It's Cinco de Mayo, and that means it's tequila time! Gone are the days when drinking tequila meant shooting it back with a grimace. Tequila has now taken its rightful place as a liquor worthy of respect. This is evidenced by the plethora of bars and restaurants that offer, instead of a bottle of Cuervo in the well and maybe some Patron on the shelf, impressive collections of reposados, mezcals, and añejos. Here are our picks for the top 5 tequila bars in Chicago.
311 W Chicago Ave
It may be located in the former Martini Bar, but this post is a tequila haven. Owned by partners Billy Dec and Arturo Gomez, they've got over 90 varieties, with prices ranging from $9 a pour to the $150 Clase Azul “Ultra” Extra Añejo, which is only produced in batches of 100 bottles. If you'd like to explore a few tequilas try one of their flights. For four tastings, one each of blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo, prices begin at $35 and top out at $275.
412 N Clark St
You would think a place named Havana would have a large rum selection, and they do, but they also boast a considerable number of tequilas. The Cuban / pan-Latin restaurant offers blanco, reposado, and añejo selections from distillers like Herradura, Riserva De La Familia, and Riazul.
108 W Kinzie St
At Mercadito you can sip on a $9 tequila, or you can splurge on a $50 option. The restaurant covers the board, offering selections of blanco, reposado, anejo, and extra anejo. Stop by on Tuesdays and you can enjoy your tequila with a taco special of two tacos for $6.50.
800 W Washington Blvd
While their selection may not be the largest in the city, it's definitely one of the best curated. Former Sabor Saveur chef-owner Yanitzin Sanchez and beverage director Octavio Ramirez have pulled together a list of 40 tequilas from 20 brands, and they introduce a new tequila each month. You'll be saying "mas tequila, por favor!"
2901 W Diversey
No Chicago tequila bar list would be complete without mentioning Masa Azul. This Logan Square hidden gem (that's no longer well hidden) has just about as many mezcals as they do tequila.
Now you tell us - where are your favorite tequila bars in Chicago?