Chef Jose Garces brings new restaurant to Rittenhouse

Inside of Buena Onda in Rittenhouse. | Photo courtesy of Eddy Marenco

James Beard Award winner and former Iron Chef contestant Jose Garces recently opened a new restaurant, Buena Onda, in Rittenhouse at 114 S. 20th St.

Featuring 1,700 square feet of space that can seat 48 people, the restaurant pays homage to Garces’ love of the Mexican coast and its cultures. It’s the restaurant’s second location in the city, along with its site in Fairmount. 

“We feel that the Rittenhouse neighborhood and community will enjoy this concept and it complements other well-known food and drink options around us,” Garces said in a press release. “I read a report that Center City District reports 54 new restaurants and businesses have just opened or are about to open in our area – and we are thrilled to be part of that energy and growth.”

The restaurant’s food and drink options are inspired by the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Food dishes include shrimp and fish tacos, pork al pastor tacos, nachos, guacamole, churros, rice and beans, and meatless tofu chorizo tacos. Drinks include margaritas, beer, wine, sangria and sodas. All fish served at Buena Onda is sustainably sourced in partnership with Seafood Watch.

“I’ve always loved the ocean, the sea air, the beach lifestyle,” Garces said. “Whether it was spending time on the Pacific coast of Ecuador, or the Jersey shore. These elements come together using the Buena Onda taqueria model as the vehicle to convey good vibes.”

Just like in Fairmount, Garces said that 25 cents from every guacamole and bottled water purchase will be donated to the Garces Foundation, which aims to provide immigrant communities in Philly access to necessary care and education resources. 

The restaurant is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Happy hour also runs seven days a week from 5 to 7 p.m., which features various taco, chips and salsa, sangria, and beer specials.