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Tapas and tequila reign at this deliciously over-the-top Mexican hot spot

The bar at Distrito.

Tequila, anyone? Credit: Courtesy Distrito


Jose Garces, the brains behind the kitchens at Amada, Tinto and three other top-notch restaurants, has just made Philadelphia diners very happy.

At Distrito, Garces’ brand new, two-story Mexican outpost in University City, incredible tapas dishes mingle with a funky (and mostly pink) décor — including the restaurant’s famous Volkswagen Beetle booth — to bring you a thoroughly entertaining night out.

Our suggestion? Try the grapefruit margaritas. And the yellowtail tacos. And the scallop and pineapple skewers. Try everything.


Distrito’s menu traverses Mexico City’s rich gastronomical landscape and focuses on the cuisine of what’s affectionately known as the “Distrito Federal,” or “D.F.” — the centrally-located capital city from which Distrito takes its name.

Garces’ signature interpretations of classic Mexican fare include: skewers of scallops and fresh pineapple, grilled and served over a sweet pepper and grapefruit salsa; guindilla chili-marinated lamb chops with smoked bacon etole; and huarache de los hongos topped with black and royal trumpet mushrooms, black truffles and corn shoots.

Add to this Distrito’s selection of fresh, house-made margaritas and more than 60 varieties of tequila, and you’ve got yourself a real Mexican meal to remember.


Distrito’s fun and striking décor includes a bight pink and green color scheme, a wall constructed from more than 600 colorful, campy masks of lucha libre, or “free fight,” professional wrestlers, and a booth crafted from a Volkswagen Beetle, a typical Mexico City taxi cab.

Take a spin around the two-story restaurant and you’ll also find a working jukebox, a vending machine equipped with Mexican action figures and toys, and an assortment of seats that swing, swivel and rotate.

Live Music at Distrito

Who doesn’t like a little music during dinner?

Distrito features a singing guitar player every night (except Wednesday and Sunday) who will gladly serenade your table. As though your margaritas hadn’t set the mood already.

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