Philadelphia is a diverse city with a thriving food scene, and one cuisine that has become increasingly popular in recent years is South American cuisine. From traditional Argentinean steakhouses to Peruvian ceviche spots, here are some of the best South American restaurants in Philadelphia.
South American Restaurants in Philadelphia
Zahav is a James Beard award-winning modern Israeli restaurant that also incorporates flavors and techniques from other Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. While not exclusively a South American restaurant, Zahav’s menu features a variety of dishes inspired by Israeli street food and Middle Eastern mezze that share similarities with South American cuisine. The lamb shoulder and the hummus are must-tries.
Vista Peru is a Peruvian restaurant located in Old City that’s known for its ceviche and seafood dishes. The menu features a variety of traditional Peruvian dishes, including lomo saltado, a stir-fry dish made with marinated beef, onions, tomatoes, and French fries, and arroz con mariscos, a rice dish with mixed seafood. Vista Peru also has a great selection of pisco-based cocktails.
El Merkury is a Guatemalan street food restaurant located in the Italian Market that specializes in handmade pupusas, a traditional Salvadoran dish made with masa, cheese, and fillings like pork, beans, or vegetables. The menu also features other Central American dishes like tamales, plantains, and yucca fries. The colorful and casual atmosphere makes it a great spot for a quick and tasty meal.
Tierra Colombiana is a Colombian restaurant located in North Philadelphia that’s known for its live music and festive atmosphere. The menu features a variety of classic Colombian dishes like bandeja paisa, a platter with rice, beans, steak, chorizo, avocado, and a fried egg, and empanadas, a pastry filled with meat or cheese. Tierra Colombiana also has a great selection of tropical cocktails.
Chalaco’s Ceviche & Pisco Bar
Chalaco’s Ceviche & Pisco Bar is a Peruvian restaurant located in Northern Liberties that’s known for its ceviche and pisco-based cocktails. The menu features a variety of ceviches made with fish, shrimp, or mixed seafood, as well as other Peruvian dishes like anticuchos, skewers of marinated meat or fish, and causa, a layered potato dish with fillings like chicken or tuna.
Tinto is a Basque-inspired tapas restaurant located in Rittenhouse Square that also incorporates flavors and techniques from other Spanish-speaking countries, including South American countries like Peru and Argentina. The menu features a variety of small plates like octopus with chimichurri and braised short rib empanadas. Tinto also has a great selection of Spanish and South American wines.
Puyero Venezuelan Flavor
Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is a Venezuelan street food restaurant located in Queen Village that’s known for its arepas, a traditional Venezuelan sandwich made with a corn cake filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. The menu also features other Venezuelan dishes like empanadas, tequeños, and cachapas, a sweet corn pancake with fillings like cheese and shredded beef. The colorful and festive atmosphere makes it a great spot for a casual meal with friends.
Garces Trading Company
Garces Trading Company is a European-inspired market and cafe located in Washington Square that also serves a variety of South American dishes, including Argentinean-style empanadas and Peruvian-style roast chicken. The menu also features a great selection of cured meats and cheeses, as well as artisanal breads and pastries. The cozy
Tierra Colombiana, located in North Philly, is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for an authentic taste of Colombian cuisine. From empanadas and arepas to bandeja paisa and sancocho, this restaurant offers a wide range of dishes that will leave your taste buds feeling satisfied. The atmosphere is lively and colorful, with live music and dancing on weekends. Don't forget to try their famous mojitos, which are made with fresh sugar cane juice.
If you're looking for Brazilian cuisine, look no further than Brasília Grill in Northeast Philly. This restaurant is known for its traditional churrasco-style meats, which are carved tableside by gauchos. You can choose from a variety of meats, including beef, pork, chicken, and lamb, all seasoned and cooked to perfection. The salad bar also offers a great selection of sides and appetizers, such as feijoada and pão de queijo. Finish off your meal with a caipirinha, a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaca, lime, and sugar.
Puyero Venezuelan Flavor
Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is a small and cozy restaurant in Center City that offers delicious Venezuelan cuisine. Their menu features arepas, cachapas, and patacones, all stuffed with a variety of fillings such as shredded beef, black beans, and plantains. They also serve empanadas, tequeños, and other traditional Venezuelan appetizers. Don't forget to try their famous chicha, a sweet and refreshing corn-based drink.
Las Cazuelas, located in South Philly, is a family-owned restaurant that offers a taste of traditional Ecuadorian cuisine. The menu features dishes such as ceviche, llapingachos, and seco de chivo, a slow-cooked goat stew. They also offer a variety of seafood dishes, such as shrimp in garlic sauce and whole fried fish. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with colorful decorations and a friendly staff.
Inka Wall, located in Northeast Philly, is a Peruvian restaurant that offers a wide range of dishes, from ceviche and tiraditos to lomo saltado and arroz con mariscos. Their menu also features Peruvian specialties such as rocoto relleno, stuffed peppers, and ají de gallina, a creamy chicken dish. Don't forget to try their signature pisco sour, a Peruvian cocktail made with pisco, lime, egg whites, and bitters.
El Balconcito, located in West Philly, is a small and cozy restaurant that offers a taste of traditional Peruvian cuisine. The menu features dishes such as ceviche, anticuchos, and tallarines verdes, a pasta dish with a spinach and basil sauce. They also serve a variety of seafood dishes, such as jalea and arroz con mariscos. The atmosphere is laid-back and casual, with a friendly staff and colorful decorations. Don't forget to try their chicha morada, a sweet and refreshing purple corn-based drink.
Philadelphia is home to a variety of South American restaurants that offer a taste of the diverse cultures and cuisines of the region. From Brazilian churrasco to Peruvian ceviche, these restaurants are a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the flavors of South America. So, next time you're in Philly, be sure to check out these restaurants and experience the rich and delicious cuisine that they have to offer.