Whether you drink it over ice, take it as a shot or mix it into a fruity margarita, there is no doubt that tequila is a popular type of liquor. Crafted from the agave plant, tequila is distilled in Mexico. As a large part of Mexican dining culture, many Mexican restaurants have their own tequila bars, showcasing a vast selection of tequilas. From blanco and reposado tequilas to heavily aged anejos, these spots have some of the finest tequila in Orange County.
Fred’s Mexican Cafe
300 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Located right across the street from the Huntington Beach Pier and state beach, Fred’s Mexican Café is a great beach bar for relaxing, soaking up the sun and enjoying some tasty Mexican food after a day at the beach. But what is really fantastic is the restaurant’s selection of tequilas. With a full-service bar inside and another bar on the patio, you can order everything from Patron, Cuervo and Don Julio to Corralejo, Cazadores and Gran Centenario. Their extensive margarita selection also includes flavors like mango, pomegranate, watermelon, orange and passion fruit. Once you’ve grabbed a drink, consider ordering some delicious traditional Mexican fare. Ladies should also make sure to check out the vibrant pink bathroom, filled with cutesy quotes on the walls perfect for Instagramming during happy hour.
Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen
141 South Glassell Street
Orange, CA 92866
This trendy Mexican spot in Old Towne Orange has so many different types of tequila that there is something to please any palette. Adorned with colorful, traditional décor straight out of Mexico, you’ll get an authentic vibe along with your tequila. The upscale bar top is the perfect place to sit and soak in the atmosphere. There are over 90 different types of tequilas available at Gabbi’s, including blancos, reposados, anejos and reservas, which can be served solo or in a cocktail. Sip on a house margarita, crafted with 100% blue agave, or try the jalapeno pepino margarita, the skinny organic margarita or the grapefruit and lime-filled La Paloma, crafted with Corralejo Blanco. To sample various tequilas, try the flight of the week, a promotion where the bartender provides three one-ounce glasses of premium tequila.
1768 Newport Boulevard
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Although El Matador was a popular spot for authentic Mexican food for years, it was remodeled when owner Greg McConaughy took it over about a decade ago. Although the restaurant kept its traditional cuisine, the renovations added some particularly important aspects like a new dining room, new bathrooms and, most importantly, a terrific tequila bar. Since then, the bar has grown into one of the largest and best tequila bars in Orange County, offering over 170 different types of tequila. From Casa Noble, El Jimador and Milagro to Jose Cuervo, there is plenty to choose from here. Along with the well-stocked bar, you can grab a bite to eat, too. Try the shrimp fajitas, the taco salad, the Gourmet Seafood Platter or the selection of enchiladas, burritos, tacos, tostadas and taquitos.
7832 East Pacific Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92662
Javier’s Cantina is an upscale restaurant with an equally luxurious tequila bar. Behind the bar top, there is an art installation to revel. The metal tree with twisted branches holds various bottles of alcohol and is a sight to see. Guests can choose from fresh tequilas that haven’t been aged to those that have been aging in amber barrels for a year or longer. In addition to the standard brands, Javier’s has special brands as well, including Milagro Unico, Patron Platinum, Clase Azul Reposado, Don Julio 1942 and Casa Amigos Anejo. They also offer hand-shaken margaritas, including the cranberry-flavored Laguna Rosa and the Piña margarita made with fresh pineapple. A more unique selection is the Fruto De Cactus margarita, made with fresh Prickly Pear and agave nectar. Javier’s Cantina also has a tequila bar at their Irvine Spectrum location.
solita Tacos & Margaritas
7631 Edinger Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Known for their stellar margaritas, solita Tacos & Margaritas is an obvious choice for tequila connoisseurs. Although they only have 18 different brands of tequila, they offer some of the best. Their ever-popular margaritas include the 100% blue agave house margarita, the skinny margarita and fruit-flavored margaritas including guava, kiwi-strawberry and watermelon. They also make other types of cocktails that are infused with tequila. The Horchata Cocktail serves housemade horchata and tequila over the rocks with a pinch of cinnamon while the Bulldog blends a margarita with beer. They also have seasonal tequila drinks that are infused with fruit and spices. While the drinks are the main draw, tequila is also an ingredient in the Spicy Maria Shrimp Cocktail, along with salsa, chipotle sauce, avocado and shrimp.
550 Pacific Coast Highway
Seal Beach, CA 90740
This family-run business has a hometown feel, but that doesn’t stop owners Felix and Georgiana Tulay from providing a massive selection of premium tequilas at the restaurant’s bar. With over 100 tequilas to choose from, you’ll want to join their Tequila Club to sample them all. The club comes with a card that ultimately results in a free t-shirt and the list of tequilas offered is engraved in plaques on the Yucatan Grill’s Wall of Fame. The restaurant also offers a flight that allows guests to taste three tequilas at a time as well as an extensive margarita list. Choose from the pineapple-flavored Grand Yucatan, the Mango Margarita, cranberry-flavored El Diablo and the ever-popular strawberry margarita, which can also be purchased in pitchers. They also offer a happy hour Yucatan Especial Margarita made with premium reposado tequila.
100 South Main Street
Newport Beach, CA 92661
Cabo Cantina offers a fun, laid-back beach atmosphere that is perfect for knocking back a couple of tasty margaritas. In addition to the massive 36-ounce Patron margaritas, you can choose from fruit flavors like strawberry, watermelon, raspberry, pomegranate, mango, apple, peach and melon and more unique flavors like cucumber, jalapeno, key lime pie and coconut. Aside from the standard margaritas, the cantina offers margaritas blended with a variety of other drinks, like Rockstar energy drinks, Jameson whiskey, Tequila Sunrises, pink lemonade, Blue Hawaiians and Cosmopolitans. Crafted with Jose Cuervo or Patron, each margarita is bound to be delicious—especially considering that each includes two shots of tequila.