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