Everyone loves tequila, but not everyone enjoys it the same way -- whether you're into shots, margaritas, or something more in line with the highly innovative libations created by that classiest of bar-owning frogs, this is for you: our definitive list of the best tequila-based boozeries in all of LA.
Cedd Moses' ode to Mexico claims to have the largest tequila selection in town, and supports said claim with stacks (and stacks) (and stacks) of the good stuff behind the bar, some of which you can get for just $3 during their all-day Monday happy hour.
Though it's definitely a food-forward concept, this mini-chain (which just opened its third location, in Hollywood) shouldn't be overlooked for its tequila selection, and especially shouldn't be overlooked during their $7-per-marg 5-7pm happy hour.
Tequila often equals party. Te'kila? DEFINITELY equals party. This heart-of-Hollywood-Blvd brostaurant is definitely easy to write off as a serious drinking destination, but A) they've got dozens and dozens of legit tequila options, and B) who drinks so seriously all the time anyways?, and C) see A) and B).
Whether you're hitting the dark-and-moody Hollywood location or its patio-abetted WeHo brother, L'Scorpion will drop agave science on you like a sombrero-wearing Bill Nye, with high-end selections like the $65 Gran Patrón Burdeos sharing self space with not-$65 tequila.
This grandly designed Highland Park haunt does free food on Mondays and Tuesdays which is good because you're gonna be DRANKIN'. Definitely try the strawberry-and-jalapeño-laced Vacaciones Permanentes.
Don't hold its inside-a-mall real estate against it: La Sandia's run by a Mexican chef who takes all his food and drink (especially his drink) seriously, which means the bar scene here is always gettin' down, especially since it's abetted by a four-page tequila list that includes vertical and horizontal tastings.
"So, I'm thinking about opening a vegan Mexican restaurant -- wait... where are you going? -- with an absurd tequila selection! And drinks like this mezcal monster called The Dude Abides! Oh, THERE you are. Good to see you back."
Sometimes, you don't want to go to a new-school tequila bar with a fancy mixologist and dolled up ingredients. Sometimes, you want to go to a place that looks like your grandma's idea of what Mexico looked like in the '50s, order whatever no-name tequila they have on the well, and get ready for a ride. And when that time is now, your place is Casa Vega.
An upscale place in a not-usually-upscale part of town, this tequila-soaked joint from the Baja Sharkeez guys uses kind of the same concept (Mexican food + drinking + more drinking), except in a more grown-up way, which means a shload of options to sip/shoot.
Maybe it's the bull's head leaning over the bar, or maybe it's the double entendre, but either way you're gonna order their bull tequila shot, which's the good stuff (or the good-enough stuff, whatever), plus triple sec, Sprite, lime, cran, and simple syrup. Ole!
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1. Las Perlas107 E 6th St, Los Angeles
2. El Carmen8138 W 3rd St, Los Angeles
3. Te'Kila6451 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood
4. La Cuevita5922 N Figueroa, Los Angeles
5. La Sandia395 Santa Monica Pl, Santa Monica
6. Gracias Madre8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood
7. The Mission Cantina5946 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood
8. Casa Vega13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks
9. Palmilla Cocina Y Tequila39 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach
10. El Bar3256 W Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles
Cedd Moses’ downtown LA bar claims to have the largest tequila selection in town, as evidenced by the stacks of tequila and mezcal behind the bar. Las Perlas’ crowd verges on hipster, and with monthly tastings, weekday happy hours dedicated to margaritas, and a taco-centric small bites menu, it’s become a neighborhood favorite perfect for a quick drink or an all-night hang.
El Carmen is a colorful, tunnel-like cantina in Beverly Grove with luchador-lined walls, lit by strings of Christmas lights (year round). The Mexican cuisine is simply an afterthought, given the nearly 10 page list of over 400 tequilas on offer -- blanco, reposed, anejo, and the lesser-known muy anejo. Taste your way through the agave with a flight or in a classic cocktail, and soak it all up with authentic Mexican dishes like a three cheese quesadilla, a heaping bowl of nachos or chilaquiles with mole. Weekday happy hour features the best of the menu and cocktails at a portion of the price, and it’s called Hora de Fiesta -- that means party hour, and that’s when you should go.
Te'Kila's designed by the Goal and Kitchen 24 guy to resemble an old-school Mexican bar with dangling candelabras, aged-wood paneling, and a plethora of paintings of south-of-the-border gangsters. For the best deal, order a $1 taco with the purchase of any drink or a $5 margarita during 4pm-8pm happy hour.
La Cuevita is a tequila- and mezcal-centric grotto (cuevita means cave... also bar used to be called Little Cave) in Highland Park. It's decked out in vintage Mexican-themed trimmings, has a spacious outdoor patio, and free tacos on Tuesday nights (not a typo, there are actually free tacos). The cocktail cave will quench your thirst with classic Mexican cocktails -- Palomas, Margaritas, and the like -- and beloved agave spirits -- of which there are many -- and your sate your hunger with small Mexican bites brought in from local vendors, which vary depending on the night.
Don't hold its location inside a mall against it: La Sandia's run by a Mexican chef who takes all his food and drink seriously, which means the bar scene here is always busy, especially since it's abetted by a four-page tequila list.
You’ll say gracias to this madre of a vegan restaurant when you taste chilaquiles, enchiladas, pozole, and other Mexican-inspired dishes made with organic, plant-based ingredients. No matter how much you live and die for carne asada, you'll find Gracias Madre's meat-free creations (coconut bacon, flash-fried cauliflower) beyond satisfying. Plus, no outdoor space in WeHo feels so quintessentially Californian.
Decked out like a Mexican church (backlit stained glass, pew-y booths, etc), this "bar with good food" from the Delancey/Bowery guys serves up classics like mole-poblano chicken tacos and ceviche w/red snapper.
Sometimes, you don't want to go to the hot new Mexican restaurant where bartenders are called mixologists and the menu is filled with unrecognizable small plates. You want the Spanish-roofed restaurant that feels like 1950s Mexico in an unironic way, where old-school bartenders make strong drinks with no-name tequila and every table has a side of rice and beans. That's when you go to Casa Vega, a 60-year-old bar and restaurant in Sherman Oaks where uncomplicated burritos and fajitas are the plates du jour and the signature margaritas flow like water.
Right by the beach in Hermosa, PC & T's an upscale tequileria w/ hand-tiled walls, circular chandeliers, and a firepit-clad patio, all from the guys behind Baja Sharkeez and Sandbar.
From the guy behind The Fifth and in the former The Bridge space, El's a red-lit boozer's hacienda: candlelit recesses, floral-embossed leather barstools, south-of-the-border paintings of topless ladies and proud matadors, and a bull's head mounted over the bar.