Traditional Mexican Food In the Heart of Old Town San Diego

About Mario Marquez

Mario Marquez’s passion for tequila knowledge started as a server at Café Coyote in Old Town, San Diego eight years ago. Mario was determined to educate himself on the list of more than 100 tequilas on the menu. It began as a hobby that grew into a passion for tequila knowledge.

In the past four years, Mario has gathered an in depth understanding of tequila culture. He constantly studies the spirit and is always trying to learn something new and interesting about the more than 900 tequilas brands that compete in the market.

Mario’s passion for tequila has led him to sacrifice most of his vacation and personal time to study and visit over 15 different distilleries in the appellation of origin, tequila producing regions.  He takes about one or two trips every year to be immersed in this unique tequila culture.  These trips down to México have allowed Mario to conserve his Mexican origin and traditions. He spends a lot of time visiting his place of birth, San Francisco del Rincón, Guanajuato.

Mario Marquez has acquired his tequila knowledge by reading, traveling, attending tequila seminars, and by interviewing and talking to people who work in the tequila industry. He has met with various master distillers, distillery owners, scientists, educators, and agave harvesters (jimadores) to help him build his understanding of what it takes to make quality tequila. Mario has tasted and examined more than 500 tequilas in the 100 percent agave category.

On September 15th, 2007 Mario Marquez became one of the first certified Tequilier Ambassadeurs in the entire United States. The highly accredited, Mexican Academy of Tequila (U.S.A), at the time led by Phillip Soto Mares (Master Tequilier) gave this award to Mario for completing its expert seminar on tequila.

Mario’s most recent endeavors were being a judge for the prestigious Spirits of México tasting competition ( that was held on September 11th, 2008. This event has been held in San Diego for the last six years and is a leading event in San Diego for tequila and other spirits from Mexico.  During this event Mario helped evaluate and rate over 80 tequilas, mezcals, and liqueurs from different regions of México.

Mario is an individual that believes that an education is a life-long process. On March 9th, 2009, Mario became the second person outside of Mexico to attend and complete the Catador 1 and Catador 2 expert seminars on tequila tasting. These seminars were held in Mexico City at the World Trade Center. During these seminars Mario was exposed to rigorous scientific approaches that dealt with the overall tequila process and methods of how to professionally analyze and evaluate tequila.

These 4 day seminars were taught by Andrés Rodriguez- Raynoso, President of La Academia Mexican del Tequila ( and Mr. Ricardo Higelin Iselin, Master Tequilier and Director of Mexico’s Valley chapter.  These accomplishments have gained Mario to be recognized in the tequila industry as a true connoisseur of tequila.

You can meet Mario Marquez at Café Coyote on Thursday and Friday nights from 5-9 P.M.  Mario will personally guide you through over 100 tequilas to help you learn and select the one that is right for you. Mario is always glad to be you Tequila Ambassador.