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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Houston's Top 10 Margaritas

Is this the margarita of the summer? It's certainly one of them.
Is this the margarita of the summer? It's certainly one of them.
Photo courtesy of Sorrel Urban Bistro

You don't have to wait for Cinco de Mayo to enjoy one of the city's favorite cocktails, but it doesn't hurt to have a few in celebration, either. Just remember to toast the Battle of Puebla (after all, that's what Cinco de Mayo commemorates -- not Mexican Independence Day.)

10. Sorrel Urban Bistro

Rimmed with stunning black salt, the hibiscus margarita at Sorrel Urban Bistro tastes like the beautiful marriage of a sweet jamaica agua fresca and a tart margarita, making it absolutely ideal for the hot summer weather.

It wouldn't be a margarita list without 'em.
It wouldn't be a margarita list without 'em.
Photo by Ms. Pants

9. El Patio

The original "Club No Minors" still cranks out some of the headiest margs in Houston. And, yes, they're still neon blue.

Goode Co. Seafood proves that a place doesn't have to be Mexican to have good margs.
Goode Co. Seafood proves that a place doesn't have to be Mexican to have good margs.
Photo by Groovehouse

8. Goode Co. Seafood

A margarita and a tumbler full of shrimp campechana here, and I'm in Gulf Coast seafood heaven. It's a timeless pairing, like crunchy peanut butter and grape jelly. Both are a little pricey, but they're top quality...plus, you're dining in an old, restored rail car, and that can't be beat.

7. Spanish Village

The secret to the margaritas at Spanish Village was helpfully revealed by Houstonist's Kaylan Tannahill back in 2009: "They do not serve frozen margaritas, rather they freeze the lime juice which fractures when the drink is mixed." Just one more thing to love about the old Medical Center favorite (that, and the queso).

 

6. Pico's Mex-Mex

This old-school Bellaire favorite has been serving some of the city's best margaritas since 1984. Enjoy the mariachis, one of the most charming things about Pico's, as you down a PicoRita Silver or Gold. Both come in a regular size for $5.95 or a "Mucho Grande" size (48 ounces!) for $15.

5. Ninfa's on Navigation

Along with its new makeover, the original Ninfa's now has revamped margaritas, too. Seasonal margaritas like the Winter Spiced blend (to the left) are available in cooler months, but during the summer we like to be traditionalists. Stick with the old Ninfa's house blend -- they're still cranking out the good stuff after all these years.

They're all waiting for you at TQLA...
They're all waiting for you at TQLA...
Photo by Troy Fields

4. TQLA

Frankly, I'd be disappointed if a place called TQLA didn't offer excellent tequilas and margaritas. TQLA also happens to serve up some excellent nuevo Southwestern/Tex-Mex cuisine, but even if you're only in the market for a margarita, it's still high on my list of recommended watering holes. Just steer clear on weekend evenings, when Washington Avenue switches into high gear.

3. Chuy's

God bless Chuy's Texas Tinis and their addictive jalapeño-stuffed olives. These "house" margaritas are always velvety-smooth and served up in a classy martini glass that almost makes you forget that you're dining in a restaurant filled with Elvis paintings and photos of people's dead dogs. During happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., the Texas Tinis are only $6.95. (That seems like a lot for a happy hour price, but these are top-shelf drinks.)

 

The choices are endless at El Gran Malo.
The choices are endless at El Gran Malo.
Photo by Troy Fields

2. El Gran Malo

Of course a place that specializes in tequila infusions should have great margaritas, and El Gran Malo makes its bizarre blends with aplomb. There are standards, of course, like a strawberry that tastes like fresh preserves. But be adventurous here: Try a pecan-infused margarita for a warm, Texas twist or a golden beet blend if you're feeling brave.

Set your sights on Hugo's for Sunday Funday with this buffet and a couple of tableside margaritas.
Set your sights on Hugo's for Sunday Funday with this buffet and a couple of tableside margaritas.

1. Hugo's

This year's Best of Houston® winner gets points for its tequila selection alone -- which features more than 40 choices, counting its bottles of mezcal. Sommelier Sean Beck dreams up exciting twists on the classic cocktail, like El Sueño Profundo with smoky mezcal, but it's the standard Hugorita for $7.50 that we like best. Created with Sauza Silver, Hiram Walker Triple Sec, simple syrup and fresh lime juice, it's mixed tableside. We also love the Y Porque No margarita for only $5 during its weekday happy hours.



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Related Locations

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Sorrel Urban Bistro

2202 W. Alabama
Houston, TX 77098

713-677-0391

www.sorrelhouston.com

miles
El Patio Restaurant and Bar

6444 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77057

713-780-0410

www.elpatio.com

miles
Spanish Village
miles
Pico's Mex-Mex Restaurant - Closed

5941 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX 77081

713-662-2922

www.picos.net

miles
Ninfa's

2704 Navigation Blvd.
Houston, TX 77003

713-228-1175

www.ninfas.com

miles
TQLA - Closed

4601 Washington Ave.
Houston, TX 77007

281-501-3237

tqla.com

miles
Chuy's

2706 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77019

713-524-1700

www.chuys.com

miles
El Gran Malo - Closed
miles
Hugo's

1600 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77006

713-524-7744

www.hugosrestaurant.net


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