Juana Tamale: Jennifer Zavala’s new joint on East Passyunk Ave.

You’re gonna juana check this out!

Chef Jennifer Zavala’s highly anticipated restaurant will make its debut in the near future, or “Octember” as she says. Located at 1941 East Passyunk Avenue in the former location of Figs & Olives, Juana Tamale will bring its bold take on Mexican street food to the East Passyunk area.

Those who have followed Zavala on Instagram over the years are familiar with her unconventional journey. Originally from Cromwell, Connecticut, she quickly made a name for herself after moving to South Philadelphia when she became one of two female contestants from the city on Top Chef Season 6 in 2009.

In 2017, she decided to leave the restaurant world to sell tamales out of a van. That same year, she caused a stir in a meatballs and gravy contest in South Philly with her vegan chickpea meatballs. Most recently, during the pandemic, Zavala ran a pop-up at Underground Arts which was the brainchild for her latest venture.

Wanting to keep things casual and simple, her new restaurant will be open Thursday to Saturday and every other Sunday for brunch. There will be a limited menu of six items, which will include tacos, tamales, and tortas in both carnivore and vegan versions. Birria tacos which are currently all the rage in South Philly and beyond will be offered as well. 

For all of the latest developments and more information on the grand opening of Juana Tamale, please follow them on Instagram.