Guatemalan and Mexican To Go at Cafe Canela

Photo via James Jennings for Passyunk Post

Over the winter, Cafe Canela opened in the Lower Moyamensing neighborhood.  Appearing as another Mexican take out spot at first glance, a careful read of the menu suggested a Guatemalan chef in that kitchen.

Up front a glass case demonstrates some of the menu items, though ours were all made in the back to order.

While we waited, we were given cups of coffee. I flat out don’t like coffee and rarely drink it- but this sweet, cinnamon cafe de olla was actually pretty delicious.

I was more than happy to try a mixed meat and cheese pupusa from my friend’s order. Pupusas make me so happy, and there are very few places to find them in Philly. Ample grease is always the key to a moist pupusa, and they nailed that here, along with equally amply gooey cheese.

Dobladas are not something I have had before- similar to empanadas, dobladas are  Guatemalan masa meat pies. Like the pupusas, these were fried up as we waited. It got a little jumbled in my to go container, but that in no way dampened how much I enjoyed the flaky dough pockets.

I took home a chicken soup and was pleased they packaged chicken and rice separately for me. I was more pleased that the broth had a lot of flavor and the chicken pieces were moist. This traveled well- a great to go order.

The entire Cafe Canela menu appeals to me- a repeat trip will be absolutely necessary.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Guatalaman and Mexican food
  • great coffee

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I am in a rush

Cafe Canela, 2201 S. 7th St., (215) 755-1685



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    The idea of a Chinese steam table is apparently so terrifying, it managed to carry over from the previous post, two days later and 30-something blocks away!

    It will not scare me away from filing this place away in the back of my mind as one I hope to get to sometime over the next thirty years or so…

  • My favorite pupusas are naturally moist, with no need for any additional grease, ample or otherwise. But either way, the delivery of ample gooey cheese is inevitable … but takes a good long time when several shots of a lovely agave are involved….that’s when that grease can come in handy.

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