Where to Eat Ceviche in Philly Right Now
Ceviche is the perfect warm weather food. Here's where to eat it in Philadelphia.
When it’s too hot to cook (and too hot to eat hot food) we turn to ceviche, crudo, tiradito, and other super-fresh fish dishes that cool us down and refresh our palates. So, for these hottest of summer months ahead, we’ve got all the raw and (raw-ish) fish dishes you’ll be craving.
La Llorona, South Philly
La Llorona is the ultimate spot for a drink-and-snack afternoon, with it’s cool, spacious interior and sunny street seating, plus an excellent collection of agave-based cocktails and mezcal for sipping. They serve a wide variety of nibbling foods, including aguachile and ceviche, plus a whole lot more seafood.
Vista Peru, Old City
Ceviche gets a lot of love when it comes to Latin fish dishes, but the influence of Japanese culture on Peru is strong, and resulted in a sort of sashimi hybrid, called tiradito. At Vista Peru, they make it with seasonal, fresh fish, lime juice, and a creamy pepper sauce.
Little Fish, Queen Village
The menu changes all the time, so while you might not find a straight-up ceviche on the menu, you’ll definitely find some refreshing seafood dishes. We can’t stop thinking about the scallop toast we ate there last summer — thinly sliced raw scallops topped with chili oil on a hefty slice of sourdough bread. Is it ceviche? No. But it sure is delicious.
Blue Corn, Italian Market
We like Blue Corn’s ceviches because they’re not too precious. The fish is fresh and gently cooked in lime and orange juice, and it’s topped with a generous portion of avocado, delicately crunchy plantain chips, and spicy-tangy La Bruja vinegar for splashing on top.
Sor Ynez, Kensington
The new Mexican spot from the team behind Jet Wine Bar and Cafe Ynez is focused on seasonal fresh ingredients with lots of vegetarian and vegan options. The shrimp ceviche, though, is classic: cucumber, red onion, lime and plenty of punchy Valentina hot sauce.
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Vernick Fish, Center City
The raw bar at Vernick Fish does two things really well: They show off the restaurant’s commitment to seasonality and sustainability, and they show off the absolute precision of Greg Vernick’s kitchen with delicately sliced fish and perfectly balanced flavors. If there’s no ceviche on the menu, though, you can always opt for the spicy tuna tartare (a menu classic) which is served with gaufrettes, which are basically just super-crispy waffle fries.
Oyster House, Center City
Oyster House tends to focus more on classic American presentations of seafood: grilled oysters, Maryland crab cakes, clambake, that kind of thing. But they also like to flex their fancy muscles by showing off with a crudo or ceviche. Right now they’re doing a spring scallop crudo with mint and peas.
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Nemi, Port Richmond
All the way up in Port Richmond, Nemi is a bastion of classic Mexican dining. They have a whole section of ceviches on the menu, but we particularly like the tiradito al pastor, which hits a nice sweet and spicy note with Serrano peppers and pineapple sauce.
Alma De Cuba, Center City
Alma de Cuba clearly understands our obsession with raw and semi-raw seafood in the summer – at any given moment, they have eight different ceviches on the menu. For optimum seafood consumption, go for the ceviche tasting of three, five or seven ceviches, plus a couple of rum cocktails.
El Rey, Center City
The Mexican state of Veracruz is known for their excellent mariscos, and El Rey’s ceviche is made in that region’s style. They use blue shrimp, garlic oil, olives, bell peppers and red onion for a satisfyingly savory take on the dish.
El Balconcito, Northeast Philly
While the same family also runs Vista Peru in Old City, El Balconcito is the original serving Peruvian and Portuguese food in Northeast Philly for basically forever. Head there for ceviche made with perfect leche de tigre (a Peruvian marinade), and make sure to pair it with a classic pisco sour.