Philadelphia, PA

Sor Ynéz brings vibrant flavors of Mexico to West Kensington

Marilyn Johnson

Sor Ynéz, a new Mexican restaurant celebrating indigenous Mexican ingredients, hosted its grand opening on June 20.

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Sor Ynéz is now open in West KensingtonSor Ynéz

The authentic Mexican restaurant is Sojourn Philly's first restaurant in the neighborhood of West Kensington. Located at 1800 N. American Street, it is adjacent to the new NextFab makerspace in the building that houses the new Neon Museum of Philadelphia.

The interior of the 50-seat dining room, which takes inspiration from the historic Casonas of Mexico City, was designed by internationally renowned artist Miguel Antonio Horn. The terrazzo and brass bar design was a collaboration between Mexico City-based interior designer Taller Lu'um and Philadelphia-based artist Steven Daily Studio.

In addition to Mexican-made furnishings, light fixtures, chairs, and servingware, the restaurant's centerpiece is a Huichol Sor Ynez, an ofrenda inside the restaurant. Ofrendas are small altars depicting patron saints or the Virgen de Guadalupe where people leave candles, flowers, and other offerings to honor lost loved ones.

Highlights of the plant-based friendly menu inspired by Aztec cuisine include:

  • Tlacoyo – crispy and thick blue corn masa patties stuffed with black beans, garnished with salsa verde, nopales, and queso fresco.
  • Sikil Pak - a thick, hummus-like dip made from pepitas, tomatoes, habaneros, and citrus, then garnished with pomegranate seeds, With house chips and crudité for the perfect dipping.
  • Alt Pastor - cauliflower marinated with dried chiles and spices served on tortillas with pineapple.

The mezcal-heavy bar program will also focus on Mexican wines, curated by owner and vinologist Jill Weber. Cocktails will feature fresh-pressed juices such as guava, mango, tamarind, hibiscus, and more.

Among the featured cocktails include the Juana ($11) composed of tequila, lime, orange liqueur, charred corn, and Frida ($13) mezcal, rye, lemon hibiscus-cinnamon simple syrup.

A mercado (market) featuring traditional Mexican wares from local Mexican artisans and makers will be added in the coming months for guests to peruse and purchase, both in-person and online.

Sor Ynéz will be open Tuesday through Friday from 4:00 pm-9:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am-9:00 pm, and Sunday for all-day brunch 11:00 am-5:00 pm.

Happy hour will be offered from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm Tuesday through Friday and will boast $1 off draft beers, $6 Mexican wines by the glass, $6 mezcal, $8 Frida cocktails as well as traditional and spicy margaritas, $8 Paloma Spritz, and $9 Ranch Water.

The happy hour food menu offers a rotating seasonal selection of menu items.

The restaurant was named after Sor Juana Ynez de la Cruz who was a 17th century scholar, poet, composer, nun, and feminist, living in "New Spain" (aka Mexico). She taught herself Greek, Roman, and Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec. She used her keen intellect to question misogyny, hypocrisy, and colonialism. She remains a beloved figure in Mexico.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance writer covering the food and drink scene of the Greater Philadelphia area and South Jersey. News tips: phillygrub@gmail.com.

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area-based food and travel writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region. Email phillygrub@gmail.com for Philly area news; phillygrubtrips@gmail.com for travel tips and opportunities.

Philadelphia, PA
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