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El Azteca

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(51 Reviews)

714 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

(215) 733-0895

Today: 11:30 am - 9:30 pm
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Regular Hours


Extra Phones

Primary Phone: (215) 733-0602

Phone: (215) 783-0895

Fax: (215) 733-0896

Payment method
amex, discover, master card, visa
Price Range
Center City, Center City East

El Azteca Inc

El Cazadorez Inc

El Azteca 2

El Azteca Mexican Restaurant Ii

El Azteca Uno

Mexican Restaurants, Latin American Restaurants, Seafood Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Family Style Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Cuisines: Family Style, Mexican, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Latin American, Seafood

Price Range : Average


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Provided by Citysearch - 
finally a real Mexican restaurant

I really like their food! This is an unpretentious (yet real) Mexican restaurant. Almost a must for lunch (or dinner) for friends. We need more places like this and less fake burrito chains like Chipotle!



Provided by Citysearch - 
EXCELLENT place for lunch!

I go here for lunch sometimes with fellow co-workers. It has the best Mexican food in the area and is very reasonably priced as well. The portions are large and you usually can't finish everything. The shrimp quesadilla is AMAZING and their lunch specials are great too! Come here for lunch if you want a change of pace from the usual fast food, lunch truck etc. Eat in or take out, you can't go wrong! They recently got a liquor lisense and serve some Mexican and domestic beers too!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Choose the right time of day.

I have been going to Azteca for over 8 years or so and maybe its because I'm friendly to the waiters/waitresses but I have never had an issue with either. After our first few visits we stopped ordering appetizers because our entrees would come out so fast. So 8 years later we still just enjoy the warm chips and spicy salsa while we wait for our food. The portions have been reduced recently and at first I was miffed, but its still more than enough to satisfy my hunger. The atmosphere has changed as well for the worse because people don't know how to hold their liquor....maybe the waiters/waitresses have preconceived notions of their clientele and assume that anyone under 30 will be obnoxious. Is this a wrong assumption to have when you run a business.... but I will admit that I won't set foot into Azteca after 7 on any given day because I worry it will be overrun with college kids that think its cool to have 6 bottles of Tequila on their table.
My endnote is that it may not be the best Mexican restaurant out there, but its certainly pretty authentic, friendly and consistent. I recommend you visit them earlier in the day so that you can have their undivided attention and really evaluate the place when its not hectic like on a Saturday at 9PM. I'd love to heasr if your experience is any different under these circumstances.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Truly authentic Mexican food

I have been going to this restaurant for years and thoroughly enjoy it. It has the best Mexican food around and the service is always great with friendly waiters and waitresses who make you feel at home. I used to bring my Spanish students there year after year for an end of the year party. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves authentic Mexican food. It is very flavorful, lots of it and reasonably priced. We always are seated promptly and served quickly. It is one of my favorite places to go.



Provided by Citysearch - 
One of the best Mexican restaurants in Philadelphia

I'm a regular at El Azteca. I've eaten there far too many times to count, and everyone I've brought with me has enjoyed it immensely. I honestly have no idea where some of these bad reviews are coming from. I have never had a bad experience. Everytime I go there, my expectations are exceeded. The food is great, the service is speedy and efficiant. Oh well, to each his own.



Provided by Citysearch - 
An hour and $50 down the tubes

This experience was absolutely a joke from start to finish and I would not feed this food to my dog! It was the most disgusting pile of neauseating mush I have ever seen in my life when the plates arrived. Now when you add rude waiters and horrible service to all this, you can see why when I walked out I felt like I had just been robbed!! What a horrible experience. And if thats not enough we were both sick all night once we got home. Please avoid this restaurant, It needs to be shut down. And I would like to agree with the person who said the owner must be writing GOOD reviews himselp to mix in with all the bad ones.



Provided by Citysearch - 
real mexican

I love that this place is what I've always known a Mexican restaurant to be: great food; casual atmosphere, and cheap. Their chips area nice & hot, the salsa has the right amount of kick to it, and their fried chicken chimichangas are fantastic... I always go for the lime margarita mix, too - the others are nice, but this is what tequila was made to be mixed with. It's like a Mexican restaurant in the South is like - good.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Decent food, ok service rather loud

While the food is always decent to good the atmosphere has gone down. It?s loud and uncomfortable to be in. Prices are good and food seems fairly fresh but the service is sketchy and unpredictable.



Provided by Citysearch - 
A Nightmare, literally.

El Azteca used to be great. the food was awesome and fast and cheap. But then college aged kids realized they could drink there underaged and the restaurant got busted. it was great that it finally got busted because nothing was more annoying then sitting next to a bunch of drunk kids who think its ok to scream and get dangerously drunk. Not to mention, they made it hard for anyone else to get a table because they would take up the entire place and eat the free chips and salsa and drink margarita's all night long. Since then, the restaurant has changed its food and prices to avoid the college kids who take over on the weekends. The food is plain awful, now. We ordered a meat and cheese appetizer and were served melted American cheese with manwich mixed in! Also, and this might just be a coincidence, but everyone who i went with me to el Azteca last time, all had very vivid nightmares that night, could it have been the food? I don't know what worse though, getting nightmares from horrible food, or putting up with drunk, annoying college kids while eating great food....... Long story short, not worth it. Try El Vez, El Fuego or El Jarocha (in south philly).



Provided by Citysearch - 
top mexican food restaurant on my book!!

i highly recommend this place, you are looking for great ,tasty, and cheap, mexican food on center city philadelphia, el azteca its the right place,before i went to this restaurant i read reviews about this place, a lil concern about the reviews i took my chances, but i came out totally satisfied,the service was great,i have gone to some other mexican restaurants, and i highly consider this place as one of the top mexican food restaurants in philadelphia,the best part it is that my fiance loved the food,and i told her i knew this place for years ; )



Provided by Citysearch - 
22nd b day

well i was there for my 22nd b day and i wait alot to be seated even though i had a reservation well the food is ok i love the way the fajitas were made mmmm delicious and the avocado was super duder delicios i was ask for my ID but that was ok because i heard that they had problems with minors drinking in the restaurant the service was exelent but i dindt like the fact that the waiter was drinking with the costumers he was a hispanick chunky guy my weitress had to hel'p his party because he was drunk. i think that affects the other workers job because they cant take care of everything because of the fact that my waitress helped his party she didnt take care of us as much as she was doing so well i would like to come back if they change those minor things



Provided by Citysearch - 
Have YOU caught on...?

I think that there is one person who keeps writing good reviews for this awful place... it's probably one of the numb-nuts who works at this disgusting ""Mexican"" place. Seriously. This place is horrid, I agree with like most of the people who say it's either ""bad' or ""eh"", and I truly hope people are not fooled by the ""this place is amazing"" responses. Have you noticed that those come right after the negative reviews. I bet it's the owner or his rude son who is writing how great this place is. This is hysterical. I wonder who else has caught on :) Thanks for making my day though ;)



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great place for dinner with friends!

I love this place! I am not sure why the previous reviews have been so mixed. I've been there > 5 times and I've never really had a problem. The place is not brand new looking, but it is not dirty either, I looks like a popular, older BYOB which it is. I usually get the enchiladas but also have had the carnitas and fajitas which are all good. The chips served are usually warm and I don't think the salsa tastes like ketchup (as another reviewer said) and they are free with dinner.
It is fun to bring a bottle of tequila and have margaritas made by the pitcher! It is a more affordable way to get cocktails with your friends (especially for us medical students with no money)! We've never had a problem with service or been ignored and we are all in the 23-29 age range.

Pros: Affordable, yummy mexican food
Affordable pitchers of margaritas
Friendly service
Casual atmosphere

Cons: Service can be slower on busy nights, but not unreasonable
Interior is a little older and used looking (but not dirty)



Provided by Citysearch - 
I will never go back

It was terrible. We were treated with no respect. My friends and I are all age 22-25 and were treated like 15 year olds. It was bad service as well. No one paid attention to the fact that we were there for at least 20 minutes and it wasn't even busy that night! When we were finally waited on the waiter was short with us and kept messing up out orders. Besides the fact that he brought out the wrong food, it was gross! If you want cheap crappy Mexican food this is the place to go, otherwise, stay clear of El Azteca.



Provided by Citysearch - 
ok food. awful service.

Ok, so whoever the last person was who said it was a great experience- go to a real restuarant... this place was awful! Maybe the waiters just don't have any respect for anyone under 30... because I am 25 and I went there with my friends, and I had a similar experience of being 'ignored' as some of the other people have mentioned... including the ""whiney"" guy. We sat there for about 15 minutes before anyone came over to help us out, and then when they finally did it took forever to get the food. Some of the food was cold, and one of the orders didn't even come out. Don't bother with this place.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Mexican in Philadelphia!

I love this place! My wife and I have been coming here for years and we love the food! The fajitas are so good and the margaritas are great, we just bring out tequila and the staff does the awesome BYOB! We recently went there on my wife's 30th birthday and we had about 12 of our friends with us, and many of them had been there for the first time. They all loved it. The waiters are so friendly and do everything to make us feel welcome, thats why we keep coming back all these years. If you get a chance try the margaritas they are awesome, and they even started to do 1/2 priced margaritas on mon-weds nights, so me and my wife and our friends will be going back more often. I dont understand why some people have complained so much, especially the whiny person who couldnt have his underage friends at a table with booze, come one get a life buddy. Anyway avoid the negative rants of a few bizzare people and venture out to this awesome place!



Provided by Citysearch - 

I too have read the reviews for this place and decided to have my 22nd birthday party there figuring that it'd be a fun time for my whole group of my friends (ages 20-25)

When we got there, we sat down and after having to wait about 10 minutes for service the manager comes over to card everyone. I have been at BYOB places before and have never been carded... yet, they did it here. The youngens at my party hesitantly said they either were not of age, or just were not going to drink, and thought that was that. Instead, the manager started to pull away the tables and told everyone who wasn't drinking to sit away from the others. It was pretty ridiculous, for he did it in such a way that was belittling towards his customers. When we finally had the distinction of the ""kiddie table"" and ""big kid table"" we decided it was BS, so we put out bottles away and put the tables together saying we would just not drink that night and just have dinner. The manager took our bottles away to the front of the place probably assuming that we were going to try to sneak it!?!?

Anyhoo, now we've been at the place well over an hour and have just eaten two baskets of the chips that were on the table. We have had HORRIBLE service, and my guests were starting to get a bit antsy. Finally the waiter came over and started to take our orders. Apparently we didn't order the right amount of food, for he then snapped at us ""haven't you read the menu!?!? Each person needs a $10 minimum!!!!""

The food here is CHEAP and BAD. There was no way that I was going to subject my friends to waste their money on garbage like this.

We put our menus down, took our bottles back, paid $3.00 for the two baskets of chips and left.

Never have I been to a place that treated a party with such lack of respect or concern, and aside from the awful service, the food is not that great either. The only reason why I came were for the margaritas (which taste pretty cheap as well)

Go to Lolitas. =)



Provided by Citysearch - 
Been there, done that, not going back

After reading mixed reviews for this restaurant, we decided to go an try it out ourselves. We arrived at the restaurant at around noon on Saturday and sat down for what would be our worst dining experience in Philadelphia. We started out with the cheese and chorizo dip which was just O.K.

For our main course we both decided to go with the fried beef tip chimi-changa, this is when it all went downhill. The chimi-changa was soft, not crispy and it was filled with salsa (as in the salsa that they serve with their chips) and had very little beef. In the 3 years that I have known my significant other I have never seen him leave his plate full like he did at this restaurant.

The staff was not attentive, we had to flag them down for refills and the bill. Our bill came to $43 for 2 chimi-changas and cheese dip. Too much money for such poor quality.

Needless to say, we will not be going back to El Azteca and will continue on our search for good Mexican food in Philadelphia.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Perfect for Our Big Loud Group

We loved it! I decided to try El Azteca after a friend suggested it but I was also a little worried after reading some of the reviews. It turned out to be GREAT. First off, it is a big restaurant for the city and we had a ton of space and didn't feel crampted at all. The staff was so attentive and we had at least 3 people help for our 15 person Bachelorette party. The pitchers of margaritas and water glasses were always full. The food was really good (chicken burrito was FILLED with white meat - YUM!), special requests for diet and taste were perfectly accomodated, and the portions were huge - I am a proud member of the Clean Plate Club, but even I couldn't finish my meal (and it was one of the smaller ones listed on the menu). It was also so welcoming - we were a little loud and a little all over the place (in and out to get more wine, bathroom trips constantly, ect) and not a single patron or staff gave us rude looks which has happened at all other big group dinners I've been to. The check came and it was only $20 per person for the whole party which is incredible - I've spent double, triple, quadruple that at places that weren't even close to being as fun with food not nearly as good. If you are looking for a culinary masterpiece with a quiet and romantic setting - this is probably not the best place to go. But for a big group on a party occasion - it can't be beat! Kudos and THANKS to the staff!!

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