Whether it’s frozen, sweet or straight up, one thing Texans can’t resist is a good margarita! And, lucky for us, Austin’s edible ode to Tex-Mex tradition has taken over the city with outstanding fusion cuisine, miles of delicious tacos and all the icy, fresh margaritas you can get your hands on. So from frozen and fruit filled to spicy and salt-rimmed, here’s where to find some of the best margaritas in Austin.
Alcomar Created and co-owned by seasoned chefs Alma Alcocer and Jeff Martinez, Alcomar is a spectacular seafood spot in south Austin that serves up coastal Mexican cuisine inspired by both of Mexico’s coastlines. Alcomar’s eclectic food and drink menus include a decadent weekend brunch, a smattering of savory specialties, daily lunch specials and cocktails as strong as the surf. Their drink menu covers all the bases from mimosas to sangrias, but where they really shine is in their margarita menu, which includes delicious flavors like Coco Tropical with pineapple juice and cinnamon and the Coyoacán with smoked hibiscus. For a satisfyingly cool refreshment with a kick, try their Pepino Picoso margarita with house cucumber-xalapeño purée and el chile rim.
Update 2018: Alcomar is permanently closed.
Located right off the bustling east 6th Street, Licha’s Cantina has been a popular Mexican-food destination for years. This charming cantina offers $5 happy hours, quaint outdoor seating and an authentic central-Mexican menu that includes sweets, especialidades and everything in between. You won’t find any chimichangas or churros here, instead the menu at Licha’s is filled with traditional Mexican flavors and dishes like Pambazos, Huaraches and Tlacoyos. As far as cocktails are concerned, Licha’s has all the classics from manhattans to martinis, as well as a list of sip-tastic seasonal offerings and a handful of specialty house cocktails. For a true south-of-the-border taste, try the Licha’s house margarita with exotico reposado tequila, combier, lime and agave.
Perched in the heart of east Austin is the cozy Mi Madre’s cafe, which features loaded breakfast tacos, lunch specials for days, a divine dinner menu and a host of cervezas and cocktails to top off your meal. Whether you’re in the mood for brunch, botantas or burritos, Mi Madre’s definitely delivers the delicious! Peruse their selection of pistos and you’ll find a variety of exotically flavored margaritas for every mood, including the Thai margarita with muddled Thai basil and the Mango Chamoy margarita. For a sugary sweet and spicy treat, try their Spicy Watermelon margarita with Tanteo jalapeño tequila, Paula’s orange, lime, agave and a chile rim. The perfect cool-off drink for those sweltering summer days.
Tip: Go during happy hour Wed-Fri from 4PM-7PM and enjoy $1 their house margaritas.
A distant relative to Alcomar, El Alma is a chic Mexican-fusion creation by chef Alma Alcocer and Bolivian-born Carlos Rivero. Located in south Austin, this hip restaurant has rooftop seating, amazing art from local artistas and a savory south-American menu that includes everything from “gringas” and gorditas to tortas and tostadas. Along with a stellar menu that covers brunches, lunches, dinners and desserts, El Alma also offers dozens of delicious cocktails in a seemingly endless selection of flavors. Mojitas, Bloody Marias, Mimosas, Martinis, you name it, they have it. And when it comes to margaritas, El Alma has something tasty for everyone! Some of their popular margarita flavors include the Mangorita, Pinarita and the Chilanga. But if you’re looking for something totally different and totally delicious, try their Avocadorita with grand maniere, avocado and el chile rim.
Tip: Go during happy hour daily from 3PM-6PM and get the $6 Margarita Clásica or the $7 Margarita Chilanga.
Located in north Austin, Vivo is a unique take on Tex Mex that offers an enormous patio, an eclectic food menu and loads of tequilas and cocktails. Everything at Vivo is modern, delectable and larger than life, from the décor to the dishes. You can find all your go to favorites at Vivo from fajitas to enchiladas in a wide array of flavors and combinations, or go for something a little more exotic like the Pambazo or Calbacitas. The tequila list at Vivo is staggering, with dozens of choices in silvers, mezcals, reposados and añejos. But if you’re in the mood for a seriously good Mexican margarita, Vivo has a spread that will not disappoint. For something light and refreshing there’s the Cucumber Margarita, Margarita Tamarindo with honey syrup and Que Fresa Margarita with fresh strawberries. Or for something a little darker there’s the Margarita Jamaica with hibiscus and La Boca Picosa Margarita with Hawaiian black sea salt. But the star of the margarita menu has to be the Prickly Pear Margarita, a frozen pink masterpiece that comes beautifully adorned with a hibiscus flower.
Serving Austinites for over 3 decades, Julio’s is a laid-back, unassuming Mexican restaurant with good food, good prices and good vibes. Don’t be fooled by their modest appearance, this south Austin establishment is skilled at what they do, from heavenly breakfasts and a great happy hours to buzz-worthy menu items with rave reviews. Julio’s has all the expected Mexican dishes like quesadillas, tacos, fajitas and chalupas, each with wide selection of meats and flavors. So whether you’re a vegetarian or an omnivore, there’s something scrumptious for everyone. Although the drink menu it’s big, it definitely packs a punch, with margaritas, martinis and super strong sangrias sold by the liter! For a generously-poured Tex-Mex treat that will knock you off your feet, try their delicious Mangorita or Strawberry Rita.
Tip: Go during happy hour daily from 2PM-6PM and enjoy a $4.50 House Rita.