Houston's Best Tequila Bars

October 4, 2016
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by Zagat Staff

Whether you're a margarita drinker or prefer the straight stuff, here are the best spots in Houston for a taste of the potent Mexican spirit.

El Tiempo Cantina - Montrose
Breakfast · Montrose · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“Outstanding” fajitas and “strong” margaritas – they’ll “sneak up on you” – are the calling cards of this "festive" mini-chain doling out “reliable” south-of-the-border fare; “normal Tex-Mex decor” , including tile, ironwork and carved-wood accent pieces, adorns a variety of “warm, inviting” spaces; P.S. some branches are often “crowded” , so "a wait can be expected.”
Hugo's
Montrose · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Definitely “not your typical Mexican restaurant” , this longtime, upscale Montrose hot spot showcases chef Hugo Ortega’s “imaginative” south-of-the-border cuisine that “consistently surprises you with interesting combinations and new flavors” ; the “excellent tequila, mezcal and wine lists” fuel the “fun, festive” atmosphere (hence the dining room can get “noisy” ); P.S. Sunday brunch is “fantastic” , so call ahead for reservations.
El Tiempo Cantina- Richmond
Latin American · Upper Kirby · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“Outstanding” fajitas and “strong” margaritas – they’ll “sneak up on you” – are the calling cards of this "festive" mini-chain doling out “reliable” south-of-the-border fare; “normal Tex-Mex decor” , including tile, ironwork and carved-wood accent pieces, adorns a variety of “warm, inviting” spaces; P.S. some branches are often “crowded” , so "a wait can be expected.”
El Tiempo Cantina - Washington
Latin American · Washington Corridor · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“Outstanding” fajitas and “strong” margaritas – they’ll “sneak up on you” – are the calling cards of this "festive" mini-chain doling out “reliable” south-of-the-border fare; “normal Tex-Mex decor” , including tile, ironwork and carved-wood accent pieces, adorns a variety of “warm, inviting” spaces; P.S. some branches are often “crowded” , so "a wait can be expected.”
The Pastry War
Downtown · $$

From artisanal spirits to classic Mexican cocktails, this Downtown bar is serious about tequila and its agave-based cousin, mezcal. Just around the corner from sibling OKRA Charity Saloon, the narrow space allows for both intimacy and boisterousness in separate areas festooned with a cantina motif, including a skull-laden ceiling mural above the indoor patio.
Cuchara Restaurant
Mexican · Montrose · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

Definitely “not Tex-Mex” , the “very authentic Mexico City food” served at this arty, contemporary cantina in Montrose is “something a little different” ; though service is not a strong point, the atmosphere is “fabulous” , leading fans to say it “should be packed at all times.”
Stoked Tacos & Tequila
Midtown · $$

Inventive tacos prepared with local meats headline the menu of this Midtown watering hole specializing in mezcal, high-end tequilas, and pitchers of margaritas served in an upbeat, rock 'n' roll-themed setting with a patio.