Infused tequila, surprising flavor combinations earn Pepe Osaka’s national recognition |

Infused tequila, surprising flavor combinations earn Pepe Osaka’s national recognition

Pepe Osaka's baja fish tacos and a mahi mahi al pastor taco with a gold margarita made with ginger-infused tequila and a margarita azul with pineapple-infused tequila.
McKenna Harford /

Winter Park’s own Pepe Osaka’s, the Latin-Asian fusion restaurant of every foodie’s dreams, was recognized as having one of the best margaritas in America by Money, the finance focused Time outlet.

It’s no surprise why Pepe Osaka’s was honored, with seven different margarita options on the menu, including a margarita azul with blue curacao and a tequitini, also known as the original margarita martini. Osaka’s speciality is their fish tacos, but they also offer their own spin on the classic chips and salsa, edamame and nachos.

Money partnered with Yelp to find the best margaritas across the country using the reviews to narrow down the search by volume of reviews and overall rating. Pepe Osaka’s has a 4.5-star rating on Yelp, with many positive reviews urging customers to try the margaritas and tacos.

General manager and co-owner Nanda Usseglio described their margaritas as a “flavor bomb.” She said what makes their margaritas stand out is their house-made infused tequila, which comes in traditional flavors like pineapple or cucumber, as well as uncommon flavors like jalapeno-habanero and cinnamon-orange peel.

“My favorite is a mix of the pineapple and jalapeno-habanero,” Usseglio said. “I think the fruitiness and spiciness combines well with the spicy tuna (tacos).”

Customers have a multitude of fish taco options to choose from, like baja style, mahi-mahi with al-pastor seasoning and ahi poke. For the seafood-averse, the restaurant also offers chicken teriyaki, pork carnitas and steak tataki varieties.

What differentiates the restaurant from other local eateries is the relaxed atmosphere and simple menu that contains a combination of spicy, sweet and savory flavors, Usseglio said.

“Don’t expect the traditional taco,” she warns newcomers. “We play with the flavors.”

Usseglio also said the restaurant owes its success to everyone who takes a chance on the unique menu, as well as its loyal customers. The restaurant even offers local nights on Wednesdays, where the first margarita is served for just $1 with the purchase of food.

“We are where we are now thanks to them and we’re always striving to be better,” she said.

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