Fajitas are the ultimate in do-it-yourself dining. You’re given all of the ingredients, sizzling away and smelling divine, and it’s up to you to create a meal to your specifications. Love veggies? Pile them on. Prefer your fajitas cheesy? Go for it. These Philadelphia restaurants will let you wrap up some of the best fajitas around town.
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Cantina los Caballitos
1651 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Hours: Daily – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
This South Philly neighborhood favorite offers plentiful, inventive Tex-Mex, and you will definitely be bringing home leftovers. Each meal starts with complimentary chips with two different fresh salsas: red and verde. You can order your fajitas vegan, vegetarian or meat-filled. The best options are the vegan fajitas with seitan chicken and smoked tofu for $18, and the steak fajitas for $20. Whichever protein you pick, the dish also comes packed with wild mushrooms, peppers and onions, guacamole and more. Cantina los Caballitos is a great place to sip a blood orange margarita, dip some chips and watch the cool people go by.
1201 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 8 a.m. to 12 a.m., Fri to Sun – 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.
If you’re in South Philly and just don’t feel like a cheesesteak (shh…your secret’s safe!), check out La Lupe, located in a converted garage near Pat’s and Geno’s. This unassuming little place has been written up in Philadelphia Magazine and USA Today due to its popularity as a place to go for some of Philadelphia’s most authentic Mexican food–with the best price tag. Frequenters of La Lupe love the fajitas, especially the Fajitas Mixtas, a combination of beef, chicken and shrimp for $14.50. La Lupe’s fajitas are packed full of meat, which makes up the bulk of the stuffing options. All platters come with rice and beans or french fries. Also, if you bring your dog (which is allowed and welcomed at La Lupe), they’ll even provide water for the pup.
1138 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Hours: Daily – 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The many fans of El Jarocho affectionately call the BYOB a hole-in-the-wall kind of place. While El Jarocho is little in size, it is huge in flavor. The menu is extensive, with over 15 different breakfast choices and 25 house specialties. If you’re craving fajitas, you can have the Mixed Fajitas, with shrimp, chicken and steak for $14; Fajitas Vegetarianas, with red and green peppers, onions and tomatoes for $12; or Fajitas de Camaron, with shrimp for $14. You don’t need to be a seafood lover to enjoy every bite of the shrimp fajitas either; the seasoning on these little critters make this the best fajita option on the menu. Also, all platters come with rice and beans to accompany these sizzling dishes. Since it only seats about 20 to 25 people, El Jarocho also offers takeout and delivery.
Cactus Restaurant and Bar
4245 Main St
Manayunk, PA 19127
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The Cactus Restaurant on Manayunk’s Main Street is a cool place to hang out, with exposed brick and friendly bartenders and servers. There are specials every night of the week, like Taco Tuesdays with $2 tacos, and Wing-it Wednesdays with 25-cent wings all day long. The drink list is quite extensive with a huge tequila selection, domestic and imported beers, wine and a fun list of cocktails, including some inventive margaritas. And the fajitas are especially delectable. They are grilled with onions and green bell peppers and served with the usual add-ons: Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream and flour tortillas. For protein, you’re offered chicken, portabello mushrooms, steak, shrimp and pulled pork. The prices range from $12 to $14. For something a little different, Cactus also offers a Fajita Salad, which comes with sizzling chicken or steak, grilled onions and peppers on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes, black beans, cheeses and crispy tortillas, all drizzled with a tasty Lime Crema, for $8 or $12.
4550 Mitchell St
Philadelphia, PA 19128
1919 E. Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Hours: Mon to Wed – 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs – 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Both locations of Adobe Café are great for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike; the vegetarian menu is just as extensive as the standard menu. The fajitas come out sizzling away with black beans, green peppers and onions. On the side, there is Jack and Cheddar cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and flour tortillas. Regular fajita meat offerings are also available, but go for something a little different and order the duck fajitas for $16 or the Mexican chorizo sausage for $15. Vegetarian fans love the seitan fajitas or the portabello mushroom option, both of which are only $15. This cafe makes it on the list for its unique fillings that add an entirely different taste to your classic fajita.
Trish Deitemyer is a freelance writer living in Philly. She covers Food & Drink and has been writing since 1986. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.