On the heels of the highly successful Philadelphia Pizza Crawl of December 2012, it was time to plan another food crawl. Cheesesteaks and pizza were already done. The next target: tacos.
The taco scene in Philly is diverse and spread out. Some of the best known Mexican establishments in town are the Stephen Starr and Jose Garces restaurants in Center City and University City, but many of the true gems are the “authentic” South Philly spots that are, regrettably, largely unknown to the average Philadelphian. In fact, there are fantastic taquerias to be found all throughout the city. The Philadelphia Taco Crawl of July 2013 sought to sample some of the best taco spots in different neighborhoods.
- Basics – Sample six of the best Philadelphia taquerias on a Saturday in July.
- Objective – Follow up on the Pizza Crawl and experience the great tacos the city has to offer.
- Specific stops – Honest Tom’s Taco Shop, Cantina Los Caballitos, Taqueria Los Taquitos de Puebla, Restaurant Taqueria El Jarocho, La Calaca Feliz, Taco Riendo. All have received recognition as being among the best places in town to get tacos. They also provide a good mix of “Americanized” and “authentic,” casual and more formal, BYO and bar establishments. Bonus points for “unusual” offerings. Not making the cut but meriting consideration were spots such as El Vez, Distrito, Loco Pez, Taqueria La Veracruzana and Taco Loco.
- Logistics – With Crawl stops in University City, South Philadelphia, Fairmount and Olde Kensington, walking would be impractical. Originally, we considered renting a bus or trolley. Instead, we went by bike, car and even bus between long distances, while walking between stops two through four. Just like the Pizza Crawl, we also collected $20 up front for the cost of tacos and some drinks, while everyone was responsible for their own alcohol and additional orders. Calls were placed in advance to each location to ensure they were open and able to accommodate large groups. At each stop, we’d order enough for at least one taco per person, and we’d sample unique or specialty offerings where possible.