Every now and then we all crave something a little spicy. That’s where Taqueria el Poblano comes in. Serving some of the best Mexican food in the D.C. area, this place is one of our favorite dining locations. All of the food is made from fresh, local ingredients, and the margaritas can’t be beat. We recently got to sit down with Jeff Wallingford from the Alexandria location to find out all about what makes Taqueria el Poblano so special.

Can you tell us about the history of Taqueria el Poblano?

My partner and founder Glen Adams opened the Taqueria in 1999, inspired by the taco truck offerings he grew up with in Southern California. Del Ray back then was not the vibrant business community it is now. Vacant storefronts and low rents combined with the friendly, community-oriented residents to provide an ideal incubator for small restaurants and shops to grow. We were both literally and figuratively on the “other side of the tracks” from Old Town Alexandria!

Why do customers like Taqueria el Poblano?

Well it seems that we have a fun mix of fresh, delicious food and drink along with a friendly, hard-working staff that makes our guests feel truly welcome.

Photo from

Your margaritas look delicious, which one do you recommend and why?

Yes, they are delicious! We take a lot of pride in them and put a lot of pride in them. Our mix is made in-house, and I recommend first-timers try our “House Margarita” which is made with silver tequila and triple sec. The silver, un-aged tequila lets the freshness of our mix shine. Of course, we have a wide selection of other silver, reposado and añejo tequila and mezcal for guests who are looking to change it up. One of our biggest hits has been margaritas made with our house-infused jalapeño and habanero tequilas. To help celebrate Alexandria’s son George Washington’s Birthday we created the Margarita Cereza with macerated cherries and reposada tequila. You see, we put a lot of effort in providing our guests with the best margarita around and it seems to be working as it’s been voted “Best Margarita” four years running in the D.C. city Paper Reader’s Poll! I should mention that if a cold, fresh beer is what is desired we feature draft beer from Alexandria’s own Port City Brewing Company.

What are a few of your favorite menu items?

Our signature and most popular item is our L.A.-Style Crispy taco. It’s available with shredded beef, pork or chicken as well as a yummy vegetarian mix. Our Baja Fish taco combines crunchy beer batter-fried mahi-mahi with vibrant pico de gallo and slaw to deliver loads of flavor and texture. Neighborhood favorite entrées include cheese-filled Chile Rellenos, Enchiladas, Tamales and our Grilled Fish Yucatán.

What makes Taqueria el Poblano different from other Mexican restaurants?

Our style draws influence from Southern California and regional Mexico, not Tex-Mex or Central America. While our “Platos” or entrees are complete meals our tacos and sides are offered a la carte.

Do you have any specials during the week our residents should know about? What about brunch?

Our daily lunch and dinner specials are an exciting part of our menu. Lunch favorites include Crispy Crab Tacos, Grilled Fish Tacos and Breakfast Tacos. Dinner diners look forward to the Costilla de Res (braised beef short rib), Grilled Barramundi Yucatán and Enchiladas Mole Poblano among many others. In fact, our regular menu has grown over the years to include many of our popular “Specials”, including Duck Carnitas, Grilled Shrimp taco and Grilled Steak Tampiqueño. Many guests begin Sunday Brunch (10:00-2:00) with a Tequila Sunrise or Michelada before tucking into a plate of Huevos Rellenos, Sunday Morning Enchiladas or a Breakfast Burrito.

Is there anything else you want the community at e-lofts to know about Taqueria el Poblano?

We are proud to be part of the Del Ray community and to have been part of its growth over the years. We have a dynamic business community that works with our neighbors to make it a wonderful place to eat, shop and live.

Photo from


This month’s dish of the month from Taqueria el Poblano is their most popular “Plato,” the Tacos al Carbon. Jeff describes this as, “our take on Fajitas. Guests have a choice of grilled achiote-seasoned tri-tip steak, Gulf shrimp Yucatán, Chicken breast Sinaloan or Oaxacan-style pork loin. They are accompanied by rice, pico de gallo, rajas poblabo, strips of roasted peppers and onions seasoned with garlic and herbs and topped with cheese, and tortillas. Sounds like a lot? Don’t worry, we’ll pack the leftovers for you to take home!” Sounds like a winner to us!

We are seriously craving a margarita and some tacos now. You have to head over to Taqueria el Poblano yourself and tell us your thoughts! What’s your favorite margarita on the menu? Visit them at 2400-B Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301 and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!