Miami knows a thing or two about how to get a party kicking. Actually, we know a thing or hundred about that subject. But it doesn't take superhuman party know-how that puts the rest of America to shame to know that tequila is a very good idea, so we rounded up a quintet of hot agave spots.
Bienvenidos a tequila, Miami
El Vato Tequila & Taco Bar
Tequila Bona Fides: Nearly 60 to choose from, and Cheech & Chong -- the mango nectar tequila drink, not the duo.
Quick Bite: Chicharron De Queso, which is basically a blend of Mexican cheeses made as crisp as the $5 bill it'll run you.
Toro Toro Pan Latin Steakhouse & Latin Spirit Lounge
Tequila Bona Fides: Over 30, but what'll really be disco to your ears is the Ring My Bell margarita. It's got bell pepper in it, so you know it's good.
Quick Bite: Yuca fries topped with olive oil, lemon, garlic, herbs, and vinegar. Bonus points if you know the difference between spices and herbs.
TeQuiztlan Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar
Tequila Bona Fides: TeQuiztlan means “land of tequila”. It was founded on the principles of having more than 50 tequilas.
Quick Bites: Sampler Antojitos: quesadilla locopeno, tostada, chicken & beef flauta and a mini-chimichanga served with pico de gallo and beans.
Tequila Bona Fides: As many problems as Jay Z has, they have more tequilas.
Quick Bite: The pastor tacos, totally non-denominational with chile ancho rubbed pork, grilled pineapple, and chile de arbol salsa.
Tequila Bona Fides: Sip on over 85 tequilas, by the beach. Can't decide? Just ask the "Tequilier", that's what he's there for.
Quick Bite: You can't have a bad time with queso fundido.
El Vato has an edgy feel in a warehouse-like space that features walls covered in graffiti from local artists, sinks made of spare tires, light bulbs in the shape of skulls, and a bright red 1964 Buick Riviera that is now a four-person booth. In this environment, the Vato folks are serving up fish tacos, flautas stuffed with chipotle aioli and about 60 varieties of tequila.
This Pan-Latin restaurant sits in the lobby of a hotel, but its swank dark wood embellishments and leather booths make it feel like it's its own Miami establishment. The menu includes unexpected items like lamb skewers with yogurt sauce, though classic meat dishes like lamb chops and rib-eye steak are also popular.
The reincarnation of the former El Rancho Grande, Tequiztlan keeps all the culinary goodness of its predecessor and serves it in a ramped up, sleek space (the chrome vents of the exposed ceiling above go rather nicely with the industrial vibe and traditional brass chandeliers, making for a trendy ambience). It’s still owned and operated by the Ortiz family, who have been providing South Beach with quality Mexican fare for the past 25 years, so there’s no need to worry: all the tacos you so loved at the old digs are here and just as good -- if not better, when considered alongside a more extensive tequila and mezcal list.
Stop by Mercadito's weekend late-night taqueria, a perfect after-party for your night out. The tacos are cheap, which is good if since you spent all your money on drinks earlier. Or come on a weeknight - happy hour lasts from 4pm to 7pm Monday to Friday and includes drink and taco specials (with extra deals on "Taco Tuesday" and "Thirsty Thursday").
This oceanfront Mexican restaurant with an outdoor cabana, plush couches and tiki torches offers a menu of fresh latin eats, like chicken fajitas, Mexican burgers, and over 100 tequila options. And if your most recent Tequila experience is from college, take heart that a Tequilier is on staff to help you pair your meal with any margaritas on offer.