Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill
We used to sneer at those amateurs who insisted on making this tequila-and-lime confection take a pass through the blender. The best margaritas, we'd insist, are always on the rocks. Then we were introduced to the Sixth Street Margarita at the cavernous, comfortably dim Tempe franchise of this laid-back chain. Okay, so they're talking about the Sixth Street in Austin, not Tempe, but we don't care. Z'Tejas started in Texas, but is now headquartered in Scottsdale, and in any case, there's no topping the ice-smooth agave taste — and the wallop that leaves us no choice but to call a cab. And once we've decided not to drive, well, why not have another? Oh, hey, and make ours the one spiked with Chambord.
Mucho Gusto Taqueria & Mexican Bistro
As we began to see hibiscus pop up as a trendy ingredient in hot spots from San Francisco to New York City, we were reminded of where we saw it first: Mucho Gusto. This cute Tempe cafe has consistently great specialty margaritas, none of them better than one infused with hibiscus. We especially like it in the drink's frozen incarnation. The flower's tropical lushness is good on ice, but heaven in a blend.
Old Town Tortilla Factory
Sitting in the patio of this gorgeous old hacienda, surrounded by twinkling lights and leafy trees, feels something like visiting the home of an old friend with excellent taste — and a huge collection of premium tequilas. The restaurant's bar, or "margaritas tequileria," features 100 agave distillations, and trust us: We have yet to try one that doesn't go down with a blissful shudder. Not into shots? Try the margarita with herradura blanco. Now that's a kick.

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