No. 9: La Mulita
Its prettier older sibling—Delicia, next door—gets all of the attention. But the oversight makes La Mulita that much more likeable. With its rough cantina edges, painted concrete walls, and mule logo, it’s the Jan Brady of a blended restaurant family that includes The Northside Social and Village Cigar, among others.
Operating partner Nicole Harlan-Oprisu envisioned the casual 900-square-foot hangout, which opened in early 2014, as a spot where folks in SoBro might stop in for a taco and a margarita. Not just any taco, though. The bar shares a kitchen with Delicia, which means La Mulita’s take on Mexican street food includes chef-inspired treats like the now-famous chilaquiles. Not just any margarita, either. A cocktail menu only slightly larger than a postcard gives a concise rundown of fruity drinks, all easy sippers—the cocktail’s answer to session beers—and tiki-sweet. You can sit at the bar and chat with the chummy ’tender about soccer (or whatever else is playing on the flatscreen) while nursing a frothy, limey Piña Rosada made with tequila, creme de cassis, pineapple, and hibiscus tea. Or snag the crushed-velvet booth in the farthest, darkest corner to kick back with a margarita spiked with orange-blossom water—the perfect beachcomber hooch to accompany the steel-guitar surf music that occasionally cycles through the soundtrack.
Just as Harlan-Oprisu predicted, much of the clientele does seem to have lumbered in from the surrounding blocks of SoBro; you can tell by their cargo shorts. But even if La Mulita will never be the destination that Delicia is for Carmelites and downtowners, the place is a lot less assuming. How do you say “kick off your flip-flops” in Spanish? 5215 N. College Ave., 317-925-0677