Tomorrow is National Margarita Day. (Yes, much like International Hot & Spicy Food Day, it's a thing.)
And although it'll be cloudy most of the day tomorrow, the sun should come out right around happy hour time, and with temperatures in the high 60s that means one thing: patio weather.
Presented below in no particular order are our 11 favorite places around Houston to sip a margarita (or several). Give one of them a shot tomorrow, or leave your own suggestion in the comments section below.
The original Ninfa's has undergone a serious makeover -- at least on the outside. While the interior is still the same, a broad patio and deck has been built outside that calls to mind Playa del Carmen (if there were oak trees in the Yucatan). To celebrate the new deck as well as National Margarita Day, Ninfa's will be serving $5 Ninfaritas all day long on the patio. (You can also branch out and try a winter spiced margarita while you're there, one of the new concoctions borne out of a consultancy with Anvil's Bobby Heugel.)
This old-school Bellaire favorite has been serving some of the city's best margaritas since 1984. Unfortunately, the live music -- which is one of the most charming things about Pico's -- only runs from Wednesday through Sunday, so no mariachis for you tomorrow night. Drown your sorrows in a PicoRita Silver or Gold. Both come in a regular size for $5.95 or a "Mucho Grande" size (48 ounces!) for $15.
Do not -- I repeat, do not -- go to Cafe Adobe for the food. It's painfully average Tex-Mex at its best. Go for the margaritas and the beautiful rooftop deck at the Westheimer location. Watch the sun set, listen to the bells from Saint Anne's, sip on a fun, fruity frozen margarita (the peach is a personal favorite) and enjoy Cafe Adobe for what it is: a great place to catch up with friends and relax over some $10 tequila and Triple Sec.
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. (BRING IT.) 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.
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).
El Patio. Club No Minors. Nuff said.
In that same vein, meet Tepatitlan's equally strong margaritas, served up in a trippy location that feels like you fell asleep and woke up in Beaumont, circa 1974.
Even back in 2005, we were singing the praises of this classic Heights-area Mexican restaurant (no, not Spanish Flowers -- the other one) and its ICEE-like frozen margaritas. They're only $2.99 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but sit outside on the raucous "party deck" if you're planning on having more than a couple of rounds.
I might get a lot of flack for this choice, but I will defend it staunchly. MB churns out a strong frozen margarita that's as heavy on bright, citrus notes as it is on tequila -- pretty good considering it's a fast-food burrito chain. And bonus points for having a good playground at the West Alabama location and kid-friendly atmosphere that's enjoyable for adults, too, in case you've got the kiddos in tow tomorrow.
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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.)
Possibly the classiest margarita on the list, Hugo's cocktail is shaken tableside while you watch, made from one of the dozens of tequilas in the restaurant's vast selection. The house "Margarita Por Que No" is only $5 during happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Of course, if you want to branch out, sommelier Sean Beck usually crafts some unusual concoction for the drink menu, like the smoky mescal-based El Sueño Profundo ("the big sleep") that I tried recently.