Fairhill, Feltonville and Juniata Park are known as the Hispanic capitals of Philadelphia. Over 50 percent of the population is of Spanish decent. With residents hailing from Latin American countries all over the world, this neighborhood is filled with some of the best Spanish-owned and -operated eateries in the city. Here are some places you should know about when visiting this area.
1. Taqueria La Raza
“We are the pioneers of Mexican food in Philadelphia,” said owner Maritza Diaz. “We were one of the first Mexican restaurants in the city.” The family-owned business (pictured above) first opened in 1997 after the family bought the property at 227 W. Allegheny Ave. “We first started making the tacos at the corner store, then my dad opened this restaurant with my mom,” Diaz said. Since its grand opening 16 years ago, residents have been traveling from all over to enjoy their tacos and burritos, even from as far as Reading, Pa. The most ordered item on their menu is “La Lengua Taco,” which is a taco made with cow tongues.
2. Freddy & Tony’s Restaurant
As you enter Freddy and Tony’s Restaurant, you’ll immediately smell mofongo – beef stew and fried plantains. The sounds of reggaeton and salsa music provide the backdrop to the dining experience. Located at 201 W. Allegheny Ave, this cozy establishment provides some of the most authentic Puerto Rican cuisine in the city and is definitely a gem in Fairhill.
Located at 4535 N. 5th St, this establishment is a large, family-style restaurant with beautiful Spanish-style décor. What sets this place apart is that it features traditional meals from an array of Latin American countries, such as Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. The menu also features several options for vegetarians.
4. El Punto
This place isn’t your average Philly cheesesteak joint. El Punto puts a Latin American twist on the traditional sandwich experience and is one of the most raved about eateries in the Juniata district. This pop-in, pop-out spot features Spanish lunch items such as the “Tierra, Mar, Aire” (Land, Sea, Air) sandwich, which includes steak, shrimp, chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, mayonnaise and ketchup.
5. El Coqui Panaderia
“When you come here, you’re going to feel like you’re in Puerto Rico,” said Cesar Guzman, owner of El Coqui Panaderia. “You will see the difference from other places when you visit us.” El Coqui Panaderia has been open for almost eight years now, and business is still going strong. This bakery features some of the best pastries in the area including cakes, donuts and apple turnovers, as well as Puerto Rican favorites such as pastelillo with guava and tembleque.