South Philly Barbacoa

Mexican Restaurant

At South Philly Barbacoa, chef Cristina Martinez's tacos typically sell out before sun down. The authentic Mexican joint ran, at first, out of Martinez's one bedroom apartment, graduating later to a taco cart, and eventually coming to inhabit the brick and mortar space it occupies now. Martinez's famous slow roasted lamb tacos bring crowds of local Mexican immigrants and native taco connoisseurs, alike, flocking to her tiny restaurant, often waiting hours for a chance to sit and savor her famous homestyle Mexican cooking. The restaurant's narrow interior is painted a sunny yellow, with bright floral cloths spread across each of the tables, all of which are typically topped with stacks of tortas on white plates. Customers will most likely engage in conversation with Martinez and her husband while enjoying their food -- the chefs treat the space something like their own living room -- and patrons are welcome to bring their own coronas while they scarf down handmade flour tortillas and bowls of consumee'. In spite of a major lack of space, a rather limited menu, and a remarkably small staff, the food served at South Philly Barbacoa has managed to make quite the name for itself.

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