The 10 Best Mezcal Bars in America
If you’re a fan of mezcal, you likely know that this tasty beverage comes from the agave plant. Agave is native to the regions of the Americans that are airy and hot and don’t require much water to thrive. The plant produces flowers that are safe to eat; these flowers also create mezcal when they are distilled. Tequila is a derivative of mezcal, so if you enjoy a delicious margarita but want to take your flavor exploration a little further, it’s a good idea to visit a mezcal bar. These bars across the US are among the world’s top choices for their collection of agave spirits. Whether you’re traveling or want to know where to find great mezcal in your area, here are some of the best mezcal bars America offers in various parts of the country.
Madre! Restaurant and Mezcaleria
801 N Fairfax Ave, Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA, 90046
Madre! is one of the best mezcal bars America has to offer and it’s new to the West Hollywood area. The establishment has a modern Oaxacan concept and made its debut in November 2020. Ivan Vasquez, the owner of Madre! has two other locations in Torrence and Palms, but the West Hollywood venue focuses on celebrating the history and culture of Oaxaca. Vasquez purchases his mezcal from Oaxaca and patronizes small mezcaleros to ensure the authenticity of the ingredients. Madre! is quickly becoming one of the best mezcal bars in America with more than 400 rare mezcal variations for customers to choose from. Exclusive batches from Madre! including Cuishe, Real Minero-Largo, and Espadin.
Mama Rabbit Mezcal + Tequila Bar
3770 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV, 89109
Mama Rabbit is located at Park MGM and offers creative Mexican cocktails while you enjoy live entertainment and take in the beauty of the on-site art installation. The establishment gets its name from Mayahuel, the goddess of fertility and agave. The venue is decorated with bright colors and includes a lounge, taverna, and double-sided bar. Mama Rabbit has the largest agave spirits collection in Las Vegas and offers guests more than 500 tequila and mezcal options to choose from. The mezcal is served in a traditional veladora from Oaxaca and you’ll receive a unique pairing with each pour to bring out the flavor of the mezcal. You can also take advantage of the tasting flights offered by Mama Rabbit. The tasting flights are a gourmet salt-rim program used for the establishment’s signature cocktails and spirits, include the first mezcal-barreled Blanco tequila.
106 W Mills Ave, El Paso, TX, 79901
This attraction mezcal bar has recently been renovated and is conveniently located in the Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park in downtown El Paso. The restaurant has been a staple in the city since 1930 and has hosted celebrities and politicians over the years. Ambar features a rooftop lounge and a lobby bar that offers a vast selection of agave spirits. There are over 800 mezcal variations to choose from — one of the largest collections in the US. Ambar is home to the only bottle of Lalique Patron in the state of Texas; one shot costs $1,750. There are also premium tequilas and mezcals for sipping including pulque and komil to make your dining experience complete.
La Contenta Restaurants
102 Norfolk St, New York, NY, 10002
La Contenta has two locations in NYC and a beverage program that focuses on agave spirits. The restaurant boasts one of the largest mezcal and tequila selections in NYC. The restaurant is managed by Alex Valencia, a native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, which is the birthplace of tequila. You’ll find over 350 bottles of high-quality mezcals and tequilas to enjoy. La Contenta was also the first NYC restaurant to offer less common agave spirits like bacanora, stool, and raicilla, which are served neat or in the restaurant’s signature cocktails.
Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina
83 Pearl St, New York, NY, 10004
Mad Dog & Beans has two NYC locations and provides the perfect combination of comfort and sophistication from the ambiance to the food and cocktails. You can find several classic Mexican dishes at the cantina along with an extensive list of margaritas and tequilas. You can choose from 145 tequilas and mezcals from 60 brands. If you’re dining with friends, try the huge 100-ounce margarita tower which requires four people to consume. The most expensive bottle at the eatery is the Tequila Clase Azule Anejo, or you can opt for the Tequila Gran Patron Piedra Extra Anejo, which is the second most expensive. If you’re looking for a unique mezcal to try, you can’t go wrong with the Scorpion 7 Years. This variety has been discontinued, has an actual scorpion in it, and costs $64 per shot.
6702 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA, 94608
Prizefighter is a neighborhood cocktail bar that offers industrial-style minimalist decor. The mezcal bar is near the Berkeley-Emeryville border and you can enjoy your meal and cocktails on the front or rear patio. In addition to the extensive cocktail selection, you can chose from 26 tequilas and 122 mezcals. There is also a “rare and allocated” section of mezcals that includes Del Maguey Vinos de Mezcal, or you can sample rare mezcals like Vago, Wahaka, and Neta mezcals.
Electra Cocktail Club
3325 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV, 89109
Electra Cocktail Club is on the casino floor of the Venetian Resort and is open on the weekends. The colorful and energetic ambiance is just as fun and exciting as the cocktail sections. Ther are 71 mezcal choices and 35 variations of tequila to customize your cocktail. In addition to mezcals, you can also find several quality agricoles and rums to choose from to create your own cocktail. You can try tropical cocktails like the Clase Azul Dia de Muertos 2020 which is rare — there are only 200 bottles in the world. You can also opt for Raicilla or Bacanora, or try the venues signature drink, the Age of Aquarius, with mezcal, lime, honey, passionfruit, and Campari.
The Pony Room
5921 Valencia Cir, Rancho Sante Fe, CA, 92067
The Pony Room is located at the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa and offers seasonal dining and a variety of cocktails to choose from. You can visit the restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and the eatery offers a detailed tequila program led by expert mixologist Ted Gibson. You can choose from over 100 types of tequila for tasting, or you can select the tequila you want for a handcrafted cocktail. Select a drink from the specialty margarita menu and enjoy the live music during dinner Wednesday through Saturday for an unforgettable dining experience.
5313 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle WA, 98107
Gracia was founded due to the owners’ deep appreciation for Mexican food and culture. The eatery is committed to preserving the authenticity of Mexican cuisine and the menu includes 111 types of mezcal, along with 93 varieties of tequila and 20 sotol or agave distillates that have their own distinctions that put them in a class of their own. The top mezcals are $100 a shot and include Del Maguey 1955 Stagg’s Leap Cask and Leyenda Montana. Or, you can splurge on the $140 shot of Clase Azul Anejo Tequila to complete your dining experience.
1816 E 6th, Austin TX, 78702
This mezcal bar is located in one of the most popular districts in Austin, and Whisler’s Mezcal Speakeasy is on the second floor for a complete nightlife experience. The intimate space makes it easy to ask the bartenders questions about the tequilas or mezcals you’re interested in. The bar offers several varieties of mezcal, including wild and rare mezcals and Espadin. The mezcals are served in traditional Oaxacan vessels and you can also go for Sal de Gusano-mezcal flights for a completely interactive experience.