Australia ranks as one of the top global markets for tequila, so it stands to reason that Sydney is overrun with fine establishments slinging Mexican favourites like palomas and margaritas. Here are our pick of the best.
Bar Patrón by Rockpool
Eschewing grungy taqueria tropes in favour of natural timber, leather and marble, Neil Perry’s Mexican eatery and tequila bar – overlooking Sydney harbour – showcases the titular premium tequila brand with more than a touch of luxury. The signature Patrón Classic Margarita is priced according to whether you opt for the spirit’s Silver, Roca or Platinum label, while the Millionaire’s Margarita - combining the Gran Burdeos Patrón with Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac, Grand Marnier Cuvée Du Cent Cinquantenaire, nitro-chilled pearls of finger lime and edible gold leaf – will set you back $100. For the full experience, order the flight of rare and exclusive Patrón barrel batches, and take the menu’s advice to sip slowly. This is an experience you’ll want to savour.
2 Phillip Street, Circular Quay
Stacked with more than 100 varieties of tequila, interspersed with figures of the Virgin Mary, the bar at Surry Hills joint Tio’s promises to transform your tequila adventure into a religious experience. Colourfully festooned for a perpetual fiesta, this is tequila at its darkest, loudest and sexiest.
4/14 Foster Street, Surry Hills
Though Mejico is celebrated as one of Sydney’s best Mexican restaurants, its selection of more than 250 varieties of tequila cements its position as one of the city’s best tequila bars. If the size of the tequila menu leaves you crippled with indecision, let the famed tequila wheel do the deciding for you. Or opt for a selection of the venue’s top picks.
105 Pitt Street, Sydney
Westfield Miranda, Sutherland Shire
The CBD’s self-proclaimed ‘late night tequilaria’ serves up a diverse selection of fruity tequila-based cocktails that make ideal accompaniments to their classic Mexican food menu (the watermelon margarita, with Calle 23 Blanco, is a winner). A collaboration with Herradura – Mexico’s third largest tequila producer – has also unlocked exclusive access to a number of premium tequilas, available in specialised cocktails or as part of a customisable flight.
58 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
With its tequila menu broken down into blanco (aged less than 2 months), reposado (2 – 12 months), añejo (1 – 3 years) and extra añejo (3+ years), Paddington’s Tequila Mockingbird might be whimsically named, but they take their agave seriously. The cocktails are clever but unintimidating, complimented by a food menu that celebrates the South American culinary tenets of ‘raw’, ‘street’ and ‘flame’.
6 Heeley Street, Paddington
Few drinks are better suited to beach life than tequila. Fortunate, then, that this beloved Mexican diner is a mere pebble’s throw from Bondi Beach, and that its vibrant street food is accompanied by a comprehensive list of tequilas. Sorted according to the agave plant that produced them (agave tequilana weber, agave angustifolia and wild agave), Taqiza takes tequila as seriously as Bondi locals take their beach.
177 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi Beach
Calaveras Mexican Cantina & Tequila Bar
That Calaveras is positioned above a train station in Newtown tells you almost everything you need to know about this rowdy, dimly lit Inner-West den of Mexican street food and tequila. Sip on one of the bar’s selection of exclusively 100% agave spirits, or try them in one of the menu’s many playful cocktails. The infamous El Diablo, with its habanero-infused tequila, will set fire to both hearts and mouths.
Level 1, 324a King Street, Newtown
Top image: Bar Patrón