Get to these LA tequila meccas now

Los Angeles

Get to these LA tequila meccas now
Get to these LA tequila meccas now


If you like tequila, you've come to the right place. If you don't like tequila, you live in the wrong city. Assuming you come geographically correct, we put together a quintet of spots that take agave to another level.

Tequila Bona Fides: Over 65 tequilas, any of which can be toppled into a margarita for just a buck extra.
Quick Bite: Alambres de Arrachera -- grilled & skewered cilantro ginger-soy glazed prime skirt steak with Santa Monica farmers market vegetables.

The Mission Cantina
Tequila Bona Fides: Over 100 of the suckers, including a lot of rarities.
Quick Bite: Camaron de Roca tacos. The beer-battered rock shrimp, chipotle crema and jicama-carrot curtido will having you saying... nothing, because your mama taught you not to have disgusting table manners.

El Bar
Tequila Bona Fides: 40+ tequilas and their signature shot, The Bull, with teq, triple sec, lime & cranberry juice, simple syrup, and Sprite. So obey your thirst, and make sure your Sprite has tequila in it.
Quick Bite: If you get The Bull shot, you'll probably need a Bull pizza to go along with it. But the $2 steak tacos are a surefire bet.

Tortilla Republic
Tequila Bona Fides: Over 70, plus cocktails like El Conquistador and Skinni, like one of those Skinny ones, except spelled funny and not specifically designed for post-yoga drinks.
Quick Bite: Concentrate your dollars on drinks with a $4.50 salsa tasting that includes de Mesa, de Papaya Habanero and de Tomatillo Cruda.

La Cuevita
Tequila Bona Fides: 70+ tequilas and mezcals, plus cocktails like the citrus-happy Campesino, with Aperol, Creme de Cassis, and fresh lemon & grapefruit.
Quick Bite: Free tacos on Tuesday will keep you from becoming a campesino.

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1. Mercado 1416 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

Mercado is a modern-tinged Mexican joint steeped in luxury woods, leathers, and steel, with a menu that boasts tons of authentic, South-of-the-border food and drink. This includes handmade tortillas, enchiladas with sweet shrimp and yellow mole, slow-cooked carnitas, and more than 70 tequila options.

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2. The Mission Cantina 5946 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

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.

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3. El Bar 3256 W Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90068 (Mid Valley)

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.

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4. Tortilla Republic 616 N Robertson, Los Angeles, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

This 125-seat Mextaurant-cum-margarita bar in WeHo's doing south-of-the-border deliciousness (carnitas w/ caramelized orange, sour cherry salsita'd duck confit tacos) inside a steely mod-Mex interior equipped with a white onyx bar pouring 48 sippable tequilas (including two Extra Anejos), and margs ranging from the extra spicy "Jalapeno" to the reposado, Cointreau, lime, and Grand Marnier-floated "Perfect", even though you'll be anything but after a couple of each.

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5. La Cuevita 5922 N Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90042 (Highland Park)

La Cuevita, located in Los Angeles' Highland Park neighborhood, is a tequila & mezcal joint decked out in vintage Mexican-themed trimmings. In case you're thirsty, fried rice (fireball and rumchata) will whet your whistle while you peruse a menu of old world needs modern Mexican classic libations (margs and Manhattans made with molé sauce).