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Boston’s Tequila Takeover

September 29, 2011 2:02 AM

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Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

- By Jaime Ganson
With a down-turned economy comes turnover in all forms, including restaurants. Once-popular restaurants are closing and fresh locales are opening up, hoping to make their mark and stick in Boston’s vast selection of eateries and bars. New restaurants are opening weekly, and none so much as tequila bars or cantinas.

In the last year alone, 5 new tequila bars, Mexican restaurants have opened in Boston, replacing previous restaurants like Fort Point’s Persephone/The Achilles Project and Back Bay’s Cottonwood. With so many new options all claiming to be the best tequila bar, a diner may think they are all the same. Delve into each one’s mission, menu, and décor, and you’ll find that each has it’s own unique qualities to offer. Here are 5 new tequila bars to visit, and not just on Cinco de Mayo.

pouring tequila e1311359081228 Boston’s Tequila Takeover

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers

Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar

271 Dartmouth Street
Boston, MA 02116-2837
(617) 369-5609
Hours: Mon – Sun 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sun 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
website and info

Lolita replaced the old space of Paparazzi on Dartmouth between Boylston and Newbury. It looks like it sounds, with a dark interior and a bar lit by red lights. It’s a much more trendy feel, and on weekend nights, turns into a more bar/club-like atmosphere. A unique dessert menu, including green apple cotton candy, and an array of tequilas (up to $200) are keys of Lolita’s appeal.

What’s unique: Lolita has four types of guacamole; for those who love it, your meal alone could be sampling all of them. The tocina has smoked bacon, and the especial has crab and lobster.

patron e1311359048859 Boston’s Tequila Takeover

Photo Credit: Christopher Blumenshine/Getty Images for GQ

MIJA Cantina & Tequila Bar

Quincy Market
1 Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Boston, MA 02109
(857) 284-7382
Bar Hours: Sun – Thurs 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Fri & Sat 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
website and info

MIJA is located in the old Sam’s Café at Cheers in Faneuil Hall. The patio seating outside is sure to be a perfect spot for people watching the after work and tourist crowds. While there is a large open seating area, there are also areas that can be used for private parties. The menu features Mexican classics and you guessed it over 100 tequilas.

What’s unique: The décor is not traditionally or stereotypically “cantina” or Mexican. Sleek but rustic wood envelope the white and black leather chairs. Candelabras and lanterns hang from the paneled wood, open ceiling.

mixed drinks e1313087451646 Boston’s Tequila Takeover

Photo Credit: Gregorio Binuya/Getty Images

Papagayo Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar

283 Summer St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 423-1000
Hours: Mon 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Tue – Sat 11:30 a.m. – 1 a.m.
website and info

Papagayo inhabits the old space of Persephone/The Achilles Project on Summer Street. With a large bar and separate sit down seating areas, Papagayo is perfect for after work drinks and appetizers or a full meal. The margaritas and sangrias are available in glasses or pitchers, so there’s plenty to share! If you have a special occasion, book the tequila table, a special 12-seat table off the bar area that is encircled in back-lit shelves filled with top-of-the-line tequilas.

What’s unique: Papagayo has a VIP Club. Sign up and receive various perks such as, a free birthday entrée when you eat there on your birthday, enrollment in their loyalty program (10% back on purchases), and inclusion in their email newsletter, announcing new menu items and promotions.

Alcohol, Cinco de Mayo

(credit: AP)

Temazcal

250 Northern Ave
Boston, MA
617-439-3502
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
website and info

Located in the newly revamped and re-invigorated Seaport District, Temazcal looks out over Boston Harbor with indoor and outdoor seating. On the smaller side, Temazcal does not take reservations, so plan to be there early or grab a drink (or two) at the bar while you wait for a table. The bar itself proudly displays various bottles of liquor and of course, tequila. The cocktail menu boasts multiple types of margaritas, and the entrees have a variety of options from tacos to quesadillas to larger entrees including fish, chicken, beef and a whole, roast suckling pig carved at the table for $32.

What’s unique: Besides the harbor side views, expect a unique spin on the traditional menu. Each diner receives their own iPad to browse their menus, which includes a picture for each option. It’s a fun experience, and your mouth will no doubt be watering in anticipation of the meal to come.

bottles of tequila e1311359019486 Boston’s Tequila Takeover

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

TICO

222 Berkeley Street, Fl 13
Boston, MA 02116-3748
(617) 351-0400
Hours: Mon – Fri 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
website

TICO took over the old Cottonwood in the Back Bay. The menu has an array of unique tacos, such as crispy fish & red jalapeño and bacon, cabbage, & green tomatoes. The stocked bar also has a special $5 menu from 2:30-5:00 PM. TICO means business with their tequilas, going so far as to have a special Tequila Club. If you drink 88 tequilas in an 8-month period, you join the club and receive special perks, including a glass with your name on it and tasting dinner for 4, among other things.

What’s unique: The patio on St. James Street has a fire pit. This décor element is one of the only fire pits in Boston (at least that I can think of!) and is sure to draw crowds in warm weather.

What’s your favorite Tequila Bar in Boston?

Jaime is a twenty-something blogger living, working, & shopping in Boston. Interested in all thing things stylish whether it be the latest fashion trend on the runways to the newest decor featured in home magazines, she blogs all about it, and tidbits of her life, at La vie…J’aime. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest, as well.


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