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“LOVED it”
Review of El Rey

El Rey
Ranked #2,325 of 4,405 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Cuisines: Mexican
Neighborhood: City Center East
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: City Center East
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“LOVED it”
Reviewed January 17, 2012

After being disappointed in most other philly restaurants, my last choice was a gem! El Rey had DELICIOUS homemade chips, salsa and tortilla soup....with great casual/fun ambience...the lunch special is an amazing deal - highly recommend!

Visited January 2012
1 Thank cattroxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“With many tables, why try to seat us right outside the kitchen”
Reviewed December 30, 2011

We decided to go to El Rey when we weren't able to get last minute reservations at El Vez(another restaurant owned by the same group). Since El Rey is no reservations, we went early(about 5:30ish)and found the restaurant was just beginning to fill. That being said and with many tables and booths available, the hostess initially took our party of 5 to the back of the restaurant and tried to seat us at the table right outside the kitchen door. I asked for a change and after some hesitation, we were seated at better tables. Problem solved, now on to the food, which was above average, well-priced Mexican food with especially good guacamole. We had a little of everything on the menu, tacos, tamales and quesadillas. Our dessert churros were a disappointment. Other items of note--this restaurant is VERY LOUD so don't expect to have a quality conversation and the restroom facilities are horrible. My recommendation is El Vez over El Rey hands down.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PhiladelphiaCamelot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marlton, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good Food Good Price”
Reviewed December 29, 2011

This is one of the Steven Starr restaurants that won't bust your wallet. If you've been to El Vez, & loved the food than you'll love this restaurant even more. They have great happy hour specials and the service is much more laid back and not as snooty. It is small and their can definitely be a wait on a busy weekend, but that's every restaurant in the city. The bar is small which is nice because you don't have a crowd of people hanging out waiting to be seated like other restaurants. My only complaint is that they don't have Patron and when I asked why the server said, " We feel as though their are better quality tequilas that we'd rather highlight." That may be true but I would argue that's for me to decide not El Rey.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Cdub29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Excellent Authentic Mexican Food-Amazing Margaritas”
Reviewed November 18, 2011

Our daughter, who lives in Philly, took us to El Rey. We had a truly wonderful meal. The service could not have been better. The wait staff tended to our every need, bringing drinks, explained menu items, filled water glasses, came by several times to ensure that everything was perfect.

The food was prepared in a traditional Mexican manner, not like the cheesy mess you usually get a chain restaurants. I highly recommend the cervice appetizer. My daughter had a soft taco with lamb, which was outstanding.

The drinks are yummy, with many variations of margaritas.

The restaurant is a happy place filled with young folks in their 20s and 30s. It's a bit noisy and lively. Don't get discouraged if you see a line at the door, as the line goes fairly quickly.

Really wonderful restaurant, would certainly return.

Visited November 2011
1 Thank motherbored
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania, USA
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Good service, good margheritas but terrible food"”
Reviewed October 15, 2011

Huge disappointment. From the decor to the menus (not a great selection) and the food itself.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank beachfamilyusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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