La Frontera Cantina

Mexican, Tex-Mex
$$$$ ($15-$24)
The patio is the big draw at this cheery Tex-Mex spot.
Sun-Thu 11 am-11 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am-12:30 am
(Dupont Circle)
Dupont Circle (Red Line)

Editorial Review

The buzz: The spacious patio and potent margaritas make this Tex-Mex spot one of the most happening restaurants along 17th Street. The bar serves a number of domestic and imported beers as well as sangria, daiquiris and pisco sours by the pitcher.

On your plate: Cocktails are a primary draw here, and small plates nicely complement the drinks. Try chicken taquitos in tomatillo sauce or a starter of chunky guacamole with chips. If you opt for a more substantial dinner, stick with classic dishes, like fajitas or quesadillas. Other good bets: Cheese enchiladas arrive bubbling in ranchero sauce, and the fried beef chimichangas are gigantic. Sopa rancherito, or chicken soup, is a deeply flavorful soup laced with chunks of chicken.

Nice to know: La Frontera offers Sunday brunch on the patio with excellent bloody Marys. The restaurant is open for dinner until midnight on the weekends.

-- Erin Hartigan (April 24, 2012)