The very spirit of Jalisco feels manifest in El Gallo Altanero. First, one must pass through the Cafe Fitzroy into the adobe and plaster-walled courtyard. Then, climb a set of stairs and perched atop a small balcony, you will find this agave mecca – quite literally glowing like a beacon.
A backlit, stained-glass window featuring a modernist rendering of an agave sits behind the square, 13-seat bar, with rooster-themed murals and artwork also present inside and outside the lounge. Additional seating is available at counters lining the balcony, but a barstool offers an education. Bartenders pull upon an encyclopaedic knowledge of tequila as they pull unicorn bottles from the backbar. The list offers some well-known names, but the focus is an epic selection of small, independent tequila producers. Cocktails are also on point, utilising classic techniques and rarer agave ingredients to conjure truly unique potions. The menu changes daily, but some items repeat, like Untal Santos’ riff on the Negroni (aged tequila, campari, port and Indian walnut). The party scene at El Gallo is just as lively as the drinks. The venue hosts regular events running the gamut from live music to frequent takeovers by several of The World’s 50 Best Bars.