Club Tropicana
This upscale nightclub caters to a mostly Latino/a clientele, but everyone's welcome. Formerly the Rockin' Horse Saloon, Club Tropicana is a complete departure from the biker/cowboy vibe of RHS. The music is mostly a mash-up of salsa and merengue, whether the tunes are coming from a live band like the Pan Americana Salsa & Merengue Orchestra, or DJs like Pooya, Roberto, and Shy. The club's busiest nights are Fridays and Saturdays, when lines wind down the street and the parking lot is packed with low-riders and caballeros. Newbies may be nervous about going in, but the atmosphere is friendly — someone is probably going to ask you to dance, and if you don't know how to dance, someone will probably teach you.
George & Dragon Pub
This ain't no Hyundai, baby. The Cadillac is a monstrous witch's brew that rivals a properly constructed Long Island iced tea for pure liver-pummeling power. It's also — quite shockingly — as good as or better than anything we've come across in the countless Mexican cantinas we've frequented over the years. And it's made by... the British? Except when it comes to giving up property — India, Northern Ireland — the English are a generous lot, and the barkeeps at this venerable Brit pub don't skimp on the Grand Marnier or the tequila (it's house, but you can upgrade for a pound or two). But beware: Combine the British munificence with the thing's sublime taste and you might end up kissin' some concrete by last call.
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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