Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

By Eric Twardzik   South Boston · Bar · $$

Mar-gar-it-a: Not so long ago, uttering those four syllables would earn you a neon-hued libation served in a fish bowl with enough sugar to fill a Pixy Stix. Somehow, the tequila-based classic that became synonymous with bad decisions and even worse Tex-Mex has been redeemed—and Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar is leading the local charge.

Even if the Margaritas weren’t knockout-good, this Southie spot from the team behind Lincoln Tavern and Capo would still draw a crowd. Its food menu includes a mix of traditional (carne asada, carnitas) and less traditional (buffalo chicken) tacos, plus well-executed crowd pleasers like Sheet Pan Nachos and cotija-slathered Street Corn. And its setting—with rustic wood, high ceilings, and a rectangular bar lit by strung lights—lends the air of a perpetual outdoor party, even during a New England winter.

But more importantly: The Margaritas are damn good. Skeptics convert to believers after one sip of the El Jefe, a startlingly simple Marg that gets it right: a little sweet, a little sour, and just tart enough. Loco flexes its creative muscles with the Coco, which adds a house coconut blend to the classic Margarita bill. And the aptly named Little Devil relies on a jalapeño-infused tequila and blackcurrant liqueur to deliver a drink that’s spicy with the first sip, then dark and fruity with the second.

The atmosphere—particularly on weekends—can get downright raucous, with long waiting times and noise levels to match. In other words: It’s precisely the kind of party-down vibe that pairs best with a salted rim and a wedge of lime.

Amidst the tacos and Margaritas, the “oyster” aspect of the restaurant can get a little lost—but not on Mondays, when a buck-a-shuck special runs from open till close.

The best seat in the house is easily table 412, a.k.a. “the picnic table,” which seats 12 in its own relatively quiet corner. Large groups can reserve the entire table.

Like your agave spirits neat? A number of tequila and mezcal flights are offered, and a total of 78 tequila and 19 mezcal varieties are on hand.

Must Haves

  • If you’ve been burned by a bad Margarita mix in the past, this simple number made with fresh citrus and agave will bring you back into the fold.

  • This drink’s salted rim and sweet, frothy coconut element create a delicious contrast.

  • Used to shrugging off “spicy” disclaimers? Tread lightly with this jalapeño-soaked number.

Fun Fact

Loco is just one outpost run by Broadway Restaurant Group, which includes Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant, Capo Restaurant & Supper Club, and Fat Baby. They’re all located within a four-minute walking radius, and together make an excellent bar crawl while you’re waiting for a table.

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