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The World's Great Tequila/Mezcal Bars

Found a New One

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#1 don Pablo

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:13 AM

My previous standout tequila bars were El Carmen in LA and Cantina Mayahuel in San Diego.  And they still are.  Plus some others not too far behind in other parts of the US and Mexico.  Depends on whether I am looking for selection, vibe, food, or whatever.

 

Recently though, I was on a business trip, and spotted a sign in a window saying "500 Tequilas and Mezcals".  I highly doubted it, but went back after 8pm, when the bar opened.  Score.  White label El Tesoro and numerous other tequilas and mezcals, old and new.  The first night I had a glass of Pierde Almas Tobaziche mezcal.  Delicious, reasonably priced, and a healthy pour.

 

I went back the second night for ETWL blanco, also delicious.  While having what I thought would be my only drink that night (business trip, after all), I saw a bottle of "Mixton" -- a horrendous name for tequila, but in a label that reminded me of Tapatio, which I mentioned.  The bartender then felt compelled to tell me that they indeed have Tapatio, and brought out a bottle.  And there it was.  Clearly the Tapatio Excelencia early release in the doctored yellow añejo label, one liter bottle.  Instantly recognizable for the dark color (which was laughable next to the 500ml bottle of normal añejo later produced).  The beauty of it was that they had no idea it was not the normal anejo, and were therefore charging about $10 a pour.  I got that pour free, for telling the story of what was really in the bottle, but was perfectly willing to pay full price on subsequent nights.   :D

 

I hesitate to mention the bar, because the bottle won't last -- but what the hell.  It is called either Floris Tequila, or Tequileria Delirante -- I am not sure.  It is in Brussels, Belgium.  You are welcome.

 

So that bar now makes my short list of the world's great tequila bars.  Feel free to mention some others.  I will just say that it's awfully hard to beat getting a big pour of top-shelf tequila or mezcal in a to-go cup, then wandering around looking for Belgian street food (e.g., waffles and fries).



#2 *45*

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:21 AM

My previous standout tequila bars were El Carmen in LA and Cantina Mayahuel in San Diego. And they still are. Plus some others not too far behind in other parts of the US and Mexico. Depends on whether I am looking for selection, vibe, food, or whatever.

Recently though, I was on a business trip, and spotted a sign in a window saying "500 Tequilas and Mezcals". I highly doubted it, but went back after 8pm, when the bar opened. Score. White label El Tesoro and numerous other tequilas and mezcals, old and new. The first night I had a glass of Pierde Almas Tobaziche mezcal. Delicious, reasonably priced, and a healthy pour.

I went back the second night for ETWL blanco, also delicious. While having what I thought would be my only drink that night (business trip, after all), I saw a bottle of "Mixton" -- a horrendous name for tequila, but in a label that reminded me of Tapatio, which I mentioned. The bartender then felt compelled to tell me that they indeed have Tapatio, and brought out a bottle. And there it was. Clearly the Tapatio Excelencia early release in the doctored yellow añejo label, one liter bottle. Instantly recognizable for the dark color (which was laughable next to the 500ml bottle of normal añejo later produced). The beauty of it was that they had no idea it was not the normal anejo, and were therefore charging about $10 a pour. I got that pour free, for telling the story of what was really in the bottle, but was perfectly willing to pay full price on subsequent nights. :D

I hesitate to mention the bar, because the bottle won't last -- but what the hell. It is called either Floris Tequila, or Tequileria Delirante -- I am not sure. It is in Brussels, Belgium. You are welcome.

So that bar now makes my short list of the world's great tequila bars. Feel free to mention some others. I will just say that it's awfully hard to beat getting a big pour of top-shelf tequila or mezcal in a to-go cup, then wandering around looking for Belgian street food (e.g., waffles and fries).


RAD!!

#3 panchovilla78

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:29 AM

Very cool!!

#4 gabe

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:51 AM

dP: Surely you've found some good bars in Cabo or other parts of Mexico? :)

I went to El Carmen a few months ago, and it was a hip bar but didn't cater to the serious tequila drinker quite as much as I would like.

LA: Las Perlas (downtown) has a great mezcal (and tequila) selection, wonderful cocktails, and a good vibe. The Varnish (speakeasy) is right across the street too.
SF: Tommy's, Tres Agaves, and La Pinata all have serious agave cred, though perhaps not as strong on the mezcal front.
NY: Jay runs a tight ship at Agave NY.

By far, however, the best tequila bars I've ever been to have been at the homes of Blue Agave forum members. I can think of over a dozen people who have opened up amazing treasures to share with me over the years, in SF, LA, San Diego, NY, and beyond. Kudos, friends.

#5 panchovilla78

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:01 AM

Gabe,
I will 2nd that. I will add that Pedro's, Ray's, and Alex's wives have some GREAT cooking skills. I miss Cali
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#6 don Pablo

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:36 PM

dP: Surely you've found some good bars in Cabo or other parts of Mexico? :)

I went to El Carmen a few months ago, and it was a hip bar but didn't cater to the serious tequila drinker quite as much as I would like.

LA: Las Perlas (downtown) has a great mezcal (and tequila) selection, wonderful cocktails, and a good vibe. The Varnish (speakeasy) is right across the street too.
SF: Tommy's, Tres Agaves, and La Pinata all have serious agave cred, though perhaps not as strong on the mezcal front.
NY: Jay runs a tight ship at Agave NY.

By far, however, the best tequila bars I've ever been to have been at the homes of Blue Agave forum members. I can think of over a dozen people who have opened up amazing treasures to share with me over the years, in SF, LA, San Diego, NY, and beyond. Kudos, friends.

 

I guess I am distilling things down to just a few really memorable bars, and in that respect, nothing too iconic found in Cabo.  I would rather spend my time seeking the perfect fish taco. :cheers:

 

Certainly have visited several good bars in NYC, LA, and here in Seattle.  Nothing I am itching to get to right away.  (Thanks for the reminder about Jay in NYC though -- will be out there in a couple of months.)  Enjoyed Mezcaleria Oaxaca last time I dropped in there (Seattle).

 

But sure, home bars can't be beat for hospitality, selection, treasures, and yeah -- cooking.  A few good local ones around here.  But again, if I am getting to the essence, visting Reifer's bar in Puerto Vallarta on a stormy night 7 or 8 years ago was a life-altering experience.  :storm: :t_up:
 



#7 Tequila4me

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

Beto, Thanks for my compliments on my wife's cooking!!! Not to brag about it but She does know how to cook some good food! I must add that Ray's wife does make some good Desserts infused with Tequila, and not just any Tequila  ;)

Back on trying to chime in on The World's best Tequila/Mezcal Bars.....locally, Cantina Mayahuel is a Bar that keeps getting better and better every time I stop by. Larry has been doing a good job! Other, than that I really haven't been to others again, locally that I must consider top notch! but then I again, I really don't visit too many bars very often around here. There is 1 spot a little south of Rosarito MX, that we stumbled on to on our way to resort.....and they had a very well stocked up bar with great Tequilas but not many Mezcales.  :t_up:



#8 Jaberiman

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:28 AM

Mayahuel bar is what got me started on tequila!

#9 CaliTequilaSipperGirl

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:04 PM

Worlds Best

 

Tommy's in SF

Tres Agaves in SF

Malos in LA

El Carmen - LA - although they haven't really refreshed their selection with new options and seem to be moving in a mezcal direction

Las Perlas - LA

Cantina Mayuel - San Diego

Salud - Chicago



#10 don Pablo

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 09:27 PM

Was looking for info on tequila and mezcal bars in London (will be there soon), and ran into this article on the world's best: http://www.thespirit...t-tequila-bars/

#11 *45*

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:17 AM

Was looking for info on tequila and mezcal bars in London (will be there soon), and ran into this article on the world's best: http://www.thespirit...t-tequila-bars/


El Vitral and Cafe Pacifico Sydney have both closed. And Lime in SD in not even in the top 10 of local tequila bars.

Have a blast in London!! 👍🍻

#12 JohnnyBoots

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:18 AM

Mayahuel in NYC also has a great selection, not huge but has lots of the unique aficionado brands and lots of mezcals. Great bar staff too!

 

El Mercadito in Chicago, great selection.

 

Frontera Grill, also great selection. Oddly I wasn't impressed with the food.

 

Los Flores in Conyers, Ga has an awesome selection for a hideaway bar. Cheap too.

 

 



#13 don Pablo

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:00 PM

And there it was.  Clearly the Tapatio Excelencia early release in the doctored yellow añejo label, one liter bottle.  Instantly recognizable for the dark color (which was laughable next to the 500ml bottle of normal añejo later produced).  The beauty of it was that they had no idea it was not the normal anejo, and were therefore charging about $10 a pour.  I got that pour free, for telling the story of what was really in the bottle, but was perfectly willing to pay full price on subsequent nights.   :D

 

I hesitate to mention the bar, because the bottle won't last -- but what the hell.  It is called either Floris Tequila, or Tequileria Delirante -- I am not sure.  It is in Brussels, Belgium.  You are welcome.

 

 

 

A year later, and I'm back in Brussels. So I hit up this bar again. Same bartenders, and they laughed when I asked about the Tapatio. Said it was just an empty bottle -- seems it somehow got polished off.

So I drank mezcal all week (where else in the world can you get Del Maguey Arroqueño?). On my last night there, just before packing for the next stop on the trip, I dropped by the bar for a drink, and asked to see the empty bottle.  Turns out, there was a couple of ounces left. So they gave me the bottle, which I took back (along with a double of Pierde Almas Tobaziche), bought some fries on the street, and took it all back to the hotel for packing. Beats any fancy business dinner I had on that trip.

 

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#14 *45*

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 12:26 AM

A year later, and I'm back in Brussels. So I hit up this bar again. Same bartenders, and they laughed when I asked about the Tapatio. Said it was just an empty bottle -- seems it somehow got polished off.

So I drank mezcal all week (where else in the world can you get Del Maguey Arroqueño?). On my last night there, just before packing for the next stop on the trip, I dropped by the bar for a drink, and asked to see the empty bottle. Turns out, there was a couple of ounces left. So they gave me the bottle, which I took back (along with a double of Pierde Almas Tobaziche), bought some fries on the street, and took it all back to the hotel for packing. Beats any fancy business dinner I had on that trip.

IMG_00000240.jpg


Rad👍🍻

#15 TequilaPicker

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 05:05 PM

Cool story don Pablo! Enjoy your trip and continued good luck!!!



#16 JLH3

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 12:10 AM

Barrio Queen in Scottsdale, Az. Very good selection and amazing tacos.