714 Chestnut St. 215–733–0895 $$
Getting there: Take the Market–Frankford Line to 8th Street Station, then walk a block south to El Azteca (about 20 minutes total).
While the front area of El Azteca is great for casual meals with a group of friends, the back room is a great place to get rowdy. The portions are large, well–seasoned and occasionally a little too greasy (so extra delicious). You can bring your own tequila to include in one of El Azteca’s mixes or order your own at the bar. Options like the guacamole ($5), enchilada supreme ($14) and chimichanga ($14) are authentically made and sure to please.
Winning Combo: Peach margarita mix ($7) and pollo loco ($14). The smoky salsa ranchera covering the pollo works great with the sweetness of bold peach flavor.
Las Cazuelas 426 W. Girard Ave. 215–351–9144 $$
Getting there: Take the Market–Frankford Line to Girard Station, then walk up to 4th Street (about 30 minutes total).
If you’re looking for a place to openly drink tequila at noon, Las Cazuelas is the place for you. The restaurant is open for brunch, lunch and dinner, making tequila–drinking at any time of day completely acceptable. Dishes range from simple mole poblano ($17.50) to slightly more adventurous picks like chuleta tentacion ($15.50), a grilled pork loin topped with grilled pineapple and a layer of pistachio mole verde. The vanilla tres leches cake ($6.50) is also a sure hit with any crowd.
Winning combo: Original margarita (free!) and camarones al ajillo ($12). The only thing that tastes better than free margarita mix is when you drink it alongside spicy shrimp.
Getting there: Walk to the bus stop on the south side of 38th and Spruce, then take the 40 bus down to 8th and South and walk south to Tres Jalapenos (about 30 minutes total).
Highly recommended for groups because of its low prices, huge portions, and large space, Tres Jalapenos should definitely be the location for your next celebratory BYO. The mixes are fairly cheap ($5) and are completely free on Mondays. Nothing on the menu costs more than $14 and all of the burritos are known to be phenomenal—make sure to ask for your burrito “wet,” and it will leave the kitchen smothered in salsa verde and cheese.
Winning Combo: Watermelon margarita mix ($5) and al pastor tacos ($7.75). The watermelon margaritas are red. The tacos al pastor are red(ish). Seems like a match made in heaven to us.