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“Food was great, Desert was even better”
Review of Distrito

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Ranked #318 of 4,488 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: Mexican
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: University City
Cross street: 40th
Transit: By train the Market-Frankfort Line stops at 40th & Market. By Bus, the 21 line runs down Chestnut street & stops at 40th Street. The 30 line runs up Market to 40th Street.
Description: Distrito is a vibrant celebration of the culture and cuisine of Mexico City with a menu focused on the diverse street foods served in what is known by locals as the Distrito Federal (D.F.). Distrito Tacqueria is our first-floor casual eatery featuring an approachable menu by Chef Jose Garces. Distrito offers a full bar featuring signature margaritas, over 250 tequilas and beer towers festooned with sugar skulls holding over 128 ounces of beer. The second-level dining room is a lively backdrop for Chef Garces’ modern Mexican small plates. Styled in pinks and greens, the restaurant features more than 600 hanging masks of Mexico’s Lucha Libre - and a four seat booth fashioned from an authentic VW Beetle, the official taxi cab of the D.F. Private Parties: Distrito welcomes groups of all sizes. Events can be booked throughout the restaurant and in our private dining rooms seven days a week.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We loved the tapas style plates allowing us to try a few diiferent dishes. We had the carnita, mahi-mahi tacos, and one of the flatbreads. The margaritas were excelnt and woth the $10 they charge for them. The kaluha banna chhese cake was awesome.

    • Value
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Thank Matthew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 - 163 of 277 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2013

Was this place expensive? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Hell ya! Having spent close to 12 years in Texas, I was used to getting great BBQ and good Mexican food. My wife has spent 25+ years in Texas, so she knows her Mexican food as well. We both absolutely loved Distrito's and can't wait to go back and even try Jose Garces' other Philly restaurants.

Distrito's is located in the University City section of Philly and it's pretty much street parking. Driving into the city on a Friday evening is not fun, but our 1 hour and 45 minute drive was worth it! This is a 2-story restaurant that is brightly decorated on the inside. I wish we could have dined in the car located on the first floor, but it was already taken. We ended up sitting upstairs, and in addition to regular tables, they also had a few where you could sit in a porch type swing to eat your meal. I like how you can look into the kitchen, but some of the tables were a bit to close together. It wouldn't have been much of a stretch for me to reach over and grab food off the table next to me (which I thought about doing as their meal looked really good as well)!

This is a tapas restaurant, so plates are small. They do offer a tasting menu, but they prefer that your entire table order that if you decide to go that route. We wound up ordering al a carte and went with the traditional guacamole, encarnacion nachos libres, mahi maui tacos, and the carne asada. For dessert, my wife had the torta de queso (lime cheesecake) and I went with the churros. Everything was simply delicious except the carne asade, which is why I could only give this a 4-star rating. The taste of the carne asade was just OK and there was a lot of fat on the meat. It just simply was not to our liking and as my wife said, she's had much better. But that aside, we thoroughly enjoyed everything else and would not hesitate to go back. There are plenty of other things on the menu that I would love to try.

Service was excellent and I dare you to try and get your water glass to be less than half full! Someone was constantly coming back to refill the glasses and if they could find a way to fill your glass while you were drinking, they probably would! Since this was our first visit here, our waiter really helped us out with the menu and with how much to order. When I left to hit the restroom during dinner, I came back to my napkin neatly folded up and placed on the table (I left it on my seat all crunched up).

As for the restrooms, they have several individual bathrooms, each labeled as either men's or women's and then there is a community type sink for washing your hands. While the bathrooms were certainly not bad, they could have been a little tidier.

As I said, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal and we will be back and we will try his other restaurants in the area!

Thank GigemAggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Fun, a bit on the loud side, tables are fun, swinging while eating could bother some but the decor is imaginative and the food great. Pricey but then small bites always are.

Thank BongiPhiladelphia_PA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

I took a work group here after we were unable to get into El Vez, and I'm certainly glad that I did! Everything on the menu was delicious. The service was outstanding, as well. There was a "secret" room behind the host stand-they opened up the bookcase on the wall and put our group of 11 in that room. There was even a karaoke machine!

Definitely recommend!

Thank crickettrainer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We started out at El Vez had margaritas, ordered the $17 guacamole, looked at the menu and said can we go back to Distrito? Yes. Distrito's food is so good, the short rib flat bread, the scallops, the lobster taco. The atmosphere is fun and funky. El Vez is too loud, too small. It's okay for a drink but that's it. If you want both great margaritas and outstanding mexican food go to Jose Garces' Distrito!

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Thank capemayjul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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