This Friday is National Tequila Day, so we've put together a list of amazing local tequila bars and tequila-specializing restaurants to help you celebrate in style. Or if you want to celebrate at home, Sangrita's Charles Schumacher has provided us with an outstanding tequila-based cocktail to mix up in your home bar.
Our first pick for the perfect place to celebrate Tequila Day is the newly-opened Broad Ripple joint, which took the place of the former Greek's Pizza building. They've got an unreal lineup of tequila and mezcal, and Charles Schumacher is behind the bar mixing up a huge variety of amazing tequila-based craft cocktails. Here, you can also enjoy the namesake sangrita with your tequila, a usually tomato-based accompaniment to a tequila that's smooth and sippable. Sangrita picked up Joshua Huffman, who came from another restaurant named on this list, Bakersfield. They do a great, small, focused menu with a lot of Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites. Most of what they do is made in-house, churned, somewhat miraculously, out of one of the smallest kitchens in the city. Definitely go and check out the very luxe, gorgeous interior.
834 E. 64th St., 377-4779, sangritasaloon.com
The "street Mexican" lineup at Bakersfield typically consists of eight tacos — including the fan favorite fish (crispy mahi) and Pastor (marinated pork and pickled red onions) — two tortas, two salads and chips with dips, including vegetarian options. Bakersfield's guac — hand-cut with chunks of avocado, lime-forward and punchy — won a "Best Guacamole in Cincinnati" award from three publications last year. They've got a ton of tequila and bourbon to offer, and we dig their ice-cold margaritas in their signature kitschy jar mugs.
334 Massachusetts Ave., 635-6962, bakersfieldmassave.com
La Margarita is most famous for its impressive tequila selection, with flights available at a variety of themes. With a name like La Margarita, it probably also goes without saying that you should order a pitcher of margaritas — and the top shelf pitcher is worth it. The bar also features an impressive lineup of craft beers in bottles and cans (sorry, no taps at this bar), with 69 varieties available, 39 of which are under $5. They serve lunch specials every day at the Fountain Square location, which has also played host to classic pinball tournaments in the past. This is one of the best places to get a bite and a drink before you see a show in ol' Fountain Square.
1043 Virginia Ave., 384-1457, lamargaritaindy.com
This is another spot that gets overlooked, but they also have an outstanding lineup of tequilas behind the bar. You can also enjoy a little cucumber cup of sangrita with your tequila. My personal favorite, however, is the hot lips margarita — a super-spicy little cocktail made with habanero that leaves quite a tingle on the lips. I might also recommend this place's handmade guac, which they cart out and mash up right in front of your table. Do the right thing and have them mix it up spicy.
110 E. Washington St., 822-9990, adobogrill.com
Revolucion has been serving up a variety of tacos for a couple of years now. But what sets them apart isn't the tacos, but the huge selection of salsas available to splash all over your tacos, chips, or whatever is nearby. They have sweeter, lighter salsas and devilishly mouth-searing varieties, not to mention crazy-delicious guac and queso. The beer selection changes regularly, so you'll have to become a friend on Facebook to keep current on what's new. One of the very best things you can avail yourself of while there is the spicy margarita. It comes with a chili-salt rim and a little pepper in the glass, and while it won't make you sweat or make your eyes water, it definitely leaves behind a satisfying tingle on the lips. Going out to a show in Fountain Square? Try their tequila shot and beer special and say hello to the weekend.
1132 Prospect St., 423-9490
Delicia combines the culinary traditions of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain into a blend the restaurant describes as "new Latin." Delicia also features a full bar, including a number of wines, beers, and craft cocktails, such as the pisco sour, a popular South American cocktail made with pisco (a type of South American brandy), lime juice, bitters, simple syrup, and optional egg white (get it with the egg white). But the draw on this Tequila Day is a chance to sample tequila drinks with a little more sophistication.
5212 N. College Ave., 925-0677, facebook.com/DeliciaIndy
This place offers one of the best options for those trying to expand their tequila palate: a huge variety of flights. Brand to brand, Barrio offers a flight of one of each of their blancos, anejos and reposados. Belly up to the bar and order a plate of tacos to soften the blow, then take the opportunity to develop a keen taste for the differences between the different styles. Not that you needed our encouraging to seek out tequila on Tequila Day.
3855 E. 96th St., 218-3186, barrioindy.com