We're lucky to live in a margarita wonderland, as the refreshing mixed drink reaches new heights here in the Southwest. Here are 10 of the Valley's top examples.
The Urban MargaritaUrban Margarita
6685 West Beardsley Road, Glendale
Now, this place has many marg options, which is no surprise as the word is right in the name. Urban Margarita offers pineapple jalapeno, cucumber jalapeno, prickly pear, blood orange, elderflower, and more, but what we recommend is the namesake Urban Margarita. It's Hornitos silver, Grand Marnier, agave, fresh lime, and worth the price tag.
Tropical Heat MargaritaGuacStar Kitchen & Cantina
920 East University Drive, #204, Tempe
We do not have mild words for the extra-spicy Tropical Heat margarita from GuacStar. The chile de árbol is hot, apparently six times hotter than a jalapeño according to the menu. However, the immediate hit of the pineapple puree, mixed with the God-sent avocado pit and cilantro-infused tequila, gives it a nice balance. What's more, all specialty margaritas are $6 during Guactail hour, which is 4 to 6 p.m. daily. Just remember, you have to descend those brick stairs, so maybe cap it at three.
Suave MargaritaBarrio Cafe
2814 North 16th Street, #1205
This tropical take on the classic cocktail is sure to brighten your afternoon, though if you're dining at Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza beloved Barrio Cafe you're probably already having a good day. All margaritas here are killer, but the Suave adds a little something. It's a mix of Chamucos Blanco Tequila with agave, pineapple, cilantro, and lime, and it's heaven.
Any MargaritaCRUjiente Tacos
3961 East Camelback Road
At CRUjiente Tacos, the Premier Cru margarita is our go-to — 100 percent blue agave tequila, house agave syrup, freshly squeezed lime, and a muddled orange to give it some character. But we've also been known to switch it up and order the bright, fresh Arcadia margarita, which adds cilantro, jalapeno, and cucumber to the mix, or the sweet and spicy Passion Fruit Serrano margarita. Whatever you choose, try to go either during happy hour or on CRUjiente's Margarita Mondays when you can get any of these for a very reasonable $5 a pop from 3 to 10 p.m.
A Margarita PitcherMi Patio
3347 North Seventh Avenue
Though Mi Patio's margarita kind of tastes like lime Gatorade, the fact that you get a huge pitcher for nearly $12 when other bars serve one marg for more than that puts this place in the running. However, if you're riding solo, the house rocks margarita is just over $3 for a regular serving and $5 for an extra-large. Combine all with one of Mi Patio's huge and inexpensive plates or just stick with the rapidly refilled chips and salsa.
Jamaica MargaritaGallo Blanco
928 East Pierce Street
Gallo Blanco bartenders shake up a variety of margaritas with tequila, lime, and house sour, but we prefer to pick the proven concoctions. At Gallo, that's the Jamaica. The house cocktail contains just a few ingredients: jamaica-infused tequila, Aperol, lime, and vanilla. But sure to snag a seat on the patio if you can, or the bar area with the floor-to-ceiling windows. The best part? It's only $7 during happy hour.
Fuego MargaritaGhost Ranch Southwest Cuisine
1006 East Warner Road, #102-103, Tempe
While all the Ghost Ranch margaritas are worth the trip to south Tempe, only the Fuego Margarita is made with chile de arbol infused tequila. Combine that with triple sec, agave syrup, and fresh lime juice for a cool drink in an even cooler Southwestern setting (we're talking about Ghost Ranch's fantastic dining room). It's $9, or $6 during happy hour.
House MargaritaTaco Chelo
501 East Roosevelt Street
Taco Chelo's patio allows you to watch the denizens of Roosevelt Row walk by while enjoying tacos, chips, and something to drink. That drink? It'll have to be the frozen house margarita — or Consuelo's Margarita. It's a simple mix of Jose Cuervo Tradicional, meaning 100 percent blue agave-rested tequila, plus triple sec, lime, and agave. It's blended with ice to create what we like to call the adult squishee. It's tart, it's sweet, and it melts fast.
Margarita 1941The Duce
525 South Central Avenue
Everything at The Duce is made from old recipes, and its margarita is no different. Based on a recipe from 1941, the bartender squeezes fresh lime after fresh lime into a shaker, adding Tierras Organic Tequila, Fruit Lab Orange Liqueur, and agave before muddling even more lime. The small drink, served in a cutesy mason jar with a brightly colored straw is so refreshing — like a booze-infused limeade — that you'll want to drink one after another when the temps start to rise.
Huckleberry Frozen MargaritaRoaring Fork
4800 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
A margarita with a delicious berry twist? It might not be authentic, but it sure is good to drink. The frozen huckleberry margarita is a signature item here. It's a deep purple, insanely tasty, and $7 during happy hour (or $5 on National Margarita Day, which is February 22). The only caveat is the brain-freeze. And for variety's sake, there's also the spicy jalapeño margarita, a peach margarita, and the Raging Rita (just a house marg served on the rocks or frozen).
Editor's note: This story was originally published on February 22, 2018. It was updated on February 22, 2021.
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