PHLReview

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image
8.7

South Philly Barbacoa

Mexican

Bella Vista

$$$$Perfect For:Classic EstablishmentImpressing Out of TownersLiterally EveryoneLunch

Included In

There was a time in our lives when we would wait in lines—whether it was for an overrated club where we didn’t know anyone inside or the DMV to get a license replaced after dropping the last one down a sewer grate. But then we grew up and realized that clubs are better in theory, and you can replace your license online while you binge watch The Office for the fourth time all the way through. Now, if you find us waiting in a line, it will be almost exclusively at South Philly Barbacoa.

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Even before South Philly Barbacoa started receiving national attention, there was almost always a small line out the door. That’s because this place spends days preparing and cooking their barbacoa, and the work shows. The meat is extremely flavorful and juicy, and you’ll quickly find out that no matter what toppings or sauces you do or do not put on them, the tacos are truly phenomenal and without a doubt the best in the city.

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image
South Philly Barbacoa image
South Philly Barbacoa image
South Philly Barbacoa image
South Philly Barbacoa image

Besides the barbacoa, there’s also vegetable tacos like sweet potato and cauliflower. There's also pancita, a sausage made from lamb and turkey, which is just as good as the lamb in our opinion, and both are served on freshly-made corn tortillas that come from a huge ball of masa sitting on the counter. The consomme is also excellent, and even though it’s mostly just broth with some rice and chickpeas mixed in, it’s exactly what you want after a long night out or when the temperature mysteriously drops 30 degrees in December.

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

South Philly Barbacoa image
South Philly Barbacoa image
South Philly Barbacoa image
South Philly Barbacoa image
South Philly Barbacoa image

Unless you’re not in charge of your plans or you’re a masochist, we suggest you get here by 11:30am on one of the days they’re open (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) to avoid the bulk of the crowds. It may be on the early side for lunch, but we’d rather eat early than spend an hour rearranging our iPhone apps while we wait for a taco.

Food Rundown

South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Barbacoa Taco

What they’re best known for, and hands down the best taco in Philadelphia. Each comes on a fresh corn tortilla and you can top it yourself with whatever salsas, vegetables, and herbs you want.

Pancita Taco

Same deal as the barbacoa taco, except it’s a sausage made from lamb and turkey.
South Philly Barbacoa image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Consomme

This is a delicious, slightly spicy lamb broth with a minimal amount of other things. We’d drink it in a hot cocoa cup all winter.

Included In

FOOD RUNDOWN

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