Nothing hits the spot like a ‘rita on a hot summer day!
The weather can’t make up its mind in Houston. Either it rains for two weeks straight, or its lays down triple-digit temperatures and outdoor-cancelling humidity. Despite its best efforts to ruin the summer experience in the city, there’s one sure way to beat its forces and that’s with the power of the margarita. Be it frozen or on the rocks, salty, bitter, or sweet, when searching for the tequila-infused taste of summer in Houston, here are the 10 spots you have to check out. [Featured image: @cycloneanayas]
1. El Big Bad
Heralded by many as having the best margarita in town, El Big Bad in First Ward, gives customers the chance to customize their own ritas with 30 given infusions at a time. While the choices alone might leave your head spinning, just wait until you actually finish one. Its two-story balcony set up also makes for an ample atmosphere to imbibe.
2. El Tiempo
Love for the vibrant Tex-Mex cantina has grown to the point of the restaurant opening muchos locations throughout the city. The cantina’s restaurants and patios offer a dazzling atmosphere, complete with mouth-watering aromas, to enjoy their authentic Tex-Mex cuisine. The interiors and patios often dazzle with colorful fixtures, greenery, and luscious lighting. Of course, the main draw here is their spectacular, quite potent, margaritas. Made with 100% agave tequila, El Tiempo offers a variety of tantalizing margs – from glasses to pitchers – including their Desert Pear and Blood Orange Margarit
Come home to where it all started. A half century after “Mama” Ninfa created the iconic restaurant the name has become synonymous with Mexican food in Texas. Today it continues to turn out the gold standard of fajitas, Mama Ninfa’s Original Tacos Al Carbon, and top-notch Tex Mex.
Top-shelf, house, regular, or jumbo – pick your poison at Cyclone Anayas. The restaurant offers a stellar list of margaritas that range in flavors from the Pineapple Smash with Sauza Hornitos Black Barrel, agave nectar, pineapple juice, and mint sprigs, to their Roasted Jalapeño Margarita made with Avion Reposado, agave nectar, lime juice, and roasted jalapeños.
Cantina Barba is a bustling taqueria and patio that serves an smoky array of Tex-Mex dishes with authentic no-nonsense flavor. Their margaritas are top notch with other stronger cocktail options such as the Death Proof, made with Blanco and Reposado Tequila, mezcal, guava, lime, and hibiscus; and the Horchata Colada with Arette Tequila, Coco Lopez, Horchata pineapple, and lime.
Cuchara is a Mexican City bistro in Houston opened since 2012. The bistro offers brunch, lunch, dinner, and most importantly, drinks. With multiple varieties of tequila, Cuchara makes margaritas par excellence, their house one is made with Espolón blanco, Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao, and fresh lime juice.
Helmed by James Beard Award-winning Chef, Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s serves a delicious spread of authentic, yet innovative, Mexican cuisine that has garnered a trophy case-worth of awards over the years. The renowned establishment offers a variety of extraordinary margaritas including the not-so-subtle The Greatest Margarita, made with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila, 25-year-aged Grand Marnier, tangerine, lime, ginger, and agave nectar with a sea salt rim.
Opened back in 2019, Monkey’s Tail in Lindale Park is primarily known as a craft cocktail bar and Tejano bar. The bar offers a daily changing margarita that varies day-to-day with past flavors that include the Fanta Orange Margarita. You can also opt for Tommy’s Margarita made with hornitos blanco, lime juice, and agave nectar. In addition to their tantalizing libations behind the bar, Monkey’s Tail offers creative and wonderful brunch options.
Heights hotspot, Eight Row Flint, is known for their tacos, spacious patio hangs, and extensive cocktail list. That list, while heavily-whiskey based, includes an enticing variety of margaritas such as the Goode Co. Watermelon Margarita made with El Silencio Mezcal, Marie Brizard Orange Curaçao, fresh lime juice, housemade watermelon syrup, and salt tincture. Be sure to pop by for happy hour from 2 – 6 pm on weekdays for $6.50 margs!
10. El Patio
El Patio: Come for the food, stay for the margaritas. In addition to top-notch queso, quesadillas, and sizzling fajitas, the restaurant whips up a mean margarita. Their Blue/Swirl Margarita is nothing short of legendary.