Located just a hop, skip, and a jump from the borders of Mexico, saying it isn’t hard to find a great spot to shoot back a shot of the classic Mexican liquor, tequila, might be an understatement. To make it easier to quench your thirst for a tasty margarita or a burning sip of the intoxicating liquid, we’ve put together a list (in no particular order) of the top ten tequila bars in San Diego:
1. El Vitral Restaurant - East Village
Home of ”El Chilango,” or the $300 margarita, you know this place knows a thing or two about tequila. El Vitral serves up refined Mexican cuisine and more than 250 tequilas. They even offer a Tequila 101 class, a $30 seminar including a three-shot flight of tequila samples and a three-course meal, cheers!
Have the ultimate “mexperience” at La Puerta and try out one of the 110 tequilas they offer. With a killer happy hour: 1/2 off all drinks and apps, this place knows how to party. Not to keen on straight tequila shots? Try one of La Puerta’s innovative varieties of margaritas like the sangria infused “Purple Haze.”
3. El Agave Tequileria – Old Town
Tequila lovers unite in this authentic Mexican restaurant that is located in a Tequila museum offering a selection of over 2000 different kinds! This is definitely a place to check out if you are in the mood for the true flavor of Mexico. With so many tequila options you can expect a truly unique selection of craft concoctions including a Chocolate Margarita…could you think of a better combo?!
4. Baja Betty’s - Hillcrest
Housing over 100 tequilas on shelf, this place is home to the most fabulous margarita north of the border. They offer great deals including 1/2 off menu Mondays, Buy one get one free Wednesdays and $4 house shot specials Fridays. Not to mention they even offer membership to the “Tequila Club,” a great social event the first Saturday of every month featuring 6 different tequilas.
Prepare to leave your comfort zone at this Tequila bar. With over 100 tequilas available, you probably won’t recognize most. Try something new and discover a new favorite, and don’t be afraid to get a little help from the bartenders…they know their stuff!
6. En Fuego Cantino – Del Mar
Del Mar’s go-to Mexican cantina by the beach, is the place to check out, particularly if you like your tequila in a margarita. En Fuego offers 13 different types of margaritas, from superfruit-infused, to “skinny” varieties, this place knows how to sweeten up the fiery liquor to perfection.
7. Cantina Mayahuel – University Heights
According to Cantina Mayahuel, “To experience the pure beauty, complexity and diversity of our tequilas, order them straight up in a hand blown glass. Let it breath, sip it slowly, and relax and enjoy the art of tequila.” We couldn’t agree more. Find your favorite kind, with the recommendations of friendly owner Larry, in his vast selection of over 200 tequilas and 55 mezcals on shelf.
Also known as “El D,” this Downtown tequila bar will keep you coming back for more with their ever changing seasonal menus that highlight the latest cocktail trends. But don’t worry, despite whatever the latest drink of the week may be, the exceptional bartenders will always be able to whip you up a delicious custom tequila creation upon request.
9. Barrio Star - Banker’s Hill
Barrio Star, where tequila is funkified. Indulge in the “Mamasita” a jalepeno infused tequila cocktail made with fresh cilantro, muddled cucumbers, egg whites and fresh lime, or maybe try the “Mexican Mule,” made with ginger beer, angostura bitters, slivered Serrano chilies, and fresh lime. Barrio Star offers the most interesting takes on tequila out there, and we mean this in a good way!
10. Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant – Kensington
You may have to wait in line to get into this San Diego favorite. That’s right, people are willing to wait around the block to have a taste of Ponce’s take on tequila. Home to the legendary $28 Rio Grande margarita made with Don Julio 1942 Tequila Anejo by Ponce himself, be prepared to take part in some serious Mexican drinking at this joint.