We’ve spent quite a bit of time, dollars, and brain cells testing out the best margaritas within walking distance of our Echo Park pad. Since it’s another National Margarita Day, we’ll once again delve into the world of the best margaritas in Echo Park:
Enter the dimly lit establishment on Sunset Boulevard, and you won’t return to the real world until after dark. El Compadre is a given. The ambiance is well-matched for margarita drinking, Dodger games (or the Lakers) are always on, and the bartenders are the best. At a dining table, margaritas come in their famous style (flaming), while at the bar they come sans flame (which is fine with me!). I always order a Cazadores Reposado margarita on the rocks with salt, knowing the good tequila will be more expensive, but boy is it worth every penny.
Cazadores Reposado is a perfect margarita tequila: Aged in oak casks, it’s certainly not a tame tequila and becomes well-balanced in margaritas. It’s particularly delicious when you have a good margarita mix, which El Compadre definitely does. They’ve had the recipe for 30 years, and try as I might I could not coax any ingredients out of the bartender.
Why pay more than a few bucks for a good margarita? Well, let’s put it this way: one margarita and you’re feeling good, two and you’re set (plus no hangover)! Why drink the several of the cheap stuff when you can have just a couple good margaritas, and enjoy it in the process?
Allston Yacht Club
AYC serves up a lot of delicious mixed drinks, wines, and even added a couple of taps for craft beers. As an ex-bartender myself, I always sit at the bar and chat with the always friendly and well-versed bartenders.
At AYC, order the Spicy Margarita. It’s mid-shelf tequila, fresh lime juice, agave syrup, and muddled jalapeños – but not too much. The jalapeño leaves a little heat in the back of your throat, and gets a tiny bit stronger and you drink it down. Overall, it’s refreshing and delicious, and worth the $9. Did I mention they also have a cozy back patio?
If you don’t see the Spicy Margarita on the AYC menu, just ask! They know what to do. If you hit up AYC on a Wednesday (like today) you’re in for a treat – Wicked Wednesdays means $5 on all menu items, and they have a great happy hour.
The number three spot used be Barragan’s, but to be honest we haven’t been there in a looooong time, so I’m keepin’ it off the list. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t go for a margarita at Barragan’s, as one of our readers pointed out in the comments section of my from 2010 agrees with a commenter who doesn’t like a high price tag: “I agree, $8 and waaay west of Alvarado doesn’t count. I’m all for Barrigan’s very LARGE and VERY TASTY margarita on the rocks WITH SALT at a decent price. And I can walk there…!” It’s completely true – margaritas can certainly get expensive! But it’s a trade off – the cheaper the tequila, the worse the hangover!
Hopefully this helps your margarita choices in Echo Park. Remember, the bottom line is this: Good margarita mix, good margarita! And I don’t want to leave out the other guys, so the other spots you can get margaritas include the Short Stop, and even Rodeo Grill. Enjoy, and remember to walk home if you can!