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Las Perlas near THEA residences in Downtown Los Angeles

Discover Craft Tequilas & Rare Mezcals in DTLA

Cinco de Mayo is upon us and THEA residents have good reason to celebrate. DTLA is home to some of the city’s most iconic Mexican restaurants and cocktail bars, serving chef-driven and traditional cuisine, along with a  dazzling array of craft tequilas and rare mezcals. 

Las Perlas 2

Mezcal and tequila are often confused with one another, as they’re both Mexican spirits made from agave. However, tequila and mezcal are made from different agaves, produced in different regions, and distilled differently. Essentially, all tequilas are mezcals, but not all mezcals are tequilas. Both spirits utilize a basic method of cooking, fermenting, and distilling agave hearts, but tequila can only be made from blue agave plants. Mezcal, often described as tequila’s smoky-tasting cousin, can be made from any number of agave species, including the blue variety. Now that we’ve piqued your interest, It’s time to round up your crew and discover DTLA’s best craft tequilas and rare mezcals. Salud!

Las Perlas

Las Perlas 107 E 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90014

Las Perlas, the nation’s first mezcal bar, opened in March 2010 in the historic Sante Fe building at Sixth & Main in DTLA. This Oaxacan style cantina exists as a living tribute to Mexico’s native spirit, mezcal, with the finest selection of more than 400 premium agave spirits in the United States. Las Perlas cocktails arrive garnished with everything from wild hibiscus flowers to the Oaxacan delicacy of spicy, roasted chapulinas, while also offering ice cold Mexican cerveza. Get your fill of tacos, taquitos, mulitas, and more – available on the patio daily.

Olvera Street

Olvera Street El Pueblo de Los Angeles 125 Paseo de la Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90012

Sip margaritas and savor authentic Mexican cuisine in the birthplace of Los Angeles – El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Founded in 1781, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles (the Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels) is now a historical monument, home to free museums, exhibits, and the world famous Olvera Street marketplace. 

Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe

Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe W-17 Olvera St. Los Angeles, CA 90012

Established in 1924, Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe is a historic landmark in the heart of the Olvera Street marketplace. This iconic restaurant offers authentic Mexican cuisine and fresh margaritas made with real fruits including strawberry, mango, cucumber and more.

LA Cha Cha Chá

LA Cha Cha Chá 812 E 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90013

The sister location of Terraza Cha Cha Chá in Mexico City, LA Cha Cha Chá is located in a chic outdoor rooftop space in the Arts District. The restaurant offers gorgeous views of DTLA and a notable menu by Mexico City-born, LA-raised chef Alejandro Guzman. There are traditional starters like aguachile and ceviche, chicharos de sierra with fresh peas, serrano aioli, and crispy potato – a revamped family recipe. Cha Cha Cha also offers a tacos and tostada menu, along with more substantial dishes like grilled fish, charcoal roasted chicken, and pork shoulder confit carnitas.

Mezcalero 1

Mezcalero 510 S Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90013

The name that says it all. Mezcalero is a small, laid-back joint in the heart of DTLA, presenting a dizzying selection of mezcal, tequila and other agave spirits, along with craft beer and Mexican street food. The down-to-earth staff, lead by mixologist Nathan McCullough, loves sharing and shaking up craft cocktails while generating a welcoming environment for all. Mezcalero offers daily happy hour specials, Taco Tuesdays, and Cocktails To Go. So come on by any day of the week and experience the local love and dedication.

Pez Cantina

Pez Cantina 401 S Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90071

Pez Cantins is a sustainable Coastal Mexican-style restaurant and bar serving the freshest sea-to-land dishes in an oasis-type atmosphere. The menu focuses on dishes from the many distinct regions of Mexico: from Baja, to Oaxaca, to the Yucatan Peninsula. A fine-tuned selection of bright and eclectic cocktails, California-focused wine list and craft beers, round out the menu.   

Bar Ama

Bar Amá 118 W 4th St. Los Angeles, CA 90013

AMÁ is chef Josef Centeno’s homage to the Tex-Mex cooking he grew up on casual, inventive, delicious dishes inspired by four multi-cultural generations of Tejanos and their love of food. The menu will tingle your tummy with specialities like fideo and borracho beans with cilantro and pork belly, simmering on the stove. The bar offers a great selection of tequilas and mezcals, along with absinthe, whiskey, gin, beer, wine, and more.

El Cholo 2

El Cholo 1037 S. Flower St Los Angeles CA 90015

Since first opening their doors at the original site on Western Avenue in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business. Today, this popular restaurant has expanded to seven locations, run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. Enjoy traditional favorites like blue corn chicken enchiladas, green corn tamales enchiladas suiza, tortilla soup, burritos, carne asada, and combination plates. They also offer an array of margaritas and specialty tequilas.

Guerilla Tacos

Guerilla Tacos 2000 E 7th St. Los Angeles, CA 90021

From a popular food truck, Guerilla Tacos has evolved to a contemporary restaurant and bar specializing in great margaritas and other craft cocktails, along with world-class dishes inspired by the flavors of the city, made with local ingredients and served on a tortilla. Enjoy the congenial atmosphere in their dining room or festive outdoor patio. 

Photo Credits:

Photo #1: El Cholo

Photo #2: Las Perlas

Photo #3: Las Perlas

Photo #4: Olvera Street

Photo #5: Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe 

Photo #6: LA Cha Cha Chá

Photo #7: Mezcalero

Photo #8: Pez Cantina

Photo #9: Bar Amá

Photo #10: El Cholo

Photo #11: Guerilla Tacos