Don’t front—you know there’s a time and place for frozen margaritas served in vessels larger than your head. But there are also moments when you want to sip some artisan tequila, smoky mezcal, or small-batch sotol. Thankfully, New Yorkers have started thinking seriously about Mexican spirits, and a number of NYC bars have cropped up with some very serious agave-based offerings.

If you want to be transported to Oaxaca, we’ve listed a Lower East Side clubhouse that features live music and a variety of hard-to-find mezcal. If you need an after-work pick me up, we know a “tequila library” in Midtown that has a 400-bottle list of South of the Border spirits. And if you’re looking for all that plus tacos and chili-infused margaritas, please, read on.

Here are our five favorite tequila and mezcal bars in NYC.

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