If plants were people, agave would be the kid who fulfilled his full potential and actually became the President. Celebrate the most notable member of Family Asparagaceae at these tequila-happy hotspots.
Big Apple, meet Big Agave
El Toro Blanco
Tequila Bona Fides: Over 75 tequilas, plus cocktails like the Cactus de Sonora, which translates as "Cactus of Sonora". You're welcome.
Quick Bite: The green chile queso fundido with chorizo.
The Dead Rabbit
Tequila Bona Fides: Two levels of cocktails shored up by the dudes who won the 2010 "World's Best Cocktail Bar". Also, lots of tequila.
Quick Bite Steak on toast. Because it's steak, on toast.
Tequila Bona Fides: 100+ agave-based spirits, plus 30 house-infusions, none involving Omar Epps.
Quick Bite: The smoked brisket nachos.
Hecho en Dumbo
Tequila Bona Fides: Their tight list of tasty margaritas is definitely what's up (until it's what's downed).
Quick Bite: The Mexican french toast.
Tequila Bona Fides: So much tequila they named themselves after it. And a park.
Quick Bite: The 48-hour pork belly carnitas.
One part taqueria, one part margarita garden, this rooftop resto is whipping up innovative bites, like shrimp kimchi nachos and Sriracha Philly cheesesteak tacos, which you can wash down with speciality margs and horchatas.
Despite the name, this place is actually located in Manhattan, or at least it has been since it relocated from DUMBO a few years back and moved into a Bowery location with exposed brick, dangling iron fixtures, and a stainless steel kitchen. The kitchen stays true to Mexico City cuisine, turning out a range of small plates that includes made-to-order guacamole, caramelized wagyu beef tongue, and berkshire pork with Yucatan spices. They've also got a killer brunch menu for the weekenders that features breakfast tortas, Mexican French toast (it's like the UN of breakfast plates), and more.
The Mexican restaurant landscape in New York is messy and crowded -- there are far too many spots that feel like factory operations with mediocre guacamole. Richard Sandoval's Maya stands far above the pack with traditional plates, tequila and mezcal flights, and four kinds of guacamole. The Upper East Side restaurant's bottomless brunch is a weekend institution where unlimited small plates and free-flowing cocktails like sparkling sangria and mango mimosas rule the antique-tiled dining room.
The Dead Rabbit is a cocktail sanctum, taproom, small-plates resto, and "grocery." This Irish-American-inspired duplex in the Financial District -- boasting vintage saloon-like vibes and decor -- will make you feel as if you've traveled back in time. The taproom, which is located on the ground floor, is a traditional Anglo-Hibernian pub, where you can order craft beers, bottled punch, and a variety of whiskeys. If you walk upstairs you'll find the parlor, with an ambiance equally as charming as the pub, but with a heavier focus on communal punch and cocktails. The small "grocery" is actually a corner in the taproom, where they sell an assortment of dry goods, but most notably Irish and British imports that are otherwise hard to find.
El Toro Blanco is plating pan-Mexican eats in a modernish Southwestern vibe'd space, featuring cowhide barstools and plenty of made-to-order guac, Mexican corn, tacos, and 75+ tequilas/mezcals.