Cantina Los Caballitos
Hip Mexican fare and local brews in South Philly
Cantina Los Caballitos has helped anchor the rebirth of East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia among the hipster jet-set crowd, if you will. Part restaurant, part bar, Cantina draws a pretty diverse and eclectic clientele. Longtime locals mix with neighborhood newbies… and even folk from Center City make their way this far south to experience the food and fun at Cantina.
The interior could be classified as looking like a Philadelphia version of a Mexican gastro-pub — lots of dark wood, a few booths, some south-of-the-border coloring and decor on the walls, etc. Overall, the space is very well done and the atmosphere is comfortably hip and casual. So whether you visit for lunch, dinner, happy hour, brunch or evening drinks… you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy yourselves here.
The kitchen produces a fine repertoire of Mexican fare. For appetizers, the empanadas, the guacamole and chips, and the guava barbecue wings are all very good. For a special treat, try an ear of corn on the cob with chipotle butter, grated cheese, lime and cilantro — it’s amazing.
Also, Cantina always boasts a healthy selection of great daily specials, like shark tacos and a roasted suckling pig, so be sure to pay attention to your waiter.
Meanwhile, the cocktail selection at Cantina is hard to beat. Flights of tequila are available, where top shelf blancos, reposados and añejos are accompanied by a spicy sangrita to chase and cleanse the palate. The selection of margaritas, made with fresh-squeezed fruits like guava and blood orange, is comprehensive — the Bicicleta and the Cadillac are two favorite varieties. And there are several local craft brews available on draft.
It’s really no wonder why Cantina Los Caballitos has quickly become a favorite hangout among the locals.