El Rey - Philadelphia

4.5
159 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 & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • 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
What 159 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We are outside and felt the service, food and atmosphere were all outstanding! We’ll definitely be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great time, and really great service. Nachos were amazing! Get a pitcher each of the mango margs and the frozen pineapple, and then mix them! So refreshing.

OT
OTownDiner
Orlando
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing - try the Chicken Al Pastor Burrito - AMAZING. Serving size was excellent and server was so great. Can't wait to go back

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chorizo nachos are to die for!!

TC
ToniC
Miami
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place was awesome - service, food, all of of it!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall2food5service3ambience5

Hostess was rude when we asked to sit outside.

MN
MollyN
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Best nachos I’ve ever had- every bite had an ambulance of delicious toppings

d
ddenizzcc
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience3

Outside seating was good. Servers were very nice.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and service was excellent

K
vipK80t
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and food were fantastic!

JC
JessecaC
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service! The staff was very knowledgeable about the menu and vegan options.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Apparently you cannot order an alcoholic drink if someone at your table has forgotten you ID, we were constantly rushed to order and leave, there was no communication between workers as they kept asking us the same questions without consulting each other.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

The waiter wasn't good

WG
vipWhitneyG
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

First off - my ratings for ambiance/noise level are based on sitting outdoors. Since the pandemic, El Ray has built a wonderful outdoor structure for diners. My one complaint is that the tables are a bit small. They're picnic tables that barely fit 4 adults (one person one each side had to sit with their legs straddling the part where the bench connects to the table).
Service - I know that restaurants are struggling to hire right now, so I can't fault slower than usual service. However, it still would have been nice to not have to wait over 10 minutes for someone to come over and bring water and take drink orders.
Food - fantastic. Nothing overly fussy, just well-made dishes with quality ingredients. $40 margarita pitcher is only worth it if you have 3 or less people (we had 4, and it gave us exactly 4 drinks - one margarita is $10, so that was just breaking even).

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing and lovely. Perfect date spot. Can’t wait to go back

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We had the last reservation of the night, everything was great, but i wasn’t happy that 20mins after being seating our server asked if we wanted to add anymore drinks or food request because it was last call. Maybe the 9pm reservation should be open if we will be limited in our timing. Otherwise, everything was excellent and enjoyable.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience3

I didn’t realize the menu had changed drastically. The signature items that I swoon over were not on the menus. We were crammed in a tiny outdoor booth. Not my best experience there.

FO
vipFamilyOfFoodies
Philadelphia
94 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2021
Overall3food2service1ambience4

Food was “just okay.”

MB
MelissaB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server was great, the margaritas were excellent, and the nachos changed our lives. Will definitely be back!

RM
RandaM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really amazing food! The service was wonderful! Thank you!

ER
EricaR
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2021
Overall3food4service5ambience4

i understand it’s a starr restaurant so pricing will always be higher, but this just didn’t quite cut it for us when it came to value. nearly $50 for a marg pitcher was a little steep. the server (i wish i could remember his name!!!) was awesome and very accommodating - specifically when my chicken pastor burrito came out; there were beans in the burrito (i have never had anything pastor with beans in it, also beans were NOT listed as an ingredient on the menu which was super misleading and disappointing) and he was able to ask to remake it. not everyone enjoys beans, so that needs to be listed on the menu so it can be substituted if necessary. my boyfriend finished his meal by the time my remake came out which didn’t help the experience, but again the server was super nice and accommodating about the situation. the churros were great, but the sauce was also not explained on the menu and my boyfriend was NOT a fan of it. overall, i think you need to redo your menu if it’s going to be misleading and have ingredients that we didn’t know about

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beat happy hour in the city - boogs

MS
MimiS
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Gotta say, if it wasn’t for Shawn the bartender This would’ve been the worst experience thanks to your host.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

the food was great, especially the zucchini and corn quesadilla. The drinks were alright, not going to lie, service was very slow, there was only one person working all the outdoor seating. However, I know there’s been a shortage of workers given the pandemic situation, so I am very understanding of that.

G
luisG
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was fabulous. Always a pleasure.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

It was so cool on the inside, loved the spicy skinny margaritas! Great eggplant enchiladas! Would go here again!

M
Mary
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I enjoyed the food and our hostess, Bailey was very thorough. She was the best part of our visit!

p
phillynative94
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience5

amazing service, really good drinks but okay food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took my mother out. The environment was nice and Nathan is the BEST. Frozen & Mango Margarita are the PERFECT

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The nachos are amazing!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the best server, Nathan, and such great food!! Everything was excellent and I can't wait to go back.

L
Luvmytastebuds
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience1

Awful food and drinks. We ordered a pitcher of sangria and had to return it after one sip. It was bitter like it had been made with vinegar or the cheapest possible wine available. My companion ordered a vodka tonic as a replacement and the tonic was completely flat - no fizz whatsoever. The chicken in the tacos were overcooked and the salad was drenched in salad dressing. There was nothing redeeming about this place. I am totally confused as to why it gets good ratings. There's nothing authentic about this establishment. The only positive thing I could say is that you can dine outdoors but the visuals and drunks ranting as they pass by will certainly kill your appetite.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The tres leches french toast was extremely delicious. Service was great. Not too expensive at all.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall3food5service4ambience3

Asked for an outside table on my reso and ended up getting an inside table on a beautiful day :(

MH
MatthewH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Service was incredibly slow when I went. Also we ordered a pitcher of standard margs for $40 we only got four margaritas out of it. A single standard margarita costs $10, so there is no value provided by purchasing a pitcher. Have had better experiences here in the past.

T
vipTchamber79
Philadelphia
43 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience3

This is a middling type South American inspired Starr restaurant seemingly more focused on their drinks (predictably margaritas) than food. I could tell this because the server asked if we wanted any other drinks than what we’d ordered 3 times and the “ceviche” was a warm sautéed plate of octopus. The lamb burrito was good but very, very greasy which didn’t help hold it together since it was cut in half for “presentation”. God I hate when places cut my burrito in half- it’s not a cold wrap- roll that thing tight!! Anyway if you want tacos and margaritas this place would be better than for “authentic Mexican fare”.

NQ
NQCA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

El Rey is excellent! One of my favorite places to eat in the city!

MR
MyReview4U
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Our server was great and patient! Food was decent. Great value for HH. Margaritas were very good! Can’t wait to go back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great atmosphere! Love it! Will be back

LB
LizB
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Sat outside, the service was good. Food was really good. Would definitely recommend.

FAQs

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

El Rey - Philadelphia is rated 4.5 stars by 159 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.