A few months ago, we noticed new signage on a Starr Street storefront that used to be a pasta shop—a black flag emblazoned with a gorgeous smiling calavera, or skull image, decorated with a funky pink and purple flower.
We waited patiently for the mysterious new neighbor to The Sampler, Starr Bar, and Guacuco to open. This week, we finally got the chance to stop at the aptly named Calavera’s Margaritas & Tacos for a closer look at their simple, satisfying, and affordable, food menu, and their amazingly stacked margarita list.
Calavera’s interior is reminiscent of a dark, neon punk-themed bar (think Boobie Trap); the walls are painted with black chalkboard paint and decorated with the day’s food specials and cheeky colloquialisms about drinking. “‘I don’t like Margaritas’ said no one ever” reads the wall above the bar’s entrance.
While we appreciate the kitschy self-awareness in the decor, upon closer inspection, Calavera’s is actually an homage to Mexican folk art. The walls are adorned with shelves of dozens of intricate, wooden Alebrijes – fantastical figures in inspired by artist Pedro Linares’s fever dreams.
The bar’s managers, Oscar Castro and Rocio Baker, sourced all of Calavera’s decorative art from Mexico. “Everything here is one hundred percent from Mexico. We flew all of it here, some of it fell apart but we spent such a long time gluing it back together,” Baker recalled.
Aside from the unique decor, Calavera’s also offers a menu crafted by Calavera’s head chef Miguel Rojas. It features Mexican staples like tacos, quesadillas, and gorditas. They also offer chorizo nachos and guacamole that are simply to die for.
But perhaps Calavera’s main attraction is their truly extensive list of margarita flavors. From traditional flavors like lime, mango, and strawberry, to unconventional tastes like lychee, blueberry, blood orange and kiwi, Calavera’s has one of the most expansive flavor lists we’ve ever seen.
And if you were worried about the authenticity of these flavored margs being compromised by all the expected sugar that usually comes with flavored drinks, think again. “We have a homemade simple syrup that blends with the natural sugar in the agave,” said Castro. “And all of our margaritas can come frozen, or on the rocks with the options of sugar, salt or chili around the rim. We’re also going to have a mezcal option soon.”
On top off all these wonderful qualities, Calavera’s is extremely cost effective; aside from Taco Tuesdays and a great happy hour, they run food and drink specials nearly every night.