By Sheryl Craig

Tequila is the official alcoholic drink of Mexico, and certainly, the perfect distilled beverage to sip on Cinco de Mayo. It’s a plant-based alcohol derived from the blue agave plant grown in the city of Tequila. The distinct flavors of tequila range depending on what your palette likes best. Regardless when looking for a neat, on the rocks pour, authentic margaritas and other tequila hand-crafted cocktails, seek out these LA restaurants and bars that both specialize in knowledge of tequila and serving notable and top-shelf brands.

Casita Del Campo
1920 Hyperion Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 662-4255
www.casitadelcampo.net

When you’ve got a taste for tequila, your best bet is to grab a seat in the main dining room or on the patio at Casita Del Campo. For 55 years this charming neighborhood restaurant has been preparing exceptional Mexican cuisine as well as hosting a lively nightly happy hour where guests appreciate its wide selection of tequilas. The list of tequilas is robust and includes Don Julio, Cazadores, Patron, Hornitos, 1800, Herradura, El Silencio Mezcal and the most unique La Gritona. Casita Del Campo makes beautiful margaritas ranging from classic to fruit to smoky. Bartenders also serve up Tequila Sunrises and Palomas. A hot spot for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta.

Gracias Madre
8905 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 978-2170
www.graciasmadreweho.com

Offering an agave-only spirits program, there isn’t a better place to drink tequila at Gracias Madre on Cinco de Mayo. The Gracias Madre bar has its guests covered offering a top-tier selection of tequila to mezcal to sotol from Mexico and Central America. Beverage Director Maxwell Reis crafts seasonal and organic cocktails at this vegan restaurant.  Opt for fan favorites like the Purista featuring tequila reposado, agave, lime, orange bitters, sweet citrus salt rim; or treat yourself to Gracias Madre’s top shelf $200 Claze Azul Ultra Anejo Margarita.

Birds & Bees
207 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.birdsandbeesla.com

Birds & Bees offers Cinco de Mayo revelers a 1950s mid-century modern underground cocktail lounge. Located in DTLA, Birds & Bees features a menu replete with inventive twists on classic cocktails and serves up one of LA’s most inventive tequila cocktails – the Lucille Ball. This bright and beautiful cocktail features strawberry and saffron reposado tequila, Amontillado Sherry, Cinnamon Cordial and White Peppercorn Tincture and lemon.

Related: Best Secret Bars in Los Angeles

The Buffalo Club
1520 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 450-8600
www.thebuffaloclub.com

When you want to have a more quiet intimate May 5th evening,The Buffalo Club is just the right choice. This 24 year-old historic hidden gem in Santa Monica serves up two very distinct yet classic cocktails to guests. There are two specialty tequila drinks on the menu fitting to the supperclub-style ambiance that The Buffalo Club is known for. El Diablo is a tequila reposado mixed with Creme de Cassis, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and soda water, and Baja Playa is created with Don Julio tequila, the bright flavors of fresh pomegranate and lemon juices, agave nectar and Angostura bitters. The Buffalo Club is an iconic dining destination and if you haven’t been, it’s about time.

XOC Tequila Grill
6316 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
(818) 992-7930
www.xoctequilagrill.com

XOC Tequila Grill has a sprawling outdoor patio that is a brilliant setting for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Located in The Village, XOC has an encyclopedic list of tequilas, margaritas and exotic cocktails to sip. XOC bartenders go the extra mile creating a range of unique margarita flavors: Tamarindo (one of Mexico’s most coveted fruits), Chamoyada (blended mango with chamoy, tajin and fresh lime, served with a tamarind straw), Blueberry Ginger (blended 100 percent Blue Agave tequila, fresh blueberries, ginger and mint) as well as La Flaca Organica (freshly squeezed lemon, lime and orange and premium silver tequila) and the Mezcal Margarita. XOC is known for its inspired Mesoamerican and Mexican fare and not to be missed on the menu include the cheese crisp, esquites (street corn), tableside guac, and Molcajete XOC, the meal centerpiece.

Related: Best Tacos in Los Angeles

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