photo credit: KERRY MCINTYRE

Blue Corn Restaurant image

Blue Corn Restaurant


Italian MarketBella Vista

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdaysBrunchCasual Weeknight DinnerGluten-Free OptionsHappy HourLunchWalk-Ins
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When you walk into Blue Corn, you’ll immediately think it’s a major holiday that you somehow forgot. There’s shiny red garland with pink hearts hanging over the bar, cardboard spiders dangling from the ceiling, and everyone’s already on their second margarita. Then you remember that it’s just a random Tuesday night and the next major holiday isn’t for three months. That’s what’s so great about Blue Corn though. No matter when you come here, it feels like you’re celebrating a holiday—one centered around really solid tacos.

Blue Corn Restaurant image

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

Blue Corn is a small, 10-table Mexican restaurant in the Italian market and it’s one of the best places to go when you want a fun night out that starts with good margaritas and great tacos. Everything here, from the two semi-spicy salsas that appear on every table to their blue corn tortillas that form the base of most of their tacos, quesadillas, and huaraches, is made in the small, open kitchen. And while most of the food here is fairly familiar, you’ll also see ingredients like nopales and beef cheeks that you won’t find at many other taco spots in the city.

Blue Corn Restaurant image

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

Besides tacos, the menu includes everything from soups and tortas to filet mignon, but the blue tacos al pastor are sweet, rich, and hands down the best thing here. The ceviches are equally impressive, especially the one with octopus, avocado, and pico de gallo that’s topped with homemade vinegar. Whether you get that one or the daily special ceviche, it’ll come with plantain chips and a honey-lime salsa that is just a bit spicy, mostly sweet, and unlike any salsa we’ve ever had. You’ll want to confiscate all of it and bring it home to pour on anything and everything you own—edible or not.

Blue Corn Restaurant image

photo credit: Kerry McIntyre

While the appetizers and tortilla-focused dishes are all nearly perfect, the entrees aren’t quite as exciting. Some things are a little bland, like the chicken mole, and the pork chops are flavorful, but a bit tough. If you come with a group, the camarones al ajillo and the filet mignon covered in beans and melted manchego are both worth ordering, especially if the idea of delicious meat and cheese snugly sleeping inside blue tortilla blankets isn’t cutting it for some reason.

Blue Corn Restaurant image

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

As long as you know what you’re getting yourself into—namely more than a few drinks and sitting by at least one table of people talking over each other about something from college that no one 100% remembers—you’ll have a good time at Blue Corn. Even if you had to create a fake holiday like Vice Presidents Day or the anniversary of your Bat Mitzvah to convince your friends to celebrate with you.

Food Rundown

Blue Corn Restaurant image

Ceviche de Pulpo

This ceviche never leaves the menu. It’s super citrusy and light, and it comes with a side of plantains and honey lime salsa. We ask every time we go what exactly is in the salsa, and they tell us super nonchalantly all of the ingredients, but we have yet to be able to replicate it.
Blue Corn Restaurant image


Some of the tacos come with regular white tortillas, and while those are perfectly acceptable tacos, you’re here for the freshly made blue corn tortillas. These tacos al pastor with pineapple are sweet, a little spicy, and we think about them at least twice per week.
Blue Corn Restaurant image


There are a few different varieties of these, but they’re all based on big oval tortillas and piled high with things like nopales, cheese, onions, and meat. They’re a bit hard to eat because of the sheer volume of toppings, but they’re delicious.

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Suggested Reading

This is a food spread at Dante & Luigi's.

The Best Restaurants In South Philly

The 20 best sandwich shops, taquerias, Italian restaurants, and pho spots in South Philadelphia.

South Philly Barbacoa image

South Philly Barbacoa in the Italian Market makes the best tacos in Philadelphia. Period.

The Best Mexican Restaurants In Philadelphia image

The 16 best Mexican restaurants in Philly.

Cantina Los Caballitos image

Cantina Los Caballitos is a Mexican spot in East Passyunk with a good Happy Hour and a huge patio.

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