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About Cantina Avenida
Dine on flavorful dishes from Central and South America at Cantina Avenida. This neighborhood gem is set inside of a charming house that also offers outdoor seating for guests to take-in the sun as they dine. Owners Ken Alvarez, who's also a chef, along with his wife Kim opened this cozy spot for locals and travelers to enjoy Latin American fare. A plate of chili chicken wings or crab nachos are ideal appetizers for sharing with the entire family at Cantina Avenida Pork tacos with a cilantro mint onion salsa, turkey meatballs or a Latin noodle soup make for satisfying entrées.
Cantina Avenida was voted Best Kids Menu 2010 by Philadelphia Magazine. It offers brunch and provides catering service. This restaurant also serves cocktails like tasty margaritas and other libations.
Philadelphia, PA 19119
Latin American, Latin / Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
Hours of Operation:
Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm;
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm,
Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Catering options are available, please inquire with the restaurant directly.
We have plenty of street parking available on Germantown Avenue
Allen"s Lane train station, Gowen Avenue train station. Septa
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Cantina Avenida Ratings and Reviews
Of the many Mexican restaurants I've visited both in Mexico and the United States, this is among the best. Everything on the menu is fresh and expertly prepared. Avenida has tasty selection of tacos and standard fried fare if you want it, but the menu also features creative variations on authentic Mexican cuisine. The atmosphere is lively, and the wait staff friendly and engaged. My wife and I will be returning soon.
The new iteration of Avendia was a disappointment. The food was delicious, thankfully; but the portions were just too small. Yes, it said small plates and tapas, but I left very hungry. The price tag was pretty high for being hungry. Only one person in our party was satisfied but she only eats a little. But again, what we did eat was wonderful. The paella was the best I have had in years. The skirt steak wasn't cooked as rare as I requested but still delicious with teeny potatoes. And the salad was just kissed with dressing.
We were looking for a place to have a very early dinner when we stumbled upon Cantina Avenida. What a find! It turns out it was happy hour so we were able to enjoy $3 tacos and $5 drinks on the patio before going off to a 7 pm meeting. The service was excellent, as was the food, and we agreed that we would add this restaurant to our list of places to go.
This was my first visit since their rebranding as Cantina Avenida & I wasn't sure what to expect. The change seems to reflect a shift from Mexican haute cuisine to awesome Latin cuisine (not sure how this is "street fare"), but except for some awesome evolution of the menu, the place looks the same - maybe some new paint colors, and the wait staff remains attentive and very friendly. Most importantly, the food is still out of this world, unique, and leaves me looking forward to my next visit! I miss the spare ribs (hope they return!), but really enjoyed the Pollo a la Brasa and the Chicken Tacos. For dessert, do not miss the White Chocolate Burnt Caramel Pudding - out of this world!!
Food was good, although not quite as menu selections as before. Although we were there on a Wednesday night and relatively early, it was still quite noisy. Difficult for people with hearing difficulties to carry on a conversation.
My husband missed the Pinot Noir they used to have.
We were six people for a celebratory dinner. We ordered a wide variety of dishes from the interesting menu, including three type of tacos, and all were tasty and filling. The calamari with spinach, onions and jalapenos was a standout, as was the chopped salaadd with blueberries, corn, and avocado, and the crab nachos. We downed three pitchers of golden margaritas, which some drinkers later said were watery, but apparently it took them several glasses to come to that conclusion! Service was attentive without being cloying. All in all, a fine evening, and we will return.
I had driven past this restaurant a number of times, but my wife and I decided to check it out on our date night one night. The food was really good. Very tasty. I would have liked a few more options but the options that we did have were excellent. It is a nice looking restaurant and the service is excellent. Great Latin food!
The new menu is delightful -- lighter, more casual, just as tasty as ever. We love it! The new, brighter colors in the space are wonderful. Happy to see the slightly lower price points - makes it easy to choose to eat here more often. The chef was kind enough to make my kids' Pasta con Queso special for them (please bring it back, along with plain fried calamari, the two staples my children enjoy). A winning re-imagining, well done!
The new tapas / small-plate menu keeps the flavors and variety of the old Avenida, adds great new tastes, and the lower prices means we will visit more often. Particular highlights on this visit: lingua soft taco, calamari salad, and carnitas. I'm not normally a fan of sangria, but it was the perfect addition to a festive dinner on this sunny summer evening!
Went for Sunday brunch and each of us had three small plates that were absolutely awesome. Chicken empanadas, cactus salad, and taco de carnitas were mine and all delicious. Great service and really nice outdoor patio for early Sunday brunch. Highly recommend
We were told that they recently changed their menu entirely. I hope the last version was a lot better. First, chips and salsa-basic fare at a Mexican restaurant, right? Wrong. They gave us about 7 small chips that paired in quantity with a stingy stepmother portion of salsa. We also had the guacamole-to give it a fair rating would be generous. My wife was astonished at how anyone could mess up the taste of refried beans. We tried three of their "small plate tacos". The carnita had just enough pork to be the highlight of an extremely lowlight experience. The fish taco....I wasn't convinced that it was really fish in there. As far as I'm concerned, bring back the Creshem Cottage. This place was terrible.
New menu is great; nice selection of small plate options. Was surprised to see the caesar salad on the menu. After ordering it, I understand why the owners decided to keep it on the menu. Best caesar salad in town! Try the mole fries or cheese balls... They are both brilliant additions to the menu.
My friends and I wanted to love this restaurant so much. The food was good overall - a few tapas misses but mostly hits.
The service made a negative impact. If you are eating tapas, you'd hope that the wait staff would check in regularly to find out if you want to order more. Not so, we had to grab their attention with difficulty when we wanted to order more and there was definitely a sour attitude. Not the friendliest staff at all. Bad enough that even though we'd LIKE to go back for the food, we probably won't because of the staff.
Went to celebrate my birthday and specifically picked the restaurant because of its outdoor seating. On arrival, we were informed the garden area was full. When we asked how long a wait it would be the hostess seemed to hem and haw, finally coming up with "25 minutes". We reluctantly chose to sit inside, but rather than taking us to the lovely sun room, she led us to a table behind a door in the dark back room. With what seemed like displeasure, she finally consented to seat us in the sun room. After this incredibly irritating introduction, I had little faith in the restaurant, but was pleasantly surprised by the food and the friendliness of the wait staff, however, through our entire meal there were always 6-8 open tables on the patio.
We've always loved the patio garden in back, and with the current owners and menu, good food has returned also. Small plates and tacos were just unusual enough to be interesting. Everything was delicious. Interesting selection of beer and mixed drinks, including a tasty blood orange mojito. One of our new instant favorite places in Chestnut Hill. We went twice in the same weekend since our first visit was so enjoyable.
Was hoping the rebirth into a taqueria would help this restaurant, but the night we were there, we got stale chips, watery margaritas and boring tacos. Caipirinhas were great, as well as the gazpacho. Bummed b/c we live in the neighborhood and are desperate for decent restaurants..,
Had a wonderful time at the new Avenida Cantina! The new decor is lighter, brighter, and comfortable. The food on the new menu was light, fresh, and delicious. We ordered the Mescal and the Blood Orange Mojito cocktails, and those were great, too. Can't wait to go back!
First time at this restaurant. Was very happy with our choices. It was a beautiful night and we sat outside in a sweet garden area. The food was very good. I am a vegan and it is tough to find restaurants that have food options/choices and they had many! :) Our waitress was wonderful and very helpful. The staff was so nice, attentive, and friendly.
Would certainly recommend and would eat here again. My friend said she had a wonderful meal as well.
Your change of menu was disappointing. Your Caesar salad with those soft croutons used to be awesome and best Caesar in the area, I actually came to have that the other night and was disappointed, none...I also loved the, I can't think of the name now, chicken with the red or green mole? That was off the menu. We brought guests with us, we were raving about the menu....very disappointing and kind of embarrassing. The service was terrific, warm and friendly staff.
We found this on open table just scanning through what was available for last minute dinning on Saturday night. It sounded like it would be a fun experience. We were not disappointed. We were seated immediately and our service person was there in a flash with a great big smile and full of enthusiasm.
We prefer to order a lot of things from the appetizers and salads rather than dinner. Especially when we are eating somewhere for the 1st time. This strategy was impressed by the service person and she made several excellent suggestions we would not have spotted ourselves. We ordered sever dishes. Everything had an unusual combination of flavors and we had just enough room left to share 3 desserts.
Try it yourself!
I absolutely loved the Guatemalan vegetarian tamales with tomatillo sauce paired with some yucca fries and a delicious margarita. What topped it all off was a talented 4-piece Mariachi band that took requests and was very personable with all of the guests. Please bring the Mariachi band back often!!
For a Thursday evening in May we were fortunate to dine outside during the sunset. The margaritas were quick and tasteful and the service attentive. The appetizers led comfortably to two winning entree's of steamed mussels and pork spare ribs followed by ice cream flanked by a set of wonderfully baked brownies. Affordable and good time was had by all. I'll certainly return for another meal.
Great restaurant! We went on a Saturday night, so it was a little bit loud but still a great experience. Staff are very friendly and accommodate dietary restrictions/allergies well. My boyfriend has celiac disease and so really appreciated the gluten free menu. Our waitress even pointed out what on my plate was and wasn't gluten free, just in case!
I had the ceviche of the day, which was OK, and the grilled octopus which was fantastic! My boyfriend had a chicken dish which he really enjoyed (portion size was large for that one -- a surprise at such a sophisticated restaurant).
Avenida is both a romantic, intimate spot, and a place totally welcoming to kids.
Parking was easy even on a Saturday night.
It's been a while since we last ate at Avenida. This time we went for the prix fix brunch special. Well, let me tell you, everything was fabulous. Even in early April, the salads tasted farden fresh - not a wilted leaf to be had.
Between the friendly and diverse wait staff, the hostess who lends them a hand without looking bothered, the ambiance of restaurant (I felt like I was in a small villa's dining room), and the great food, my family and I will keep this rediscovered gem on our radar.
We enjoyed everything we ordered with one exception. My vegetarian husband ordered the vegetable tamale which was described as having zucchini but contained none and very little other veggies. It mostly consisted of corn meal made into a steamed loaf, which was disappointing to him. Our appetizer nachos with guacamole, pico de gallo and salsa, all house-made, was delicious. My roasted chicken with fired yucca and steamed broccoli with aoili mayo all tasted delicious. The vegan ice cream sandwich, which we shared, was amazing. We will definitely go there again.
Treat yourself to an evening out at this terrific little Chestnut Hill gem. The food is absolutely delectable and the margaritas are too. Like octopus? They've got it and it's nicely grilled -- served on a bed of fresh spinach with grilled avocado. The flank steak was nicely seasoned. Portions are just right and so are the prices. Can't wait to return.
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