Lone Star Taco Bar

By Molly McDonough   Cambridge (+) · Bar · $$

No matter whether you trekked to Allston with beef barbacoa on the brain or crossed over to Cambridge just for the carnitas; if you’re going to Lone Star Taco Bar, you’re probably going to order a drink. Sure, the two outposts of this Texas-themed haunt draw hordes of taco-deprived Bostonians—but they are, at heart, bars. The proof? Drink menus are extensive with rotating specials, while food menus stay relatively consistent. They’re open till 2 a.m. They’re dark and raucous inside. Plus, just look to the name: These are not taco restaurants; they’re Taco Bars.

That was the intention of co-founders Max Toste and Aaron Sanders, transplants from Southern California and Texas who built their behind-the-bar chops running Deep Ellum, the gastropub next to Lone Star’s Allston outpost. With their newer venture, the duo wanted to delve more deeply into tequila and mezcal. And dive they did: Lone Star’s menu boasts almost 100 bottles to sample, from mezcal made from wild agave that only grows beneath oak trees in Mexico’s high-altitude volcanic soils to an agave-maple spirit aged in oak barrels in Vermont.

Yet even if you aren’t inclined to nerd out over agave, you’ll find something to swoon over here.

Several varieties of Margarita are on offer; zippy and complex, they’re the perfect foil to fare that’s made for drinking, from creamy guac made fresh to electric-orange melty queso. If you’re leaning away from lime, you’ll still find classic staples like the 1930’s Manhattan and the Negroni. Try the Oaxacan Old Fashioned made with mole bitters to stay on-theme. And if you’re hungover at brunch (offered weekdays from 11 to 4 and weekends from 10 to 4), the $6 Michelada is basically everything you need. In fact, that carb-citrus-salt-veggie mix is a lot like Lone Star itself: nourishing, boozy, and a lot of fun.

Tecate beer from Lone Star Taco Bar

The bacon-wrapped hot dogs and chorizo tacos on Lone Star’s late-night menu were created to satisfy your drunken cravings. The savory snack selection, named to Boston magazine’s 2018 list of Best Late Night Menus, is on offer from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Bouncers man the doors during the evenings, so be sure to bring your I.D.

In summer, the only thing better than sipping a Margarita is sipping a Margarita outside. Head to the Cambridge location to score a seat on the small sidewalk patio.

Must Haves

  • The liquid looks unsuspecting but the spiced rim gives it away: Sugar is swapped out for a jalapeño and habanero agave syrup, resulting in a kick of heat that fades into a wave of citrus and lingering smoke.

  • A refreshing beer with Bloody Mary vibes. Slurp it down and you’ll still have half a can of brew to sip on.

  • For those nights when a rocks glass full of Margarita just isn't going to do it. No need to stress over a sugar rush with this 20-ounce rendition; Lone Star’s classic recipe offers enough zingy citrus to balance the sweet.

Fun Fact

The booths at Lone Star’s Allston location are repurposed church pews.

Best For

Lone Star Taco Bar

Other Locations

  • 635 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, USA
  • 479 Cambridge St, Boston, USA

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