Texas is the second largest state in the United States of America. The state has the longest stretch of border with Mexico. The entire borderline is demarcated by a river, the Rio Grande, and borders four Mexican states: Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Chihuahua, and Coahuila. Thousands of families share relatives on both sides of the border. Part of Texas’ appeal is its Mexican culture. As of 2021, it was second only to California in the size of its Latino population and the importation of tequila. These factors make it a great state to enjoy agave spirits. Texas is also an attractive state for mezcal entrepreneurs including brands, importers, mezcal bars, and review website hobbyists. Jonny and myself may have never launched Mezcal Reviews back in 2016 if we were not living in Austin, Texas – a mezcal mecca in many ways.

That said, it is important to note that “business friendly” Texas is not the most friendly to the alcohol business. Booze in the state is overseen by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, or TABC, a public agency responsible for regulating, inspecting, and taxing the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages within Texas. You will often find the TABC’s ugly government stickers smack dab on the front of beautiful Mezcalosfera labels, covering up the production details. In Texas, liquor cannot be purchased on Sunday – go to church y’all! Liquor cannot even be shipped across county lines. So if you live in Austin but spotted a nice bottle at Pogo’s in Dallas, you’ll have to giddy up I-35 for a three hour drive to retrieve it yourself. Despite all that red tape, Texas is still a great place to find agave spirits. It might be for the best that we cannot order them online as well.. gotta save some money for retirement.

Now, let’s take a look at the best stores in Texas to acquire bottles of agave distillates.

 

Austin

We’re going in alphabetical order but also.. why not start with the best city in Texas?! If you’re looking to sip before buying, check out our blog Where to Drink Mezcal in Austin.

The Austin Shaker

This boutique liquor store founded by former bartenders has quickly grown into three locations. The Pleasant Valley location is convenient and might have the largest selection. Ask for Paul who can recommend the perfect bottle (or six) based on your experience and flavor preferences.

Pleasant Valley location: 420 N Pleasant Valley Rd B, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

Oak Hill location: 7626 W, 7626 State Hwy 71 #102, Austin, TX 78735 (Google Maps)

Inventory on website? No

Useful links:

Two shelves of mezcal at The Austin Shaker store

South Lamar Wine & Spirits

2418 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (Google Maps)

This reliable and friendly store on South Lamar used to house their mezcal collection behind glass in a tall cabinet. Since 2019 or so, the agave collection has moved front and center when you enter the store with shelves wrapping around the checkout counter.

Inventory on website? Yes and no. They have inventory online which is available for delivery but some of their smaller batch bottles may not be listed.

Useful links:

  • Instagram (they often announce rare bottle releases via Instagram stories)

AB Liquor #2

1809 W Anderson Ln Unit 1, Austin, TX 78757 (Google Maps)

As of this writing, AB Liquor #2 is relatively new to the scene. Their impressive selection (pictured in the main article image) is full of nice finds. However, some of their pricing is a bit puzzling.. for example, $269.99 for a bottle of El Jolgorio Arroqueño!

Inventory on website? No

The Austin Wine Merchant

512 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

“Wine Merchant” as we call it was one of the original places we visited to build our mezcal collections. Back in 2016 when we started the website, this store had bottles of Mezcalero No. 11 for under $80! Along with multiple releases of Mezcalero, the store had old bottles of Vago, and Real Minero Pechuga batch 1 (US release). This is still a place worth checking out. On a recent trip, they had Rey Campero Espadin in stock for under $50.

Inventory on website? Yes however it may not be up-to-date. Visit the website or call them. The staff is amazingly helpful and can place special orders on request.

Twin Liquors – Hancock Center

1000 E 41st St Suite 810, Austin, TX 78751 (Google Maps)

Big box stores like Twin Liquors can be hit-or-miss, and this location is a hit. During their famous Dollar Sale, deal hunters gather outside the store well before 10am. Their selection can fluctuate but you will find some occasional hits at great prices. We really liked finding Mezcalosfera Madrecuixe from Margarito Cortés for around $120.

Inventory on website? Yes, visit the Twin Liquors website

Spec’s – Brodie Lane

4970 US-290, Austin, TX 78735 (Google Maps)

Similar to Twin Liquors, not all Spec’s locations are created equal. The best location is in Houston on Smith Street (listed in the Houston section below), however this location in Austin is worth checking out. Unsurprisingly, this big box store has competitive prices. I regret not buying a case of the 2014 Vago Mexicano back in 2017 when they cost around $80 per bottle.

Inventory on website? Yes, visit the Spec’s website

 

Dallas

For us, Dallas would not be a mezcal destination if not for its premiere mezcal bar Las Almas Rotas. There are likely some other interesting mezcal haunts in Dallas, but they are not yet on our radar.

Pogo’s

5360 W Lovers Ln suite 200, Dallas, TX 75209 (Google Maps)

While pricey, Pogo’s has an incredible selection of agave spirits. We try to swing through whenever we visit.

Inventory on website? Yes, visit the Pogo’s website

Bar & Garden

3314 Ross Ave Ste 150, Dallas, TX 75204 (Google Maps)

This boutique liquor store has great Instagram vibes. Full disclosure: We have not visited Bar & Garden but we like what they are doing. For example, as a retailer they carried the exclusive batch of brisket pechuga which was a collaboration between Las Almas Rotas and the mezcal brand Gracias a Dios.

Inventory on website? Yes, visit the Bar & Garden online store

 

Houston

We were saddened by the closure of The Pastry War in 2021; it was one of the great Texas mezcal bars (check out our blog about it). However, the city has a lot of agave action to be found at bars like Capt. Foxheart’s Bad News Bar and the Oaxacan restaurant Xochi. Let’s look at where one can purchase bottles.

NASA Liquor

953 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058 (Google Maps)

A bit of a journey south from the city, we admittedly.. have never been. But we have many friends that vouch for it. Their selection is incredible and the NASA team is very passionate about quality spirits. One look at their Instagram and you will understand that they only stock quality booze.

Inventory on website? No

Spec’s – Smith Street

2410 Smith St, Houston, TX 77006 (Google Maps)

Spec’s is a Texas store and this is their flagship store. Even if you don’t like agave spirits (why are you reading this?), visit for the giant deli full of fancy international items. This location is literally a lunch destination too. It’s also a booze destination as the photograph below will demonstrate. The selection at this Spec’s location is unparalleled. While it might not be top-notch quality like NASA (which is nearly an hour away), they have the quantity.

Inventory on website? Yes, visit the Spec’s website

Long row of mezcal bottles at Spec's on Smith Street in Houston

 

San Antonio

Last but not least, Austin’s closest big neighbor to the south: San Antonio. We love San Antonio. From its annual cocktail conference, fun bars and restaurants.. not to mention its incredibly cheap flights to Mexico – we visit often. One of our favorite mezcal digs is the Esquire Tavern, but we know there are others we are forgetting. Either way, this is a great city and one we have driven to specifically for mezcal on multiple occasions (believe it or not!).

Alamo City Liquor

1311 N Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78215 (Google Maps)

Alamo City Liquor has grown over the years and owner Frank is the driving force of this quality liquor store chain. Years ago we visited the Thousand Oaks location and were blown away by the selection. Now, the downtown location is mind-boggling. It might be the best store in the entire state of Texas to buy mezcal.

Inventory on website? No

Mezcal shelf at Alamo City Liquors on Thousand Oaks in San Antonio

The Thousand Oaks location circa 2018

Special display of Cinco Sentidos bottles at Alamo City Liquor in San Antonio

A dedicated 5 Sentidos display at the downtown location

 

Agave spirits are bigger in Texas

There you have it, the best places to buy mezcal in Texas. Whether you live here or are just visiting, we hope these recommendations help you find what you’re looking for. This post is likely missing some great stores but we’re confident these picks will keep your collection well stocked.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.