Let’s be honest: Just about every day in Austin is a good day for margaritas. But Thursday will be especially so — because it’s National Margarita Day, when we can all celebrate one of our all-time favorite drinks.
Head to one of these local bars and restaurants during happy hour to enjoy the tequila cocktail, traditionally made with fresh lime juice and triple sec and served frozen or on the rocks.
La Condesa, 400 W. Second St. The margarita doesn’t get much better than the Margarita La Condesa at this upscale downtown restaurant, which makes the menu staple with Cimarron Blanco Tequila, damiana, fresh pineapple and lime juices, agave nectar and a cactus-lemongrass salt rim.
El Naranjo, 85 Rainey St. Deemed one of Austin’s best restaurants by our restaurant critic, this cheerful eatery has a variety of margaritas on the menu, but the bestseller is the Mezcaliña: Union Silver Mezcal, muddled serranos, basil agave nectar, lime juice and pineapple juice. Not into mezcal’s smoky soul? Try La Fresa instead, with Cimarron Silver Tequila, muddled strawberries, agave nectar and lime juice.
Jack Allen’s Kitchen, 7720 Hwy. 71 West, 3600 N. Capital of Texas Hwy., 3010 W Anderson Lane and 2500 Hoppe Trl., Round Rock. All four locations have a special margarita on the menu through Feb. 25 — the Blood Orange Rita, using fresh blood oranges from Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. You can also choose from an extensive margarita list.
Curra’s Grill, 614 E. Oltorf St. No roundup of Austin’s most delicious ‘ritas is worth its salt without including Curra’s famous frozen avocado margarita, so often ordered that you might forget the Mexican restaurant also has other drinks on the menu.
Las Perlas, 403 E. Seventh St. Though primarily a mezcal bar with one of the best selections in town of the smoky spirit, Las Perlas — from the same family of bars as Rainey Street’s Half Step — doesn’t leave out the most popular agave liquor of tequila, including it in the Las Perlas Margarita with Cimarron Blanco Tequila, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, agave nectar and lime juice.
Chuy’s, 1728 Barton Springs Rd. One of Austin’s most well-known eateries is celebrating National Margarita Day with $1 floaters and $1 off Chuy’s seasonal frozen blackberry and frozen blood orange margaritas.
In Cosmic's Tornillo Margarita, sotol provides an earthy backbone, while hibiscus and prickly pear lend not only a mild sweetness but a bright, bold color.
Photo: Julia Keim
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden, 121 Pickle Rd. Don’t let the name of this coffee shop with an extensive outdoor area fool you: Cosmic also has cocktails, including the Tornillo Margarita with Plata Tequila and Sotol with hibiscus, prickly pear, lime and sea salt. Thanks to the hibiscus and prickly pear, the margarita is a bright pink color — extra Instagram-friendly.
El Chile Cafe y Cantina, 1809 E. Manor Rd. El Chile and two sibling restaurants, El Alma and Alcomar, will offer $5 Margaritas de la Casa from open to close on National Margarita Day, featuring the classic ingredients of tequila, triple sec and lime juice and served frozen or on the rocks.
Guero’s Taco Bar, 1412 S. Congress Ave. In celebration of the boozy national holiday, the Mexican restaurant will extend its happy hour from 3 p.m. to closing and offer $4 off frozen and custom margaritas and $2 off signature ‘ritas. Guero’s margaritas are famously strong and come in flavors like mango and strawberry.
Searsucker, 415 Colorado St. The downtown restaurant from celebrity chef Brian Malarkey has perhaps the best name ever for its spicy-and-sweet margarita. The Jale Berry features a house-infused strawberry jalapeño tequila with lime, agave and salt.
Licha’s Cantina, 1306 E. Sixth St. The cozy bungalow bar on East Sixth has a roster of classic cocktails that get the tequila treatment, but you can bet the margarita on the menu isn’t changed much at all, with Exotico Reposado Tequila, Combier, lime and agave. It’s $5 during happy hour.
Salty Sow, 1917 Manor Rd. You can get a whole flight of mini-cocktails at the East Austin gastropub with one of the best happy hours in town. Those include margaritas like the Blanche, the house frozen blood orange margarita, and the Curly Tail with Pepe Z Tequila, cilantro, serrano, blood orange and a smoked salted rim.
Maudie’s Tex-Mex, multiple locations. Go top shelf for cheap at this Austin staple, which is offering the Fire in the Hull, with strawberry- and jalapeño-infused Dulce Vida Blanco Tequila and house-made agave-lime mix topped with a splash of Topo Chico, for $5 throughout the day.
Z’Tejas, 1110 W. Sixth St. and 9400 Arboretum Blvd. Each of the Austin locations of this Southwestern grill will have special ‘ritas you can order Thursday only, in addition to the $5 Sixth Street Margarita available at both restaurants.
- The West Sixth location has the 512 Agua Fresca margarita with 512 Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, muddled cucumbers, Midori and a taki chile powder rim
- The Arboretum location is offering the Patron Fruzion that has Patron tequila infused in-house with watermelon, pineapple, mangos, ginger root, as well as fresh lime juice and agave.
Mi Madres Restaurant, 2201 Manor Rd. You might see a trio of margaritas not normally on the menu at this beloved Mexican restaurant. Spicy pineapple, anyone?Last year’s National Margarita Day also featured mariachis — fingers crossed they’re coming back.
Fresa's has a few margaritas you can choose from, including the Ancho Chile Marg for some heat.
Fresa’s Chicken Al Carbon, 1703 S. First St. Fresa’s has two award-winning chefs, Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki, at the helm, and you can bet the bar program is just as good. Order the the Cucumber Cilantro Margarita, a nuanced combination of tequila blanco, lime juice, Combier and a sugar-lime salt rim, if you want a twist on the classic ‘rita.
Odd Duck, 1201 S. Lamar Blvd. The South Austin restaurant from one of Austin’s best chefs regularly has a frozen cocktail on the menu, and currently, fittingly, it’s the Ice Aged Margarita comprised of Cimarron reposado tequila, damiana, Ancho Reyes, lime and chili pepper agave. Despite ‘ice’ in the name, the drink has a pleasant heat to it.
Lala’s Little Nugget, 2207 Justin Ln. Even Santa couldn’t object to the margarita from Christmas-themed Lala’s, though he’ll certainly find it spicier than his usual milk. Rudolpho’s Rita has Milagro Silver tequila, Ancho Reyes Verde Liqueur, agave syrup and fresh-squeezed lime juice.
El Mercado, 1302 S. First St. All of the house margaritas are on special on Thursday evening in honor of National Margarita Day. So are Mexican martinis, which means you get your pick of tequila cocktails.