Hi-Lo Tacos is bringing hand-made tortillas and Tex-Mex flavors to Center City Philadelphia this fall. The brick and mortar storefront will be opening at 1109 Walnut Street.
Hi-Lo began life as a pop-up, appearing in various Fishtown locations. Founder Jeff Newman spoke to What Now Philadelphia about the transition to a permanent home, saying “The transition has been exciting. We were working in other people’s space which limited our ability to bring Hi-Lo fully to life. We’re excited to expand our offering with lunch, dinner, and a full bar.”
Newman hopes to create a welcoming, local hangout that serves superior Tex-Mex fare. Newman describes his vision for Hi-Lo as “More than anything we want Hi-Lo to be a comfortable spot where you can get great food that’s thoughtfully sourced without any of the pretension.”
Newman emphasizes that Hi-Lo features Tex-Mex and not Mexican cuisine, stating “We’re not trying to cook food directly inspired by Mexico — there’s a lot of people in this city that do a killer job at that and we have no reason to. We’re nostalgic for the Americanized Tex-Mex we grew up with like crunchy-shell tacos, nachos, and flour tortillas.”
Hi-Lo is in the midst of a slew of preparations. Newman describes the process as “We’re doing everything, everywhere, all at once. We’ve got pop-ups planned. We’re going to start selling our tortillas shortly. We’re in for permit with the city and working to get our space up designed and built.”
Hi-Lo will be a community-minded restaurant. Newman explains that Hi-Lo will donate a quarter pound of cheese to Philabundance for every five orders of queso sold. Additionally, the eatery will use locally sourced ingredients to craft its impressive menu.
In addition to tacos and nachos, Hi-Lo will offer breakfast burritos and big bowl salads. Guests can enjoy an array of local beers and agave-focused cocktails from the bar.