Don’t ever lump authentic Mexican nachos in the same category as jalapeno poppers or chicken tenders. Connoisseurs of nachos know you can’t just rip open a bag of tortilla chips, spread some artificial cheese sauce on top and call it a day. If you want crispy, melty, salty, savory nacho nirvana, search no more. Here are the top places to nosh on nachos in Philadelphia.

951 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 634-7400

Karaoke Sundays and Taco Tuesdays attract a crowd, but Barbarella’s real draw is its out-of-this-world nachos. Located on the second floor of The Barbary, Barbarella is one of the few bars in Philly that knows its stuff when it comes to crispy, flaky chips served with a generous portion of toppings. If you like ’em hot, these nachos are served with fresh jalapenos, packing way more of a punch than the pickled peppers that are frequently used. The black olive slices add an interesting twist, too.

El Vez
121 S. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 928-9800

These nachos are a little pricy but oh so good. Crunchy chips are smothered with smoked chile salsa, black beans, white cheddar, Monterey jack and crema fresca. The chips are exceptional, too – thick, crispy and not greasy – and the salsa is so smokey and flavorful that there’s no need for jalapenos on these babies. For more macho nachos, try the shredded steak variety. You might just need a friend to help finish them off.

Jose’s Mexican Food
469 N. 10th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 765-2369

For the best authentic Mexican nachos in town, head to Jose’s. This corner joint may not look like much from the outside, but the food is lip-smacking good and the eatery has a surprisingly large menu. Order the special nachos, a delectable treat served with refried beans, real cheese sauce, crema fresca, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo and pickled jalapeno peppers. The chips are crisp and have just the right chip-to-topping ratio, imparting tons of savory flavor.

Related: Top Tacos In Philadelphia

106 S. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 546-7100

If you’re craving a late-night snack spelled n-a-c-h-o-s, then Lolita’s is the place to go. The restaurant has a special deal on its sheet pan nachos from 10:30 p.m. to midnight, Sunday to Thursday. Just $10 will get you a massive portion of cheesy nachos made with homemade chips that are beyond bueno. Esperanza and Geraldo make them fresh daily using a tortilla roller straight from Mexico.

Related: Top Fajitas In Philadelphia

Taqueria Los Jalapenos
1800 S. 4th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 468-1828

A South Philly fixture, Taqueria Los Jalapenos offers five great nachos options, all served with homemade chips, refried beans, cheese, sour cream and jalapenos, of course. The chef does not go crazy with with beans, but, instead, as the restaurant’s name implies, serves up an ample portion of jalapenos. The guacamole nachos are to die for, but the pico de gallo variety is equally as good. Carnivores love the steak and ground beef nachos, and the chicken nachos are also a surefire crowd-pleaser.

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at