A tequila and queso road trip you'll never forget, or will you?


Road trip!! Those two simple words shout freedom, adventure, spontaneity and excitement. Many road trips are conceived from curiosity and a search for something elusive. Think Hunter Thompson or Jack Kerouac. If you're on the hunt for a little crazy and a lot of flavor, then map this cross-country quest for the best tequila and queso in the country.

First thing to remember when you are road tripping tequila; go low. We are staying way below the Mason Dixon line. All the best tequila can be found in the southernmost cities, starting with Miami, and moving on to New Orleans, Austin, Albuquerque and finally, Los Angeles. We are beginning the journey in the east and heading west, but feel free to reverse or start in the middle, if you choose.

Miami - Ball & Chain
Miami equals melting pot and Latin roots. Get authentic in Little Havana at the Ball & Chain. This authentic Cuban nostalgia hot spot will quench your quest for queso with the Queso Frito. This is a Dominican-style fried cheese with a Cuban twist and guava rum sauce. Get your tequila fix with Tommy's Margarita featuring fresh lime and agave nectar.

New Orleans- El Gato Negro
The land of jambalaya may not seem like a likely candidate for tequila and queso, but guess again. Head to the warehouse district and find El Gato Negro. The Queso Fundido is offered with chorizo or crawfish – for that Cajun touch. Good luck choosing your tequila as there are dozens to choose from – ranging from Blancos to Anejos.

Austin- Takoba
Texans may know more about tequila and queso than just about anyone outside of Mexico. There are dozens of tequila and queso bars in Austin. However, try Takoba. If you just can't choose your flavor from the extensive menu, try a tequila flight and get a sampling of three delicious blends. Don't forget your appetizer of Queso Fundido with roasted poblana, monterey jack cheese and warm flour tortillas.

Albuquerque- Zacatecas
Is New Mexico part of Mexico? Duh, but when it comes to tequila and queso, it seems like they understand it as well as their friends just south of the border. Try Zacatecas with an impressive list of tequilas and build your own margaritas. The queso is served in a sizzling skillet with a selection of two enticing varieties.

Los Angeles – El Carmen
Your quest for the holy grail of tequila ends in Los Angeles. El Carmen is a tequila lovers' heaven with over 400 brands of tequila on the menu. Many of these can be sampled with one of their dozen tequila flights. Do you ever wonder why they call them flights? Be careful not to crash. Soak up the tequila with their signature Chilaquiles, which are chips tossed with spicy red sauce and queso fresco.

Tequila is the new martini, the new craft beer, the new red wine. Thousands of brands are available and more surfacing as we speak, so get your salt on and your cheese craving satiated with this cross-country tequila and queso road trip!


Meeka Anne is revisiting her childhood stomping grounds in Atlanta where she grew up. She writes for several lifestyle magazines and has authored two books.