The 25 Best Mexican Restaurant Bars in America Slideshow
March 22, 2016
At these establishments, the drinks are as important to the experience as the food
# 25 Los Amigos Restaurant, Elk Point, S.D.
Great food, serious drinks, and gambling? For some, this is an ideal scenario. (We won’t judge.) Los Amigos offers all three six days a week (closed Mondays). The large bar serves custom cocktails and special selections like the CoronaRita: a house margarita with a Corona sidecar for extra fuel. Be sure to check the hours of operation before heading over for a winning day (we hope) at the casino.
# 24 Tequila’s Restaurante, Middletown, Del.
You know it’s a good sign when a bar is named after your favorite spirit. For the past 10 years, Tequila’s has established its Mexican bona fides in Middletown by offering quality service, memorable plates, and of course a great bar experience full of top shelf tequila and sangria. The spirits are free-flowing at this local watering hole, making it an ideal choice for any celebratory occasion.
# 23 The Patron, Mechanicsville, Va.
Guests are in solid hands at this trendy south-of-the-border-themed hotspot. At The Patron, you can rest assured the kitchen and bar are serving the best quality ingredients available. The bar is well stocked with — you guessed it— Patrón tequila varieties for endless shots and fruity margaritas, whether served frozen or on the rocks.
# 22 El Cerrito Mexican Restaurant Bar and Grill, Plainfield, Ind.
Yelp / El Cerrito
El Cerrito Mexican Restaurant Bar and Grill welcomes all who love great food, drink, and relaxed nights out. Its sangria and margaritas are in ample supply. Plus, the dude ranch-themed eatery has plenty of TVs at the bar on which to watch March Madness games or catch up on the news after work. During your visit, be sure to taste the satisfying chalupas or taquitos and, if you have any room left, try the sinfully delicious fried ice cream.
# 21 Cazadores Mexican Grill, Katy, Texas
Yelp / Scott L
When you find yourself in a Mexican food mood while in the suburbs of Houston, we recommend heading to Cazadores and cozying up to a bowl of tortilla chips, spicy salsa, and a frozen margarita to start off the night. The shrimp Ixtapa fajita — grilled jumbo shrimp with grilled chicken covered in queso blanco — is a great choice for dinner. Servings are generous, but save room for more drinks and pair your main with a cold Corona. Superb hospitality, top-notch noshes, and a constant flow of drinks keep this no-frills establishment a favorite for regulars and visitors alike.
#20 Blue Bonnet, Denver
Known for great food, Blue Bonnet uses fresh and local ingredient ingredients whenever possible to create its mouthwatering dishes. As a result, guests can’t get enough of the house-made salsas, tamales, and chile rellenos. But, that’s not all. The eatery serves more than two dozen variations on the margarita. A few favorites include the house margarita, cucumber-jalapeño, strawberry-basil, and raspberry-habanero.
# 19 Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, Orlando
Locals like to keep this place a secret, but it’s too much fun to keep under wraps. Visiting Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is like attending an all-night fiesta in Mexico, but no passport is needed. As a part of the Universal City Walk attractions, Antojitos offers supreme dishes, such as seafood-topped skirt steak, as well as nightly live entertainment performed by local band, Los Jaliscos. Its bar menu offers a plethora of tequila choices for great margaritas, like blood orange, as well as the Bloody Maria.
# 18 Rocio’s Mole de los Dioses, Los Angeles
Chef Rocio Camacho hails from Oaxaca, where her grandmother was a great cook and her mother is a respected molera, or maker of moles. Needless to say, Mexican culinary expertise runs in her blood. She is widely praised for sharing her mole talents with fellow Californians at her divine dive, Rocio’s Mole de los Dioses (Mole of the Gods). The moles work very well with the Cactus Fruit and the Classic Lime margaritas, both of which contain double shots of tequila.
# 17 Cabo Cantina, Las Vegas
Housed in the Palace Station Hotel and Casino, Cabo Cantina offers large servings for affordable prices. Sample the variety of salsas as you decide which libation to enjoy. The cerveza selection includes Pacifico, Montejo, and domestics like Budweiser (Light and Bud Light Lime). Want a blended drink? The ‘fiesta de Cabo’ margarita choices include the Perfecto, with Sauza Superior tequila mixed with fresh lime and strawberry purée, as well as the popular Corona-Rita, which contains Sauza Blanco tequila, Grand Marnier, and Corona Extra.
# 16 Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, Baton Rouge, La.
You may not associate Louisiana with Mexican cuisine, but places like Las Palmas will remind you of its vicinity to Texas (and therefore Mexico). This lively cantina has a host of appealing dishes, such as the Del Rio, a plate filled with tamale topped with chili con carne, chicken enchilada, and a beef taco. Plus, the bar is loaded with preferred spirits like Sauza Gold Tequila, José Cuervo, and Grand Marnier for a good night. Order one for the margaritas like the 24 Karat with Sauza Tequila Añejo Tres Generaciones.
# 15 Latino’s Mexican Restaurant and Bar, Erie, Penna.
When we say almost anyone will be thoroughly satisfied here, we mean it. Latino’s Mexican Restaurant and Bar is truly friendly — vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are all available. The restaurant offers a range of both boozy and virgin drink selections. Most notably, Mexican sodas Jarritos and Sidral are available. Aside from margaritas and imported Mexican beers, guests over 21 can have a michelada, a beer-based cocktail that includes lime juice, house spices, and peppers in a salt-rimed glass.
# 14 La Parrilla, Savannah, Ga.
Yelp / La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant
Savannah has steadily climbed the ranks as one of the best cities to dine in in the nation, becoming known for more than Southern soul food. La Parrilla, the highly frequented Mexican franchise, is no exception to Savannah’s growing food scene.There are more than 15 locations, so many Georgians can indulge in the restaurant’s self-proclaimed "friendly taste of Mexico." Daily, the bar offers delectable Patrón margaritas, such as passion fruit and blackberry. Stay tuned for the Cinco de Mayo fiestas — we hear the celebrations will be muy caliente.
# 13 Habanero’s Mexican Grill, Scottsdale
Both of Habanero’s locations are intoxicatingly good, as they offer daily drink specials like happy hour margaritas under $4. That value is pretty much unheard of. All beverage choices are full of bold flavors, including the La Flanca which caters to the calorie-conscious crowd: the drink is a mere 100 calories.
#12 Fiesta Bar and Grill, Great Barrington, Mass.
If you plan to vacation in the Berkshires this year, be sure to add Fiesta Bar and Grill to your list of places to dine. A hidden gem in Great Barrington, Fiesta has a wide range of authentic Mexican dishes, including carne asada and guacamole that's prepared tableside. Enjoyable margaritas like the President, which has Cointreau and Cuervo 1800, are perfectly made and bartenders don’t skimp on the hard stuff. In our opinion, that’s enough of a reason for a fiesta.
# 11 Club No Minors (El Patio), Houston
Yelp / El Patio Restaurant and Club
Located off the entrance to El Patio, a popular Tex-Mex restaurant, Club No Minors is a staple of the Houston bar scene, ready to party any night of the week. Established in the late 1960s, it was a members-only club at first, but has since opened its doors to anyone over 21. Its unusual name came about when a sign reading "No Minors" was posted beneath the sign reading "Club" on the door. (It has since become more elaborate: The sign above "Club" now reads "No Cigars, ID Required, No Minors" — but thankfully the name of the place hasn't tried to append those extra words on.) Things are known to get pretty crazy behind that door. There’s always a chance someone will end up dancing on a table beneath a nude painting — a possible result of the insanely strong blue margaritas, served in big water glasses and offered at affordable prices.
# 10 Emiliano’s Mexican Restaurant and Bar, Pittsburgh
Emiliano’s is favorite meeting place for Pittsburgh locals. This spacious restaurant is perfect for happy hour gatherings or to kick off the weekend. The hot spot boasts a full bar, where you can find bartenders mixing up horchata (a traditional beverage with rice, milk, cinnamon, and sugar), and the Diablo cocktail, with silver tequila, pomegranate juice, and orange liqueur. There’s a decent list of imported beers, too, including popular Negra Modelo, Dos Equis, and Tecate, as well as Corona (Extra and Light), and Sol. There may be a short wait on Friday and Saturday evenings, but the staff is pretty good about seating diners as soon as possible.
#9 Lalo’s Cocina Bar and Grill, Richmond, Va.
High-end Mexican restaurants are emerging all over the country. Lalo’s Cocina is definitely upping the ante in Richmond. Its vegetarian- and carnivore-friendly menu caters to many. The drinks are pretty great, too. The cucumber margarita is bright with a tangy, lemon-lime zest and a healthy serving of tequila mixed in. Check out more margarita madness during the restaurant’shappy hours.
# 8 Guapo’s Cantina Restaurant , Rockville, Md. Location
Yelp / Kelly P
If you live in the Washington, D.C. metro area or plan to visit, make sure to you experience Guapo’s for a true taste of Mexico. There are several locations, but the Rockville branch at the Rio Entertainment Centeris a real treat. The service is excellent and the Mexican fare is supreme. In fact, Guapo’s salsa was recently voted number one in the metro area by local Fox 5 News. The lively bar quickly fills up for happy hour, so plan to get there a bit before 5 p.m. We recommend the frozen matrimonio margarita — a mix between its signature frozen sangria and original margarita.
# 7 Mi Tierra Café y Panadería, San Antonio
Yelp / Dinah M
San Antonio has been called "the northernmost city in Mexico" and is widely acknowledged as the capital of Tex-Mex cooking. It’s only natural that Mi Tierra Café y Panadería has one of the best restaurant bars in America. For 75 years, Mi Tierra has become the gold standard for Tex-Mex while serving outstanding traditional Mexican fare as well. The drinks are incredible too. First, the margaritas are served by size: grande, jumbo, and liter — and it only gets better from there. Pick your choice of tequila from the José Cuervo line to unite the flavors. Just in case you get carried away and order a liter, try the menudo, a tripe soup that is the ultimate hangover-buster.
#6 Barrio Café, Phoenix
Yelp / Cathy S
Barrio Café is more than a restaurant bar. It’s a true depiction of Mexican culture. You are greeted as familia, the décor features authentic Mexican art and aesthetics, and 2014 James Beard award-nominated chef Silvana Salcido puts her heart and soul into every refined plate. That same passion spills over into the bar where guests can order inventive drinks like La Picocita, a mix of silver tequila infused with chile de árbol, or the Barrio Bomba which features Patrón, Cointreau, fresh fruit juices, and a splash of grenadine.
# 5 Moctezuma’s Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar, Tukwila, Wash.
Moctezuma’s has changed the face of Mexican cuisine in Washington State. Its immaculate attention to detail, ranging from décor to dish presentation and service, has elevated guests’ perception with its award-winning Mexican fare. The art of tequila-tasting is taken very seriously here, too. With over 100 tequila and mezcal varieties to try, this place is worth a quality visit. Take advantage of the daily drink promotions, like $2 off the Cadillac margarita on Thursdays, and settle next to the in-house fire pit sipping your worries away.
# 4 La Sandía Cantina, Denver
Yelp / Helen Y
This upscale Richard Sandoval Mexican spot, La Sandía Cantina, features a tequila bar with more than 150 agave-based spirits and even has a tequiliero on staff. Don't miss the homemade sangrias or spot-on Yucatán margarita with serrano-infused blanco tequila and blood orange. Its dynamic bar and lovely outdoor patio are both ideal settings for a night out with the gang.
# 3 Nuestra Cocina, Portland, Ore.
Husband-and-wife chefs Benjamin Gonzales and Shannon Dooley-Gonzales have collaborated on this restaurant with country-style Mexican cooking in southeastern Portland. The rustic, generously portioned fare draws huge crowds and the cocktails keep the good vibes in check. There’s a myriad of margaritas and even tequila martinis like the Mango y Habanero with Tequila El Jimador, mango purée, and habanero syrup. Plus, there is a suite of Del Maguey mezcals to enjoy.
# 2 La Piñata Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar, Concord, Calif.
Yelp / La Pinata
We couldn’t have a list of the best Mexican joints without including at least one place in Northern California. For the past 20 years, La Piñata’s tequila bar has been one of Concord’s ideal meet-up spots for good vibes and good times. Serving over 300 choices of 100-percent blue agave tequilas and offering premium tequila flights, it’s no wonder imbibers head to the bar week nights for happy hour.
#1 El Centro D.F., Washington
Yelp / El Cerrito
Mexican cuisine maven and award-winning chef Richard Sandoval’s bi-level eateries, called El Centro D.F., mean business when it comes to Latino libations. The trendy night spots stock more than 200 tequilas and mezcals providing endless cocktail possibilities. Inventive drinks such as the Red and Smokey (El Silencio mezcal, chile ginger, and hibiscus) thrill taste buds with a spicy and sweet treat. Imbibers are welcomed to spend time on the back patio and enjoy selections from the impressive list of mezcals ranging from reposado to añejo, and from small-batch to single estate organic samples. Guided tastings as well as infused and family tastings are available at this chic tequila hub.