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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
We took my step-son and his wife out for a birthday dinner. The service was good and the dinner on"Taco Tuesday" was tasty, but our tab after tax and tip was $160.00. My husband and I felt that was pricey for tacos, tapa-sized side dishes and one dessert shared by all. To be fair, we had 3 sangrias and 2 beers. Might think twice before going back.
The noise level was so high we could not hear what the waitress when telling us the specials. Very long wait for food and the check was wrong was charged $10.00 for one ice tea. The waitress corrected it but make sure your charges are accurate. Disappointed.
From someone who has had mostly poor restaurant experiences in Philadelphia, this was a pleasing experience. Food was good service was good, but not overbearing or intrusive (I absolutely hate it when a server interrupts conversation to ask if everything is OK - if it's not OK, be assured, I'll let you know. Be attentive and available if needed. But, don't interrupt my conversation!) South American flair to the food. Good seafood.
I made a reservation for 5 to take my family out for my daughter's birthday. We arrived to find that the Tuesday menu entree's at Avenida were limited to three tacos, wit sides. We made due with a variety of small plate appetizers and some tacos. All of the food was good, and the service was attentive. And we appreciated the table side visit from Edgar, one of the owners.
No complaints about the food, we just wish we could have experienced the full menu for this special occasion.
My wife and I took another couple to this neighborhood gem located between Chestnt Hill and West Mount Airy, and it was like a weekend trip to Latin America. The margueritas were balanced but not overpowering, and the grouper and crabcakes had complimenary salsas that brought out their fresh flavor. The desserts were outstanding, es[ecially the one with ice cream and a brownie! One entree came out late, so I got a free marguerita. I'll make that trade all night long.
We eat here every couple of years. We did not have a great dining experience this time. It took 15 minutes to get a drink. Our table was on a spot on the patio where one of the pavers was depressed. I kept having to move my plastic patio chair to avoid the hole. I just couldn't get comfortable. Add to it a neighboring table with three cute but rambunctious kids, and the atmosphere was just not what I expected. The service was so-so. I could tolerate all of this for great food, but I wouldn't call it that. Maybe we were all having an off night?
We needed an informal dinner before a Friday night event in Germantown and Avenida was a great find. Tasty food, excellent service, and when we shared our tight schedule with our server she made sure everything happened in good order. Sorry we could not stay for desert. My wife had the cucumber soup and the mussels. I had a summery fish skewer over rice. It was happy hour and the $5 margaritas and sangria were perfect! All fresh fruit and fruit juice and good sized. Just what we needed for a warm evening. Not very convenience for us in terms of location, but we'll be glad to come back whenever we need a meal in this vicinity.
I've been to Avenida many times (and always loved it. Make sure you get the grilled octapus), but this is the first time I went to their Taco Tuesday event, three tacos and three sides for $20. The food was absolutely delicious and I was completely stuffed. Add to that the fact that we ate during their Mexican Happy Hour serving $5 mojitos, sangria and margaritas (the prickly pear one was incredible), and we had the perfect meal. I definitely plan on going again next Tuesday!
This was our second visit to Avenida in two months and the issues that bothered me about it at that visit were still present this time, with the addition of a real lack of airconditioning. It's a nice place and the people are very friendly. However, they're just not that professional. Empty glasses are left on the table and - my pet peeve - servers never know who ordered which dish and stand there and have to ask the diners. This isn't a complicated thing to learn, and it would really professionalize the operation. The noise level when it's busy and fans are whirring is really, really loud. Curtains, tablecloths or other things to absorb noise would definitely be helpful here. The food is good, some items definitely being better than others
The value at this Latin American restaurant is terrific. The pitcher of Sangria seeved six. The large bowl of gazpacho was a different recipe from the usual, and quite good. The chicken portion was a half chicken served with yucca fries that were excellent. The sea bass was a very large piece of truly delicious fish, served with an interesting rice. The veal was tasty and came with sweet potatoes and broccoli rabe. The pork dish got raves and came with a side dish that tasted like a quiche. The flan was particularly good for dessert. And, the prices were quite reasonable. The atmosphere is casual and it was not too crowded, so the six of us had no trouble hearing one another. We will go back.
Welcoming staff and tasty $5 margaritas combined with a trio of seafood appetizers made for a tasty, light dinner during a heat spell. We enjoyed fried oysters, calamari, and grilled octopus. The latter came with fresh greens so delicious that they almost made an accompanying salad with fried goat cheese superfluous. The waitstaff was welcoming and attentive. We will go again soon to sample some entrees.
The hostess and staff were all very friendly and accomodating. Our Margaritas were great. The food was good, but not very exciting. The service was pretty bad. Our appetizers came out at least 10" before the chips and guacomole, and that was about 25" after we sat down. About 15" after our appetizers, the waitress walked over and gave us menus asking if we wanted dessert. We told her we hadn't even gotten our dinners.
All in all, not a terrible experience and I would probably try the restaurant again. I don't like to judge the first time around.
Avenida disappointed. We asked to be seated outside but when they led us out, there was only 1 chair at the table and after the hostess argued awkwardly with a busser, she decided we couldn't sit outside. When our server came over, she told us normally she would list the specials but they are out of all of them so she didnt know what to say. Another server helped bring out food and kept heckling us, like at a TGIFridays. Like "you can't go home until you finish that mousse!" And "Here's the chicken, and oh these scallops must be for me!" It was strange. Food was fine, dessert was lacking. 1 option had "Melba" sauce and when we asked what that was nobody knew. 3 different people came over to tell us they had no idea. We won't be going back.
You know a place is excellent when you truly do not want too many people to know. We were attracted to AVENIDA because a friend has a gluten-free diet and she was referred to this restaurant. From the moment we walked in (from a convenient parking spot) we were greeted by the enthusiastic bar tender and the ambiance of the warm and inviting decor. Connie, our youthful, spirited and knowledgeable waitress knew the menu as if she was cooking each and every dish. Aside from delicious margaritas, we were blown away by the succulent grilled octopus; you MUST try it. As Connie stated, this appetizer takes more prep time than any other dish in the restaurant - and it is worth it. Everything we tasted was wonderful! HIGHLY Recommend.
our repeat dinner was just as wonderful as the first .... soft shell crabs, scallops, duck, calamari and ribs --- all disappeared from our plates like magic....
were able to sit outside, which always makes everything so much nicer
the desserts were also well done
a good tempranillo topped off an excellent meal
will be back
The traditional architecture of colonial America seems to work well for Avenida's mostly Latin American menu. The outdoor seating is very nice, weather permitting. The menu is somewhat eclectic but what we had was good to very good, but not great. The only real complaint was the noise level indoors at prime time, but that became better when a few of the tables became unoccupied. We'll come back again.
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