If you are looking for tequila bars in Fort Lauderdale, you essentially have two options right on the trendy and always busy Las Olas Boulevard. The first establishment, Rocco's Tacos, opened as a very successful establishment after their initial location opened in West Palm Beach in 2007. The second is El Camino, which has a much more central location, lively bar, and more outdoor dining when compared to Rocco's. Today, I'll be sharing my El Camino review, and considering I've been there dozens of times, you can expect to hear what makes it so great.
The El Camino Fort Lauderdale Experience
When driving or walk past El Camino, the space feels very inviting. The bar area features indoor seating that stares at their massive tequila and mezcal selection while the covered outdoor bar seating backs up to an alley way that allows customers to easily access the parking lot behind the building. The bar area is prime real estate for getting quick service, watching sports, interacting with people, but most importantly, the daily Happy Hour specials! And when I say daily, I mean it. It's seven days per week if you are sitting at the bar between 4PM – 7 PM.
The heritage of Mexico instantly rubs off on you upon entering El Camino. The experience offers fresh organic and local ingredients while the tortillas and sauces are made in house from scratch. On a side note, every time I go with a group of friends to the bar area someone steals a habanero sauce. I've talked to the bartenders about this happening, and their stock answer is usually “it's good, people should steal it.” Why they don't bottle it and sell it is beyond me, it would definitely be a winner.
The Food at El Camino in Review
While I mostly come here to have a few drinks and continue my tequila reviews, I've had a lot of the menu as well as tasted bites from other people's dishes and I have to say that the consistency is there. Whether you are a burrito or burrito bowl person, you can always count on getting it the same way every time. The burrito is large enough to make you very full or think about taking some of it home for another meal, and when you couple in the beans (I get mine refried but they give you options) and rice, you'll definitely have enough food.
For appetizers, you can never go wrong with Mexican street corn! They also offer chicharrones and tamales, although I haven't sampled either one yet.
For a meal on the lighter side, they offer four variations of quesadillas, all offering different cheeses and proteins to satisfy even the most picky customer. The brisket quesadilla has always been my favorite.
If you are like me, you like to indulge at Mexican restaurants and eat about everything they have. But, I do know that some people really watch their figure or have dates that want to eat light so for those people they offer two types of salads. One is an avocado salad and the other is a kale salad. Both offer options of getting protein for an up-charge such as gulf shrimp, achiote chicken, or chile rubbed steak.
The Tacos at El Camino
If you can make a solid taco and create a drinking environment that people enjoy and can have fun at, you'll always do well in the long run. The tacos aren't spectacular at El Camino, but for South Florida, they don't disappoint either. (I've lived in many places and widely consider South Florida as one of the worst places to eat Mexican food.)
Some of the best tacos I've ever had have come from absolute hole in the wall authentic Mexican restaurants and even food trucks, so I'm not quick to offer offer compliments, so let's just say that while I do enjoy the tacos at El Camino, they aren't anything I'm going to ramble on about. Get them at happy hour and save some money until you find the one you want to get if you are a taco lover. That's my best advice.
Now, the burrito on the other hand is quite amazing. It's enormous, can be done in a bowl for you carb watchers, and is packed with flavor. Ditto for the enchiladas. So while I may not be writing crazy awesome things about the tacos, know that I'm still a fan of their food overall.
The Tequila at El Camino
So my real reason for coming here is the tequila selection. Well, and mezcal, if we are being completely honest. I only decided to start doing Mexican Restaurant and Bar reviews because I felt they gave me a great gateway to drink tequila.
Both are carried in a wide abundance and at fair to moderately high prices. Not over the top like I won't come drink tequila here, but some of the pours that go for $12 are $30 ish dollar bottles. However, if you want a good variety of additive free tequila, you'll find plenty of those here at El Camino. I've seen my regular favorites like G4, Tequila Ocho, Tapatio, and Reserva de la Familia here in addition to more rare stuff like Fuenteseca, ArteNOM, and more. The only high end tequila I drink that I didn't see on their list was Tears of Llorona.
Of course, to appeal to the masses they offer stuff like Clase Azul and Casa Dragones are offered, but hey, they are looking to profit and most people don't know a good tequila when it's in their glass!
For a full list of tequilas at El Camino, view this page: https://elcaminoftlauderdale.com/premium-tequila/
Drinks & Margaritas at El Camino
This is where El Camino turns your date's attitude from “oh you really want to go to a Mexican restaurant for a date?” to “We should start off our night there next time we go out.” The drinks are THAT GOOD.
List of Margaritas
- Classic – El Camino Blanco + Fresh Lime Agave + House Lime Bitters
- 50-50 – Del Maguey Vida + Blanco Tequila Fresh Lime + Agave
- Watermelon – Jalapeno – Blanco Tequila + Watermelon Juice Jalapeño + Smoked Sea Salt
- Blood Orange – Blanco Tequila + Fresh Lime Blood Orange-Hibiscus Cordial
- Pineapple – Coconut – Blanco Tequila + Fresh Pineapple Coconut Water + Toasted Coconut Salt
- Cucumber – Vida Mezcal + Cucumber Juice Fresh Lime + Verde Poblano
- Mango – Strawberry – Reposado Tequila + Strawberry Mango + Chamomile Cordial
- Kiwi – Mint – Blanco Tequila + Muddled Kiwi Fresh Mint
- Guava – Habanero – Reposado Tequila + Habanero Agave Fresh Lime + Guava Nectar
- Passion Fruit – Blanco Tequila + Passion Fruit Habanero + Vanilla Salt
- Strawberry – Blanco Tequila + Strawberries Lillet Rose + Basil
- Smoked Pineapple – Mezcal + Fresh Pressed Pineapple Vanilla Agave + Cracked Pepper
- Spicy Avocado (this is my favorite by a country mile.) – Blanco Tequila + Combier + Avocado Jalapeño + Fresh Lime
- Oaxaca Old Fashioned – Tromba Añejo + Del Maguey Mezcal Agave + Ango Bitters
- Paloma – Blanco Tequila + Ruby Grapefruit Fever Tree Grapefruit Soda + Salt
- Sangria – Vino Tinto + Blanco Tequila Grapefruit Agua Fresca
Out of these, the Old Fashioned is super tasty. In fact, I normally drink mezcal based old fashioneds and this one was very good in comparison to others I've had. The paloma is just okay, and being a big drinker of palomas, I wouldn't recommend it.
Of course, they also serve beer and wine, but since you can get those about anywhere in the world, I won't waste time giving a full list. You can access the menu below if you have a certain one you are looking for ahead of your visit.
El Camino Menu
If you'd like to take a look at the menu prior to your visit, find it posted here:
El Camino Fort Lauderdale Address
817 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33301