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El Rey - Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

El Rey - Philadelphia

4.4
4.4
376 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.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 35 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Options

  • Logo image for Uber Eats

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    American

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–3:45 pm Dinner Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (215) 563-3330

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Executive chef

    Dionicio Jimenez

What 376 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.4
4.4 based on recent ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. NJ

    NickJ

    Brighton

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 24, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    El Rey was good food, helpful service, and reasonably priced. We could only get a table outside so ignore my ambience score. The booths were clean compact with no frills. Would return. Was party of 4 and the others agree with my review.
  2. L

    Lily

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 19, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience3
    You really get your money’s worth for happy hour—$1 chips and salsa and $5 margs! Not very many people at 4:30pm on a Monday, so it was pretty quiet. Very nice greeter and server. A great experience overall!
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Baltimore

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on September 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food and service was excellent.
  4. M

    Melanie

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    food and drinks are great! it's a smaller space so it can get a little noisy inside.
  5. F

    Faithlynn

    Philadelphia

    20 reviews

    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on September 8, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience3
    Terrific food and drinks, but very loud. We went on a Thursday night, sat near the bar and could barely hear each other speaking.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fun S Starr restaurant
  7. l

    lsunday

    Philadelphia

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall3food4service4ambience3
    Food was pretty good but not great. Salsa was more. Like pico de gallo. The place was so loud, we couldn’t hear ourselves think. Margaritas we’re just ok.
  8. JM

    JMST

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall2food2service5ambience5
    Pre-pandemic, the bloody marys were exceptionally good (special, in-house recipe). They are now mostly ice and have lost all their flavor. The food has changed too, and not be for better. Portion size is significantly smaller than it used to be. Seasoning also leaves a lot to be desired. Overall, a rather disappointing experience. That said, the service was still very good.
  9. 7

    701dine

    New York Area

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on September 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Today I entertained an american who has been living in Paris for the past 20 years and he was yearning for some authentic Mexican food. El Rey did not disappoint. The waitstaff was very attentive and polite. The food was excellent. The chips and guacamole was so good. The main courses were just as excellent. My guest had the enchiladas and my chicken fajitas were the best I ever had. Overall a great meal and experience.
  10. p

    pattyh

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 1, 2022

    overall2food2service4ambience1
    ordered chips and salsa, asked for refills on salsa as there was not enough and charged $6 for each of 2 bowls of salsa. no extra chips and nobody mentioned the charge, received bill and $12 extra. They said it is normal to charge $12 for enough salsa to eat with chips and nachos I ordered. 🙈😡
  11. I

    Impressed

    Philadelphia

    12 reviews

    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on September 1, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Great Happy Hour menu, but too loud for conversation as the place fills up.
  12. B

    Beatriz

    Philadelphia

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    Loved the food but it all came at the same time. Entree at the same time as the guacamole and chips. All rushed and no room on the table.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Awesome food, environment, drinks! Nostalgic experience! Highly recommended
  14. MC

    MC2M

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Great food. Great margaritas. Great service. Love this place.
  15. f

    fedandr

    Baltimore

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had an amazing time at el Rey. Exceptional staff, great food and cocktails and fun but cool ambiance. We will be back!!!
  16. T

    Tameke

    Philadelphia

    89 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    89 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall3food4service4ambience3
    The french toast, tacos, margaritas, and service were good.
  17. S

    Steph

    Philadelphia

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on August 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food - loved that the nachos were in one even layer instead of a giant pile. Our server was great as well.
  18. MQ

    MooseQ

    Philadelphia

    44 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    44 reviews

    Dined on August 17, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience5
    Went for a casual birthday dinner. Service by 2 staff members who doubled as bartenders was really excellent! They were very knowledgeable about all the menu items, answered questions quickly with good detail and very attentive during the entire time we were there! Food was only average though. Salsa (served with chips) was surprisingly super sweet and did not taste like a traditional salsa. I must compliment the staff as they made us feel very well cared for even though the restaurant was busy.
  19. M

    Mike

    Washington DC

    40 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    40 reviews

    Dined on August 15, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Reasonable priced and generous portions. Friendly staff.
  20. L

    Lorraine

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great margaritas and tacos! Fast and friendly service!
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 9, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience4
    I ordered the steak fajitas, which tasted fine but unfortunately there was only enough steak to make two fajitas (but about 15 tortillas to fill). They lay it on thick with everything else which does not make up for it. The dish was about 60% onion, 3% peppers, 30% refried beans, 6% cheese, and 1% steak. That brings me to the almost $50 pitcher of the weakest margarita I’ve ever had. I’ve had stronger and better tasting margaritas just about everywhere I’ve ever been for significantly less money. I ate outdoors and it really seems like the servers don’t seem to check up on you very much out there. The server was pleasant though. It was on a peaceful street not full of people walking by constantly, or maybe it was because it was Monday. I won’t be going back and I don’t recommend this place.
  22. DD

    DD29w21

    Atlanta

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on August 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    10 star Greek Restaurant. Moussaka, spanakopita, red and gold beet salad, 4 huge lamb chops, The best hummus I’ve ever eaten comes with fabulous bread. The service was top drawer. Continually coming over to make sure all of us were enjoying our dinner. If I lived in Philadelphia I’d be going there three times a month
  23. JB

    JoshuaB

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 3, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    for people looking for a Mexican style restaurant, this one is borderline authentic, yet okay for people who want a more Americanized version of the cuisine. The guacamole was very bland, their salsa is really a pico di gallo, yet the ceviche I had, the tuna, was quite enjoyable. Ok tequila choices, fairly reasonable shot prices.
  24. a

    andrewm

    Philadelphia

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love this place. Great food and service. Love the ambience. Great happy hour.
  25. JB

    JoshuaB

    Chicago

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was incredible!
  26. J

    Jayy

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, service, and atmosphere. I had the short rib enchiladas, and they were delicious!
  27. LZ

    LauraZ

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Nachos and margaritas are a must! One of our favorite spots in Philly
  28. y

    yoon

    Philadelphia

    6 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience3
    Our waitress was not attentive and was not even a busy day. She also had slight attitude.
  29. M

    Michelle

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I love the happy hour at El Rey. $5 margaritas are great
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on July 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Went for Happy Hour which was incredible. The margs were great, the food was great, and the prices were perfect. The service was also incredible, everyone was so nice. Would absolutely go back!
  31. JA

    JenAch

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and great service! The margaritas and food were delicious and the staff were friendly!
  32. MG

    MonicaG

    Philadelphia

    12 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on July 3, 2022

    overall2food4service2ambience2
    They don’t adequately clean the outdoor seating area. Our table had a pack of ants crawling over the seat and table. We moved to another booth and there were less ants but they were still present. Everyone knows if you don’t clean food residue off of furniture ants will ensue. Also, we ordered chips and chorizo Queso and never received it. I didn’t realize it until after I left. Hopefully I wasn’t charged for it, but I didn’t look through each line item on the check before paying. So be certain that you get everything you ordered and check your bill. The food and drinks independently are good. The price point is a bit high but that’s to be expected for the area.
  33. MH

    MattH

    Philadelphia

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Server was so friendly and hooked us up with extra drinks on the end of HH. Food was delicious! We had the Tumbada and Cammarones and both were outstanding.
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Memphis/West TN

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, ambience, prices and the best spicy margarita in Philly. Staff is very nice, warm and welcoming.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall3food1service5ambience2
    Service was amazing. Was surprised the food was just mediocre
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Superb service and relaxing yet unique atmosphere! And good food! Perfect setting for a lunch
  37. N

    Nan417

    Philadelphia

    63 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    63 reviews

    Dined on June 23, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience4
    Such a great place but there bar is never staffed appropriately so u wait ages for a drink. 3rd time there and hasn’t improved. Bummed because we like it.
  38. T

    Talia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 20, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Happy Hour (4-6 weekdays) was a great value! They were clear and helpful about Celiac-safe gluten free options and had a separate batch gluten free chips which they warmed up for us.
  39. VA

    ValerieA

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 16, 2022

    overall2food1service2ambience3
    It may be authentic but it lacks a lot of flavor.
  40. L

    mollyL

    New England

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 16, 2022

    overall2food1service4ambience2
    The food was very bland. It came out in one minute, like a fast food restaurant. How can be a burrito be tasteless? This place is very tired. Service good but food was horrible. Revamp this place please!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

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

El Rey - Philadelphia is rated 4.4 stars by 376 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 35 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Options

  • Logo image for Uber Eats
Google Map for El Rey - Philadelphia

2013 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Chestnut Hill

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–3:45 pm Dinner Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    American

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Parking details

    None

  • Executive chef

    Dionicio Jimenez

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