Philly food and drink scene

South Philly Barbacoa is leaving East Passyunk and moving to the Italian Market

The nationally recognized taqueria with a social mission is making a move.



Danya Henninger

South Philly Barbacoa, the East Passyunk taqueria named by Bon Appetit as one of the 10 best new restaurants of 2016, is moving north. Or, as co-owner Ben Miller put it in a cliffhanger set of tweets:

“South Philly Barbacoa is closing June 25th.”

“El Compadre is staying open. Barbacoa Saturdays and Sundays. Closed Mondays. Tortas and guisados during the week.”

El Compadre is the torta shop launched in the former Los Taquitos de Puebla space last October by Martinez’s son, Isaias Berriozabal-Martinez. Berriozabal-Martinez died unexpectedly in January of this year, but Miller and Martinez have kept the shop up and running. Miller said the Barbacoa move was partly inspired by the desire “to honor Isaias’ story.”

“We want to focus all of our energies in one place,” explained Miller, who also runs immigrants’ rights nonprofit PAUWR. “I want to be working with my wife in the same place every day.”

Offering guidance and helping fill out the new spot’s menu will be Martinez’s 70-year-old mother, Ines, who has been a chef nearly all her life. She’s in town at least another two months, and had already been creating guisados (stews) sold at the original location.

The combined storefront, at 1149 S. 9th Street, is at the southern heart of the Italian Market, a block from Pat’s and Geno’s.

“I wish we could have had the capital to move before,” Miller said. “Maybe something [else] cool will go in at 11th Street.”