Ten doors down from the storied Rumor Nightclub sits Mission Taqueria. One of Rittenhouse’s many upscale eateries and awash in a glow of young professionalism, this new Mexican restaurant looks to be the trendiest thing we’ve seen since Adidas Superstars and ironic baseball caps.
The restaurant, accessed by a narrow stairway up from Sansom Street, opens into a large airy space, with a bar, large communal tables, more traditional restaurant seating and an area with foosball tables and shuffleboard. In the middle of the space, there’s an outdoor sunroom with plants, a bench and (of course) a Madonna (Ed. note: the Virgin, not the pop singer) statue with a neon halo. This place was made after someone’s idea of a chic millennial dreamscape.
We start off trying Esquites ($5), mostly because (classic millennial?) it was the cheapest thing on the menu. Basically the bowl form of elotes, this was a bowl of corn with queso fresco and cheesy, creamy, lime–y sauce. While the dish didn’t look great, it was a spot–on savory starter.
For one of our main entrées, we chose one of their ceviches, Coctele de Mariscos ($12). It ended up being decent, but not mindblowing, and more importantly (in our minds, at least), was very, very small. We all know small portions are a classic Rittenhouse move, but still—it felt more like a modest appetizer than a meal.
For the other plate, we tried their Grilled Wild Shrimp Tacos ($14). These were good but, like the ceviche, a little forgettable. Our server also brought out homemade hot sauce (which comes in a honey bear bottle, for reasons that remain unclear), which made them a little more interesting, but still nothing amazing.
Overall, Mission Taqueria is a fun, interesting, space, but a very average culinary experience. If you’re looking for some authentic Mexican food, you might want to go elsewhere, but if you’re looking for the #vibes, it’s worth it (and their happy hour scene looks poppin'). Come here if you want a taste of the young professional lifestyle that awaits the chosen few after graduation.