Tequila bars are all the rage right now and I have to say one of my new favourite bars is El Cortez. It’s located on Gateway Boulevard just north of Whyte Avenue. The staff, the food and the drinks are amazing. Let’s start with the menu: The El Cortez menu is a blend of modern Latin fusion, traditional favourites and gourmet street foods. If you like tacos and nachos, it’s the place to be! The last time I was there I tried the cinnamon braised pork taco. I have three words. Absolutely. Totally. Amazing. So delicious. It was a perfect blend between cinnamon and pork and just everything else. They have special happenings as well. On Mondays, it’s margaritas; Tuesdays, tacos; Wednesdays, wine; Thursdays, tequila and on Sunday it’s flip the chicken. Happy hour is daily from 4-6 p.m.
Fresh, fun, unique
The El Cortez bar program is also pretty extensive. I don’t think I’ve seen such a large variety of tequila anywhere else in Edmonton. It’s fresh, fun and unique. The bar program has something for everyone from adventurous to traditional. I had a margarita! So good. I’m a huge tequila drinker so I had lots to choose from. Everything from top shelf to bottom shelf. If tequila isn’t your thing, they also have an extensive beer and cocktail list. So don’t worry if you’re a taco person but not really a tequila drinker!
My next favourite thing about El Cortez has to be the atmosphere. It’s warm, inviting and a lot of fun. I had an amazing experience with the staff. They were so helpful and understanding when I couldn’t make up my mind when deciding on what to get. They know their stuff about the food and the tequila.
With only nine establishments in the world this is definitely a great catch for our capital city. The bar also takes private bookings from 10 to 80 people for whatever event you may be planning. They have a private tequila cellar for such occasions.
Can be pricey
I do have to warn you, though, it’s very easy to rack up a pretty expensive bill, so pay attention to what you’re getting if you’re on a budget. It’s a great place to go for special occasions or to book a party but not for your average everyday student. El Cortez is open Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to late. Saturday is 11 a.m. to late, they’re open for lunch! And on Sundays they’re open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. But don’t worry, it’s more than just a sit down bar. They have an amazing nightlife as well. The tequila cellar turns into a dance floor and a rotation of DJs come in every Friday night for your enjoyment. Saturday night, resident DJ Thomas is in the house. He will keep you on your feet for hours.
I definitely give this bar a 10 out of 10. Between the authentic feel, the amazing, delicious food and the atmosphere, it’s definitely something to check out.