Hispanic Heritage Month

How to Support Philadelphia’s Latino-Owned Businesses Right Now

It’s easy to do in Philly.

Sofia Deleon of El Merkury
Sofia Deleon of El Merkury | World Central Kitchen
Sofia Deleon of El Merkury | World Central Kitchen

This month in Philadelphia usually kicks off with monumental exhibitions, performances, and the annual Feria del Barrio, a celebration of Latino culture held on El Centro de Oro (“the golden block”) around 5th Street and Lehigh Avenue. As with everything in 2020, however, this year September looks a bit different. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend the city and the economy, it’s more vital than ever to support Philadelphia’s local restaurants, nonprofits, and commerce -- especially in BIPOC communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. From Latino-owned businesses to social justice initiatives, here are some ways to support the community that makes up more than 14 percent of Philadelphia’s population.

Nonprofits and services

Italian Market
Juntos is a community-led Latino immigrant organization with many initiatives to support the community in Philadelphia. Among Juntos’ programs is the Solidarity Bank that works to bring food to underserved immigrant families, and the Community Resistance Zone, which educates and aids community members when facing police or ICE.
How to support: Browse Juntos’ work and campaigns online, then make a donation or volunteer.

West Kensington
Galaei is a social justice organization advocating for queer Latinx communities. The group’s work includes the Positivo campaign, free HIV and STI screening, and ongoing virtual events during COVID-19.
How to support: Make a donation to the Urban Affairs Coalition for Galaei.

West Kensington
Ceiba advocates for quality housing by working toward economic development and inclusion of the Latino community of Philadelphia. One of Ceiba’s biggest offerings is the IDA Program, which provides structured savings programs for first-time homebuyers. 
How to support: Sign up to volunteer or donate

Restaurants and bars

El Merkury
Owner Sofia Deleon brings Central American street-inspired fare to Center City, translating the experience for Philly diners with pupusas, taquitos, tostada, and gourmet churros served warm over soft serve. During this time El Merkury has also been offering contributions to World Central Kitchen
How to support: Order takeout or delivery online.

Rosario’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
Italian Market
Rosario’s mingles the Italian history of its neighborhood with its modern Latin footprint, serving traditional pies as well as 14 Mexican-inspired pizzas, plus empanadas, burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and tons more. 
How to support: Order takeout or delivery through SliceLife.

Alma del Mar
Italian Market
Many of us got to know and love Marcos Tlacopilco when we saw him appear on the latest season of Queer Eye. Now you can enjoy his new restaurant’s American-style brunch and lunch dishes with hints of Mexican flavor.
How to support: Order takeout by calling 215-644-8158 or visit for outdoor dining.

Sazon Restaurant & Cafe
Traditional Venezuelan is the name of the game at Sazon, a BYOB with eclectic brunch and dinner menus, as well as tons of desserts like handmade all-natural truffles that are good on the go. The spot also has a gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly menu.
How to support: Order takeout or delivery or make a reservation for outdoor seating at 215-763-2500

Jezabel’s Argentine Bakery & BYO
Spruce Hill
Jezabel Careaga pioneered this destination for Northwest Argentine food, offering breakfast go-to’s like Argentine-style croissants and Mafalda, as well as empanadas, quiche, and so many sweet treats. 
How to support: Order delivery on Caviar or call 215-554-7380 for takeout.

Bar Bambón 
Bar Bambón packs all the flavor of Latin flavors (with heavy San Juan roots) while making the entire menu vegan. Stop by the takeout window for java and juice or go all-in on Philly “steak” empanadas, Peruvian yuca, and sweet plantains.
How to support: Order delivery or pickup on Caviar and Grubhub, or reserve outdoor seating.

Casa Mexico
Italian Market
Casa Mexico opened just a month before COVID-19 changed the dining scene. It’s the new concept from Cristina Martinez, best known for her line-inducing tacos from South Philly Barbacoa. At Casa Mexico, the menu focuses on authentic Mexican tacos, tlayudas, tostadas, and other daily specials. 
How to support: Order online.

Tierra Colombiana Restaurant
Tierra Colombiana has been serving Latin-American and Caribbean flavors for more than 30 years on North 5th Street, in the heart of one of Philadelphia’s most historic Hispanic and Latin American communities. The spot is open all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
How to support: Order delivery or takeout by calling 215-324-6086 or on DoorDash.

Puyero Venezuelan Flavor 
Headhouse Square
Puyero specializes in authentic Venezuelan cuisine, including juicy helpings of shredded chicken, beef, or pork best eaten alongside tequeños and fried sweet plantains. 
How to support: Order delivery or takeout online.

Retail and other businesses

Centro Musical
Centro Musical has a 50-year history on El Centro de Oro, selling a wide array of musical instruments, Latin music, art, and souvenirs. Third-generation owner Cristina Gonzales maintains Centro as a destination for the community and a way of sometimes connecting with Fairhill city councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez.
How to support: Wear a mask and shop.

Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Philadelphia’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is working to help Latino business owners survive the economic downturn of the Covid-19 pandemic. One such effort is its R+ Latinx Small Business Relief Fund, which offers grants to businesses impacted by the city’s ongoing pandemic guidelines. 
How to support: Make a donation and follow Instagram for more updates

HACE’s Main Street Program 
HACE has been working to economically empower Philly’s Latino community for more than 30 years, working against disinvestment in the city’s most dense Latinx community -- HACE was very organized to help prevent the closure of a mall in El Centro de Oro. Today one of HACE’s many initiatives includes the Main Street Program, which focuses on the small businesses of Fairhill and St. Hugh. 
How to support: Shop local and make a donation.

Entertainment and recreation

Taller Puertorriqueño
Taller has served for more than 45 years as a destination for empowering Puerto Rican and Latinx culture through arts and cultural programming. The gallery space has begun reopening in the wake of COVID-19, also offering new hours for the center’s educational art programs for children and youth. 
How to support: Plan your visit or make a donation.

Queen & Rook Board Game Cafe
Headhouse Square
Part restaurant, part board game-and-puzzle paradise, Queen & Rook is one of several Philly destinations for when you want an activity with your meal. While that might look a little different right now due to COVID-19, the spot is still offering in-store browsing, online pickup, delivery, and outdoor dining. 
How to support: Stop by for browsing and outdoor dining.

Power Street Theatre
Various locations
Power Street Theatre goes beyond the bounds of a typical theater company and functions as a creative collective deeply ingrained with Philadelphia’s multicultural artists, wielding powerful stories and educational programs to connect across communities. With COVID-19 putting a gutting pause in performing arts, funding is harder than ever for creative initiatives like Power Street to maintain. 
How to support: Make a donation and stay updated via Instagram.

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Marielle Mondon is a writer from Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @MarielleMondon.
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