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Group cheers with margaritas.
It’s always margarita season in Houston.
Kirsten Gilliam

18 Supremely Refreshing Margaritas to Drink Right Now in Houston

Frozen or on the rocks, absolutely nothing can beat this classic combo of salt, lime, and tequila

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It’s always margarita season in Houston.
| Kirsten Gilliam

Thanks to Houston’s epic Tex-Mex scene, it’s no surprise that the city is practically littered with excellent margaritas. Whatever your preferences — frozen or on the rocks, a simple drink or something fruity — this city’s restaurants offer a bevy of options for enjoying the world’s most perfect cocktail.

And sure, everyone has their favorite margaritas. But these Houston bars and restaurants serve up the kind of tequila- and mezcal-based cocktails that keep regulars coming back again and again. Ranging from beloved classics that have been satisfying Houston drinkers for decades to creative newcomers, these 15 margaritas are a must.

While Cantina Barba and Killen’s TMX have been removed from the list to make way for new additions, restaurants like Hugo’s, Eight Row Flint, and Ostia are still slinging excellent margs.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Teotihuacan

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Oversized margarita goblets dot the tables at Teotihuacan, and for good reason — the lively Mexican restaurant (buzziest during weekend brunch) features frozens in tons of fruity flavors, like watermelon, peach, raspberry, strawberry, banana, and mango.

This always festive Heights restaurant has a solid list of margs, and furthermore, a picture-perfect patio on which to enjoy them. The uber refreshing Pepino incorporates cucumber, while the Corazon de Melon combines watermelon and basil with lime and tequila — both, perfect for those scorching summer days.

Chivos’ Pepino margarita.
The Pepino margarita is made with cucumber.
Dylan McEwan

Eight Row Flint

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Eight Row Flint boasts a huge cocktail menu, mostly featuring whiskey drinks, but the margaritas are worth a try, too. Choose from on-the-rocks varieties like the Pink Rattlesnake crafted with orange Curacao and hibiscus-serrano syrup or opt for a frozen mangorita rimmed with tajin. Pair with one of the ice house’s most-excellent tacos, and you’ve found Tex-Mex bliss in a whiskey-drenched bar.

A margarita with a salted rim and lime garnish.
Eight Row Flint features an array of on-the-rocks margaritas.
Eight Row Flint/Facebook

The backstory of Tommy’s Margarita at Julep is that it was created in the ‘90s by Julio Bermejo of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, and according to the bar pros at this acclaimed Washington Ave. cocktail bar, it is the best representation of tequila in a margarita. Made with only three ingredients — tequila blanco, lime, and agave nectar — it’s a simple pleasure.

Julep margarita with salted rim and lime.
Tommy’s Margarita at Julep.
Alex Mijares

El Big Bad

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El Big Bad has a huge tequila menu and plenty of inventive infusions to make this classic cocktail a little more interesting. Try the churro tequila, or just stick with the classic “lime, tequila, salt” formula for a solid sip.

El Big Bad margarita swirled with pink and white.
El Big Bad features a quality classic margarita and more daring concoctions, like a cocktail made with churro tequila.
El Big Bad

Enjoy aesthetically pleasing margaritas of all types in the majestic, chandelier-bedecked dining room at Flora. The new see-and-be-seen restaurant is a destination for authentic Mexican eats, and its margaritas make worthy pairings. Both mezcal and tequila margs are represented well, but if you prefer them both, the Grant, made with Tapatio tequila reposado and Del Maguey vida mezcal and rimmed with cricket salt, is a must.

Flora’s cricket salt rimmed margarita.
Cricket salt adds a punch of flavor to the margs at Flora.
Kirsten Gilliam

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

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A conversation about Houston margaritas is not a real conversation without mentioning Ninfa’s. You can’t go wrong with the Ninfarita, which tastes the perfect bits sweet and sour, but for a fragrant and floral sip, try the red rose margarita crafted with rose-infused syrup.

The Ninfarita margarita at Ninfa’s with a salted rim, straw and lime.
Ninfa’s Ninfarita is a must-try margarita when in Houston.
The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation/Facebook

Xochi is the second spot on the list by chef Hugo Ortega, but should you find yourself Downtown and in need of a potent margarita, it’s an obvious choice. The restaurant’s namesake ‘rita, the Xochi Rita is crafted with mezcal, but there are plenty of tequila-fueled options as well.

A class of Xochi’s margarita with a salt made from insects.
Xochi’s signature margarita is crafted with mezcal.
Xochi

Cuchara Restaurant

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The cuisine of Mexico City stars at this spirited Montrose hangout, and that includes margaritas. Cuchara’s house margarita pairs tequila and fresh lime juice with dry curacao, while a daily “margarita of the day” incorporates a fresh, seasonal ingredient to keep things interesting.

A margarita with a chili-lime salted rim.
Cuchara features a margarita of the day to keep patrons on their toes.
Cuchara Restaurant

A traditional margarita is given the Ostia treatment at this trendy Montrose restaurant. The

Ostiarita is an off-the-menu secret, but IYKYK. Thoughtfully built with Cimarron blanco tequila, lime juice, and blood orange liqueur as a nod to the Mediterranean-inspired menu, it’s best paired with chef Travis McShane’s famed roast chicken with salsa verde.

Ostia’s take on a margarita.
The Ostiarita is made with blood orange liqueur.
Michael Anthony

At this Houston institution, Mexico City-born chef Hugo Ortega’s “Hugorita” is one of the city’s best, thanks to its perfectly balanced blend of tequila, lime, and salt. Looking to elevate the evening? Consider “The Greatest Margarita” made with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila and 25-year-aged Grand Marnier, a splurge at $29.

A refreshing margarita on the rocks with salted rim, lime, and a straw atop a Hugo’s napkin.
“The Greatest Margarita” at Hugo’s is made with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila and 25-year-aged Grand Marnier.
Hugo’s

Armandos

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Margaritas flow like water at this River Oaks institution, where every Thursday night is a party. The Texas-sized Armandos house margarita is 17 ounces of pure margarita goodness, made with Jose Cuervo traditional silver tequila. For a fancier sip, consider the River Oaks Rita, which uses Jose Cuervo reserve and is garnished with a 24K gold lime slice.

El Patio

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El Patio has been a Houston institution for over 50 years featuring Tex-Mex deliciousness and strong as heck margaritas. Club No Minors is the bar/club in the back, where the margs are so strong that the website highly recommends designating a driver or cabbing it there. Enjoy at your own risk.

Blue margarita
El Patio’s margs will sneak up on you.
El Patio

Candente

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The margaritas come in two sizes at Candente, and trust in the fact that you won’t regret going for the larger one. There are plenty to pick from, including an excellent premium mezcal marg made with Ilegal reposado. Teetering between two flavors? Go for the half-and-half which features equal parts of the prickly pear and mango frozens.

Two-flavor margarita with lime garnish.
The half-and-half is twice the fun.
Candente

Arnaldo Richard's Picos Restaurant

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“The Perfect” is a suitable name for Pico’s traditional margarita, simply crafted with Herradura Silver, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice, but there are plenty of non-traditional ones to explore that are tasty, too. The 1800 Coco Rita is a sweet indulgence, which combines tequila with coconut cream.

Margarita and shaker.
Tread carefully with Pico’s boozy margarita.
Nick de la Torre

Spanish Village

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The recipe for the margaritas at Spanish Village has not changed once since the restaurant’s inception in 1953, which says a lot about the classic beverage. Small but mighty, and perfect parts sweet and tart, the margarita has earned its own dedicated following over the decades.

Mahesh's Kitchen

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The tamarind-infused margarita at Mahesh’s Kitchen is proof that the sky is the limit when thinking up creative, new flavors. Crafted with cumin-infused tequila and then shaken with tamarind chutney, triple sec, and fresh lime juice, this margarita is sweet and spicy unlike any other.

Large tamarind margarita in a goblet.
The tamarind margarita at Mahesh’s Kitchen is refreshingly different.
Alex Montoya

Margaritas always taste better with a view, which makes Pier 6 in the coastal town of San Leon one of the best places to kickback. The house frozen is made with reposado, agave, and citrus and is a treat on its own, but if you like a little variety, it is available in a flight with three other boozy frozens as well.

Margarita with salted rim and lime surrounded by dishes of food like oysters and grilled fish.
Gulf seafood goes great with a classic margarita.
Becca Wright

Teotihuacan

Oversized margarita goblets dot the tables at Teotihuacan, and for good reason — the lively Mexican restaurant (buzziest during weekend brunch) features frozens in tons of fruity flavors, like watermelon, peach, raspberry, strawberry, banana, and mango.

Chivos

Chivos’ Pepino margarita.
The Pepino margarita is made with cucumber.
Dylan McEwan

This always festive Heights restaurant has a solid list of margs, and furthermore, a picture-perfect patio on which to enjoy them. The uber refreshing Pepino incorporates cucumber, while the Corazon de Melon combines watermelon and basil with lime and tequila — both, perfect for those scorching summer days.

Chivos’ Pepino margarita.
The Pepino margarita is made with cucumber.
Dylan McEwan

Eight Row Flint

A margarita with a salted rim and lime garnish.
Eight Row Flint features an array of on-the-rocks margaritas.
Eight Row Flint/Facebook

Eight Row Flint boasts a huge cocktail menu, mostly featuring whiskey drinks, but the margaritas are worth a try, too. Choose from on-the-rocks varieties like the Pink Rattlesnake crafted with orange Curacao and hibiscus-serrano syrup or opt for a frozen mangorita rimmed with tajin. Pair with one of the ice house’s most-excellent tacos, and you’ve found Tex-Mex bliss in a whiskey-drenched bar.

A margarita with a salted rim and lime garnish.
Eight Row Flint features an array of on-the-rocks margaritas.
Eight Row Flint/Facebook

Julep

Julep margarita with salted rim and lime.
Tommy’s Margarita at Julep.
Alex Mijares

The backstory of Tommy’s Margarita at Julep is that it was created in the ‘90s by Julio Bermejo of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, and according to the bar pros at this acclaimed Washington Ave. cocktail bar, it is the best representation of tequila in a margarita. Made with only three ingredients — tequila blanco, lime, and agave nectar — it’s a simple pleasure.

Julep margarita with salted rim and lime.
Tommy’s Margarita at Julep.
Alex Mijares

El Big Bad

El Big Bad margarita swirled with pink and white.
El Big Bad features a quality classic margarita and more daring concoctions, like a cocktail made with churro tequila.
El Big Bad

El Big Bad has a huge tequila menu and plenty of inventive infusions to make this classic cocktail a little more interesting. Try the churro tequila, or just stick with the classic “lime, tequila, salt” formula for a solid sip.

El Big Bad margarita swirled with pink and white.
El Big Bad features a quality classic margarita and more daring concoctions, like a cocktail made with churro tequila.
El Big Bad

Flora

Flora’s cricket salt rimmed margarita.
Cricket salt adds a punch of flavor to the margs at Flora.
Kirsten Gilliam

Enjoy aesthetically pleasing margaritas of all types in the majestic, chandelier-bedecked dining room at Flora. The new see-and-be-seen restaurant is a destination for authentic Mexican eats, and its margaritas make worthy pairings. Both mezcal and tequila margs are represented well, but if you prefer them both, the Grant, made with Tapatio tequila reposado and Del Maguey vida mezcal and rimmed with cricket salt, is a must.

Flora’s cricket salt rimmed margarita.
Cricket salt adds a punch of flavor to the margs at Flora.
Kirsten Gilliam

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

The Ninfarita margarita at Ninfa’s with a salted rim, straw and lime.
Ninfa’s Ninfarita is a must-try margarita when in Houston.
The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation/Facebook

A conversation about Houston margaritas is not a real conversation without mentioning Ninfa’s. You can’t go wrong with the Ninfarita, which tastes the perfect bits sweet and sour, but for a fragrant and floral sip, try the red rose margarita crafted with rose-infused syrup.

The Ninfarita margarita at Ninfa’s with a salted rim, straw and lime.
Ninfa’s Ninfarita is a must-try margarita when in Houston.
The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation/Facebook

Xochi

A class of Xochi’s margarita with a salt made from insects.
Xochi’s signature margarita is crafted with mezcal.
Xochi

Xochi is the second spot on the list by chef Hugo Ortega, but should you find yourself Downtown and in need of a potent margarita, it’s an obvious choice. The restaurant’s namesake ‘rita, the Xochi Rita is crafted with mezcal, but there are plenty of tequila-fueled options as well.

A class of Xochi’s margarita with a salt made from insects.
Xochi’s signature margarita is crafted with mezcal.
Xochi

Cuchara Restaurant

A margarita with a chili-lime salted rim.
Cuchara features a margarita of the day to keep patrons on their toes.
Cuchara Restaurant

The cuisine of Mexico City stars at this spirited Montrose hangout, and that includes margaritas. Cuchara’s house margarita pairs tequila and fresh lime juice with dry curacao, while a daily “margarita of the day” incorporates a fresh, seasonal ingredient to keep things interesting.

A margarita with a chili-lime salted rim.
Cuchara features a margarita of the day to keep patrons on their toes.
Cuchara Restaurant

OSTIA

Ostia’s take on a margarita.
The Ostiarita is made with blood orange liqueur.
Michael Anthony

A traditional margarita is given the Ostia treatment at this trendy Montrose restaurant. The

Ostiarita is an off-the-menu secret, but IYKYK. Thoughtfully built with Cimarron blanco tequila, lime juice, and blood orange liqueur as a nod to the Mediterranean-inspired menu, it’s best paired with chef Travis McShane’s famed roast chicken with salsa verde.

Ostia’s take on a margarita.
The Ostiarita is made with blood orange liqueur.
Michael Anthony

Hugo's

A refreshing margarita on the rocks with salted rim, lime, and a straw atop a Hugo’s napkin.
“The Greatest Margarita” at Hugo’s is made with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila and 25-year-aged Grand Marnier.
Hugo’s

At this Houston institution, Mexico City-born chef Hugo Ortega’s “Hugorita” is one of the city’s best, thanks to its perfectly balanced blend of tequila, lime, and salt. Looking to elevate the evening? Consider “The Greatest Margarita” made with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila and 25-year-aged Grand Marnier, a splurge at $29.

A refreshing margarita on the rocks with salted rim, lime, and a straw atop a Hugo’s napkin.
“The Greatest Margarita” at Hugo’s is made with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila and 25-year-aged Grand Marnier.
Hugo’s

Armandos

Margaritas flow like water at this River Oaks institution, where every Thursday night is a party. The Texas-sized Armandos house margarita is 17 ounces of pure margarita goodness, made with Jose Cuervo traditional silver tequila. For a fancier sip, consider the River Oaks Rita, which uses Jose Cuervo reserve and is garnished with a 24K gold lime slice.

El Patio