Authentic Mexican dishes meet French desserts at Oui & Si

ByWendy Daughenbaugh WPVI logo
Thursday, August 3, 2023
Authentic Mexican dishes meet French desserts at Oui & Si
Savory Mexican flavors are combined with sweet French pastries at this unique eatery on Federal Street.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Si Taqueria opened last fall, fulfilling Chef and mixologist Israel Nocelo's dream of recreating the kind of authentic taqueria he grew up with in Mexico.

Si Taqueria is a joint venture between Israel and Christy-Jae "CJ" Cheyne from Oui Pastries.

Israel brings the heat, CJ brings the sweets that she hand-delivers every morning to Si Taqueria.

CJ, a classically trained baker who came from Michelin-star restaurants and high-end hotels in New York, opened Oui Pastries in 2019 with a focus on seasonal flavors.

Israel came to her bakery soon after she opened to get pastries for a restaurant he was helping to open.

He challenged her to create pastries that would fuse French and Mexican flavors.

That is truly authentic because most of the dishes in his home state of Puebla have French influences, due to the 19th-century French occupation of Mexico (Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico's 1862 victory in the Battle of Puebla).

He told CJ he wanted to open a taqueria and she knew her customers craved savory. So she and Israel started Si, first as a weekend pop-up in the backyard of Oui.

CJ quickly realized that customers not only bought the tacos, but also drinks and pastries.

CJ and Israel made a deal to open Si Taqueria as a small brick-and-mortar.

There are coffee and breakfast sandwiches too, served on CJ's croissants.

CJ and Israel started out as just culinary collaborators; they're now a couple as well.

And with Oui & Si, they are giving Philadelphians two cultural cuisines to say yes to.

Oui & Si

Oui Pastries| Instagram

160 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia Pa. 19106


Si Taqueria | Instagram

1500 Federal Street, Philadelphia Pa. 19146