Taqueria Poblano Wins 2019 “Heart of Del Ray” Award

Past Heart of Del Ray award winners present the 2019 Heart of Del Ray to Taqueria Poblano’s Jeff Wallingford.

Queso & Community

By Maureen Schweers

While recognized throughout the DC area as as home of the region’s best margaritas, within the Del Ray community, Taqueria Poblano is known for its giant heart and commitment to the community.

The Del Ray Business Association presented Taqueria Poblano with the 2019 “Heart of Del Ray Award” on Feb. 8.  The annual award, given to the business that represents the heart and soul of Del Ray, is determined by a public vote of neighbors and customers.

“We couldn’t do it without our staff, business community, and customers,” said Taqueria Poblano  owner Jeff Wallingford. “A wise man once said, the love you take is equal to the love you make — and that is what Del Ray is all about..”

Patrons cited the restaurant’s welcoming atmosphere in their nominations. “A neighborhood favorite — like Cheers where you walk in and they know your name,” read one nomination. “We love the food and love to take friends from out of town because it always feels so welcoming,” said another customer.  “Besides the best margaritas ever, the staff is always friendly and happy to see you. Taqueria Poblano is the heart and soul of Del Ray.” Many nominations also cited Taqueria Poblano’s commitment to giving back to the community, particularly through their donations to nonprofits and community events.

Since opening in 1999, the restaurant known for its award-winning margaritas and Mexican & L.A.-style cuisine has expanded to include two additional locations in the region.  Taqueria Poblano’s original Del Ray location will celebrate 20 years this year.

Nearly 1,000 neighbors, friends and customers participated in online voting. Past winners of the award include A Show of Hands, Jen Walker McEnearney Associates, Bobi Bomar Homes of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray, Greener Cleaner of Del Ray, Del Ray Pizzeria, Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, Caboose Cafe, Del Ray Cafe, and Pork Barrel BBQ/Holy Cow/the sushi bar.  A business cannot win the award multiple years.

The Del Ray Business Association represents the independently-owned restaurants, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria; DRBA also hosts community events, including First Thursdays, Taste of Del Ray, The Del Ray Halloween Parade, The Alexandria Turkey Trot, and more.