Mercadito’s entry on the Miami dining landscape in 2010 immediately generated a buzz as one of the more upscale(ish) Mexican street food restaurants in Miami. Mercadito originated in New York City where it’s still quite popular, but an outpost in Miami is a no-brainer. The menu’s winning guacamole section makes the case that plain avocado is passé, with intensely flavourful breeds that use pumpkin, jicama, mango or sautéed Serrano chiles as top notes. Tacos (flat, open, four to an order), taquizas and ceviches are well-prepared, nicely spiced and more filling than they sound. The backdrop of vibrant Latin-inflected wall decorations, more New York City arts district than dusty Juarez calle, keeps things festive, as does the gorgeous hammered copper sheeting installed behind the bar. But it’s the availability and treatment of Mexican firewater that raises the stakes and transforms Mercadito from an interesting snackery into a respected dining space that’s also casual and joyful. Have one of the lipsmackingly tasty tequila or mescal cocktails with your meal, or choose a designated driver and order one of the six dozen blancos, reposados and añejos – the three ages of tequila – represented here. Just don’t hold us responsible.