Tequila. It’s true – it does make you happy. If you can’t get enough of the naughty Mexican spirit (made from the native blue agave plant), these London bars are the place to go. They’ve got drinking tequila down to a fine art. And we’re talking so much more than salt, shot and lime. These scorching hot watering holes serve a fleet of tequilas – from blancos to aged añejos – or mix a strong cocktail from the stuff. So whether your tipple is a Margarita, a Paloma or a good old Slammer, add these tequila bars in London to your hit list. Then let the good times roll like a Mexican wave.
Tequila bars in London
Descend to the basement at El Camion. It’s one of those places a little off the radar, and we love it all the more for it. Day of the Dead masks embellish the walls and old creaky cupboards display what seems like hundreds of bottles of tequila. Choose from margaritas, batidas and classic tequila cocktails or stick with shots served with house-made sangrita. Best of all? This dirty dog is open until 3am for members.
Dalston’s agaveria specialises in mezcal, sotol, raicilla and, you guessed it, tequila. Try a flight of three top tequilas for £18, or grab a dazzling Mirror Margarita. It’s a totally see-through version of the classic cocktail that’s sure to remind you why tequila is truly the best of all the spirits.
Surprisingly, Covent Garden gives good tequila. Check it out at the bar in Cafe Pacifico, where they have a dedicated list of tequila cocktails, including a Paloma twist and a Tequila Bloody Maria. The venue was founded by Tomas Estes, the man behind Tequila Ocho, so try it in all shades and vintages here.
This laidback joint is packed to the rafters at weekends with hip young things looking for a vertical feed. They’ll need to knock back the tacos at Del 74 as the tequila policy is liberal. Margaritas fly from the bar with reckless abandon. Make friends with the bar staff and you may end up doing shots all night long. Pray for a free pass in the morning, my amigo. It was fun though, wasn’t it?
A 30-strong list of blancos, reposados and añejos won’t be the only thing to raise your pulse at La Bodega Negra, a Mexican joint in Soho with a façade like a sex shop. Order it by the shot, carafe or bottle and let the good times roll. Cocktails are another reason for fiesta, with six variations on the Margarita as well as new concoctions. For something out of the ordinary, the pepino combines tequila with cucumber.
This little shack of a bar in Dalston has more than a holiday feel about it and is already famous for its Ginger Mojito (at just £5 a pop!). But next time you stop by for a wild one in east London, try tequila and watermelon or tequila and grapefruit instead. Both hella refreshing, simple and served long and with heaps of ice. Nab a seat outside and pretend this disco’s in Jalisco.
What’s better than a row of tequila shots racked up at the bar? A mini train full of them, that’s what. If you head to this Mexican hangout in Chelsea, you better round up your pals for the Tonteria Express, which brings six or more shots to your table, starting at £9 a shot – and it’s always on time. Stick with the cosy vibes on a menu of sharing drinks, or work your way through the Margarita menu.
The Wardour Street branch of Wahaca may be heaving with Mexican food fans, but the basement is where it’s really at. The Azulito Bar (which translates as Little Blue Bar, aw), has around 80 types of tequila in stock. Try añejo at ambient temperature or one of the many blancos served with Wahaca’s home-made sangrita – a little shot of tomato, grenadine, orange and spices on the side.