El Rey - Philadelphia

4.6
130 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 130 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The nachos are amazing!!

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

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

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
41 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.

T
Tina
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Margaritas were delicious but a very stingy poor. 1st was filled with ice so 2nd one I asked for less ice and that as well as less drink in an already small glass. Not worth the price IMO

PG
PragatiG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food, staff, ambiance! Outdoor seating was cute and decorative.

MC
MarciaC
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Had the equivalent of paella and it was delicious. My companion liked his carne asada. Huge portions including the guacamole.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Quest Gondi do with mushrooms really good would rather have it with chips instead of tortillas
But really flavorful
Also had fish tacos & shrimp tacos & street corn
My kid has chicken quesadilla & my bf had the chicken burrito all good. The street did have a line taste that surprised me it was good but I’ve had better

z
vipzorbird
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is amazing! The Paloma and mezcal mule were top notch! Our new go-to for Mexican.

NY
vipNYCinPhilly
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great

G
luisG
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was amazing. There service was fast. Thank you to our waiter. Food was fabulous.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Just a 2 maybe 3. Surprised this was a Starr restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This was a great date night experience! The waiter was super accommodating of my food allergies. The food was great and the service was great too! Would go again!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience2

Food was good but the service was awful. Took 10 minutes to be greeted after we were seated. We ordered drinks and an app. She came back 10 minutes later with our drinks (that weren’t correct, but I didn’t say anything), we then give her the rest of our order. Before you know it, our entrees are coming out. Never got the appetizer and we were missing a side of street corn that we ordered with our main courses. We said something to the girl that was dropping our food and she told our server, who we now realized was doubling as the service bartender. She came over a few minutes later, didn’t apologize, but rather told us that our appetizer would be right out with the side of street corn. The food was great once we got it all. But overall, the service couldn’t have been more inattentive and careless.

KB
KristinaB
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Visiting from out of town, El Rey was highly recommend by a local friend for brunch. Our waitress, Bailey was a wonderful host! My friend and I loved our meals and drinks. We shared the Guacamole (yum!) with freshly made chips, Heuevos Ranchos, & Bailey's recommendation, the Steak Chilaquiles. We also had some yummy cocktails - a Hibiscus Mezcal Mule & Paloma. We made a reservation for outside originally but they were very accommodating to our change of plans with wanting to be inside. We also took our time with eating and chatting. We never felt rushed to leave. If anything Bailey was extremely personable, knowledgeable, and just a kind person to be around. We were very pleased! :)

A
vipAyooo
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service. One of our best dining experiences post-pandemic.

BH
BrittH
Guadalajara
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great! Margaritas are super flavorful and pack a punch!!

RL
RoseL
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing and the servers too were nice

m
moira
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was so great. Brought our young daughter and the waitress was so great with her. Food was bang bang and very reasonably priced

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Had to wait about 25 minutes past our reservation but the manager was super nice and gave us complimentary chips and salsa. Great good, great margs, very covid safe!

m
michaelg
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great little place. Really enjoyed. Will go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great brunch options. There’s a shortage of ketchup, which was disappointing as the potatoes needed some. Otherwise, El Rey has great food. The indoor ambiance is perfect for a rainy afternoon otherwise I’d sit outside.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Daughters favorite restaurant

Report
K
Kimberly
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Once again, our experience at El Rey was fantastic! We always love the food, drinks and atmosphere.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Service was lovely; our server refilled drinks often, and was friendly without being intrusive. We were there for brunch, and the overall experience was—mainly due to the service—good enough that we may give them another try at dinner.

The food at brunch—chilaquiles, a breakfast torta, and hue is rancheros—was decent, but not memorable. Drinks—slo start, rum punch, and hibiscus mule—were not very flavorful.

J
Jomarie
Atlantic City
3 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing and service was outstanding. Very clean!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Greta food, great service!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
31 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always enjoy my time here. Some of the best food selection and service you can get in the city. You cannot be at the location for every day dining or special event. Highly recommend sitting outside in one of the chalets

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service and food was great as always

t
viptt03
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great service, very good food, and very conscientious regarding a family member who is gluten free. Couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable afternoon.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience2

The chicken inside enchiladas was bland, the mashed black beans were dry, the mole was thick like paste. The chicken tortilla soup had more tortillas than broth. The soup itself was bland. Drinks were fine but nothing special. Very unfortunate because I feel
Like the food used to be good

AG
AGPB
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Good food! Bit of a noisy street, but glad to be able to sit outside.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Let’s start off with the service, it was great they got me seated right away and someone was over to the table within the first 5 mins of sitting down. The drinks were good, but I really wish happy hour was not so short. Ordered nachos with chicken and they really was delicious. I will be returning back again.

FAQs

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

El Rey - Philadelphia is rated 4.6 stars by 130 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.