Food & Drink

El Compadre

Legendary barbacoa and homestyle Mexican fare in South Philly

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Photo courtesy Bon Appétit
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Overview

In 2017, chef Cristina Martínez relocated her operations from the South Philly Barbacoa shop to El Compadre in the Italian Market, expanding her hours from what used to be a weekend operation to six days a week.

Outside, the façade is decked out in the mirrored chips of an Isaiah Zagar mural; inside, bright yellow walls hung with original artwork (El Compadre doubles as a gallery space) are accented by floral waxed tablecloths.

Lines often trail out the door, and customers gather around the communal tables, along the wall counter and at the outdoor tables in front to feast on tacos and bowls of posole.

Even in a neighborhood rich with Mexican restaurants, this festive and impassioned establishment stands out from the pack.

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