A new Mexican restaurant is coming to Fishtown and its reputation proceeds itself. If by now you haven’t tried the grub from La Chingonita, soon you will. La Chingonita which operated as a food cart since September of 2020, will officially open their brick-and-mortar location at 413 E. Girard (former location of Sketch Burger).
Owners Rebecca Baez and Omar Martínez form a husband and wife team and linked up with Jean Paul Viera of Fishtown Real Estate to bring their drams to reality. The team looks to open the Fishtown location by the end of the year which will include seating up to 30 people.
“This is our first restaurant of our very own! We moved to Philly from NYC in 2019. There’s years of restaurant experience between the both of us, we actually met working at a Tex Mex restaurant in Union Square, NYC where I (Rebecca), was the Executive Chef and Omar was the Sous Chef. Omar was offered a position as Chef de Cuisine of another Mexican restaurant here in Philly which is why we moved. It didn’t end up working out due to COVID as well as other reasons but it was a blessing in disguise because otherwise we would have never bought our cart,” Rebecca states.
So what can guests expect? “Guests can expect a similar menu to our cart (we’d never get rid of our regulars’ faves!) but we are not limited to just tacos. Having this space allows us to really get creative and introduce people to our takes on other traditional Mexican and Caribbean dishes.” Omar originally hails from Mexico City but Rebecca is Puerto Rican so you can expect some hints of Boricua flavors in their dishes. “Our goal is to make our place feel like our home and our guests are our friends and family we invite over for a delicious meal. We also plan on inviting other chefs to collab with us (we love pop ups),” Rebecca adds
Their popular Birria Tacos will definitely be one of the highlights of their new location. Other dishes on the menu include classic chorizo tacos and Tinga Vegana tacos which is their vegan taco made from Shredded Oyster mushrooms. La Chingonita has plans to expand their vegan options at the restaurant as well.
Currently La Chingonita is still operating as a pop-up food cart with various hours but you can usually catch them during lunch hours (12-4pm)at The Matchbook in East Kensington. However, the culinary duo is definitely excited about their new home in Fishtown, “We love Fishtown! We moved here about two and a half years ago. The community is so welcoming and supportive. Honestly can’t think of a better neighborhood to open up shop,” Rebecca adds. – Hec, Wooder Ice