Drinking

Mad About Mezcal: Where To Get the Best Mezcal in San Diego

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Mezcal is a unique variety of tequila that is produced from over 30 varieties of agave. While tequila is produced by steaming agave inside industrial ovens before being distilled in copper pots, mezcal is produced in a much more traditional and artisanal way. Mezcal is made by cooking the agave inside earthen pots lined with lava rocks and filled with wood and charcoal, giving it its signature smoky flavor. 

Mezcal tasting is on the rise in San Diego, and if you’re looking to expand your horizons, there are some great spots to check out. Here are the top locations that need to be on your “go-to” list.

Cantina Mayahuel – North Park 

2934 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

If you have a love for mezcal and an insatiable curiosity, then Cantina Mayahuel is the place to be for both. The staff here are renowned for their extensive knowledge of everything that is agave, and they’ll be happy to assist you in choosing the right mezcal for you. With 100 mezcals on the shelf, their assistance can be a relief, as they all look unique in their own right. 

La Puerta – Gaslamp 

560 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

One of the premiere mezcal spots in Gaslamp, La Puerta offers 40 premium spirits for you to explode. You can choose to sip your mezcal straight to truly unpack its complex flavors and aromas, or you can go with a mezcal cocktail like the Californication, made with fresh lime, lemon, and Avalon Cabernet float. 

Kettner Exchange – Little Italy 

2001 Kettner Blvd. San Diego, CA

Carrying over 30 mezcals for its customers, Kettner Exchange knows a thing or two about making some serious cocktails complete with the finest Mexican spirits. There’s nothing like a nice smoky mezcal to balance out a cocktail, and with the incredible staff on hand, you’ll be ready to embark on your mezcal journey. 

Madison on Park – University Heights 

4622 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

You’ll find three incredible mezcal flights at Madison on Park, each with its own unique characteristics and flavor profiles. The $38 Agave Flight includes top tier selections like the rare Los Javis, which takes 23-25 years to mature. 

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Coasterra – Harbor Island 

880 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA

With stunning views and a perfect lounge area, Coasterra provides the perfect place to indulge in some fine mezcal. With over 70 agave spirits on their menu, there is plenty to choose from. They also offer tasting flights with 1 oz. pours so you can get a full range of mezcal offerings. 

El Agave Tequileria – Old Town 

2304 San Diego Ave, Old Town, CA 92110

It turns out one of the biggest tequila museums in the world has a tremendous selection of fine mezcal, who’d of thought? With over 2,000 top-quality agave spirits, you’re not going to find a more extensive collection than you will at El Agave. 

Tamarindo – North Park 

2906 University Ave, San Diego, CA

While you won’t find an extensive mezcal menu, the spirits here are carefully chosen to fit any taste preference. Adhering to offering only the top-notch mezcal on their menu, Tamarindo provides a streamlined approach to your agave cravings. 

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