A cave-like tequila bar bringing striking cocktails and Mexican street food to its seaside locale, with live music and DJs to boot.

While its beachfront location provides an instant drawcard, El Grotto offers many reasons to linger. There’s the fine selection of tequila and mezcal for starters, which staff turn into classic cocktails, then there’s the bold and untamed flavours of the house specials.

Start with the Spicy Margarita, where fine-tuned heat of  jalapeño-infused tequila blanco is tempered by pear and orgeat, then move to a La Granada, which combines mezcal, Campari and pomegranate with a tropical hit from pineapple and lime.

Go for serious drinks, good food and better music, stay for the promise of good times, backed by real grit and character.

Cocktails are supported by a solid range of craft beers on tap and in tins, as well as quality cervezas, while the food pays homage to Mexican street fare with an eye on flavour and texture. Think tacos shipping confit pork given crunch with habanero pork crackling or fried cauliflower sharpened by salsa macha and ricotta salata (pro tip: add the house hot sauce to take things up a notch).

But this is only part of the appeal. El Grotto buzzes with live music courtesy of local bands and DJs, service is energetic and carefree, and cosy nooks and crannies inside are complemented by sunny spots on the terrace.

Go for serious drinks, good food and better music, stay for the promise of good times, backed by real grit and character.