatsoever, but in combo with beans and eggs worked fine.
Water service can be improved, one glass had lipstick on it. Also, we only got water refilled once at the dessert by manager( but glass was almost empty 30 sec after we got them).
Highchair can be crumbed better before bringing it to the table.

MF
MichelleF
1 review
Dined on 4 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Happy hour at El Rey cannot be beat. The $4 margaritas are great

1
1954dinee
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 3 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

My second visit in less than a week, and I am fussy about my Mexican food. Delicious; chorizo nachos deserve to be a main course.

Just a wee bit too loud, and we had the best server (same guy from last week), who is terrific. We felt a bit rushed but that is likely restaurant policy.

RW
RebeccaW
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Tasty happy hour apps. Great margaritas.

DD
DavidD
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 30 October 2021
Overall3Food5Service5Ambience3

Service was fantastic. The food was even better. Everyone was friendly. Drinks where terrific.

1
1954dinee
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on 29 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was deliciously creative, with authentic tortillas—-hard-won praise from two people have spent enormous amounts of time in various parts of Mexico. Attentive and kind server.

And the ofrenda was so beautifully done; it could easily have been in a special restaurant in Oaxaca.

Wish the noise had been a bit lower, but tolerable.

MP
MeganP
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on 28 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great service, food, cocktails, and atmosphere. Will be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on 24 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Stopped here for a late brunch after visiting the Mütter Museum & it was fantastic. The avocado toast, served with a crabmeat salad & spinach tossed with pickled onion, was the best I’ve had. Great service. Decent value. Would recommend & revisit.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 17 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

A truly underrated brunch spot!

w
wannabefoodie
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on 16 October 2021
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience2

Nice service. Despite having Randstead Room nearby, they have a very limited bar and limited cocktail knowledge. Food was ok. I guess most bummed by the really casual small style restaurant. Like a generic Mexican restaurant but much smaller. Wait Service was good and attentive however.

IS
IsabellaS
1 review
Dined on 15 October 2021
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience3

Food was relatively unimpressive. Drinks were watered down, and music was turned up too loud. Otherwise, a nice casual place to get together

J
vipJenn
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 14 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We thoroughly enjoyed our outing to El Rey.. the tacos were amazing and the margs very tasty!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 11 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience3

We went for my birthday and aside from the general ambiance which this place is seriously lacking, loved this place. The food was delicious and vegetarian friendly, portions sizes were huge, and our server was super attentive and did an excellent job being mindful of our dietary restrictions.

SD
vipSexyDiningCompanion
Philadelphia
49 reviews
Dined on 10 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Say outside the brunch and despite being out on the street it was pretty quiet. My friend and I funny have to yell yo hear each other, like at other outdoor locations. My breakfast burrito was huge and only $13. The pitcher of margaritas was also very reasonably priced. They took all the proper covid precautions. Definitely a good choice for brunch in a Sunday.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on 9 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service3Ambience5

Food was great as always. We have been here multiple times and never had bad service. Our waiter made us feel like we were a complete bother and had zero personality. At a place like this personality is important as is patience. He was young and definitely needs more training. We would come back because this is the first time this happened and we enjoyed ourselves otherwise.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 9 October 2021
Overall5Food4Service4Ambience5

Had a great time with friends at El Rey! Great ambiance for a date or a lowkey birthday dinner

b
birthdayatelrey
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on 9 October 2021
Overall4Food5Service2Ambience3

We went out to celebrate his birthday and we tried a new location. We expected standard city portion sizes, but we got so much more at El Rey. The tuna ceviche alone could have been one of our entrees. The entrees were generous and delicious. We ordered the street corn off the cob to complete the meal, which wasn't necessary but was so tasty we happily indulged in it. Order a pitcher of margaritas if you want drinks with dinner, drink service can get backed up on the weekend. The short rib enchiladas are a must. We will happily return to el Rey.

S
Stephie
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

I went to El Rey for happy hour with my boyfriend. We had a great time! Margaritas were tasty. Not too pricey. Enjoyed the $2 tacos and the small bite plates as well.

N
vipNurika
Philadelphia
61 reviews
Dined on 3 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Perfect brunch place in the neighborhood. Good tacos and decent margaritas… our server was friendly and attentive. Will be back next weekend with friends visiting from NYC

JP
vipJohnP
Las Vegas
11 reviews
Dined on 3 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We were at an event in Upper Darby - discovered El Rey just by looking up nearby restaurants under OPEN TABLE - what a great find! Food was very good - huge portions - the ambiance was nice and the server was very attentive and friendly!

C
vipCocina
Philadelphia
21 reviews
Dined on 2 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Loved the brunch! Service was great, food outstanding!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 1 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was absolutely delicious and the drinks were good too

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on 28 September 2021
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience3

Not great service ans food was off

V
Victoria
1 review
Dined on 26 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

I love El Rey! I took my friend here for his birthday. The food and drinks were excellent. It was a bit noisy, but overall, the experience was wonderful.

G
Gregorygraphics
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on 25 September 2021
Overall3Food4Service4Ambience2

The salsa was very soupy but the lamb burrito was very good. Dimly lit and very average ambience good for a very casual bite

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 24 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Everything was great! We had a great nice.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
120 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

On our first visit to El Rey - we ate outside and particularly enjoyed the tuna ceviche. The rest of our meal was great and the service was friendly and efficient.

M
Meli
1 review
Dined on 19 September 2021
Overall2Food4Service1Ambience5

Our server was not attentive, she took long to get to our table every time and we had to call her over every time. Not satisfied, especially seeing her serve other people with urgency.

J
Jocelyn
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on 18 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food, terrific service. Outdoor seating allows for a lot of fun people watching. Can’t wait to return when the weather cools down a bit.

MG
vipMG520
Miami
20 reviews
Dined on 18 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Soooooooo tasty! Service was on point and food came out instantly. Great prices and portion sizes. Typical Stephen Starr kitsch decor suits the space and vibe. We will definitely be back!

FAQs

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

El Rey - Philadelphia is rated 4.5 stars by 263 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.