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Houston's 12 Most Iconic Margaritas

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Whether Houstonians are celebrating a birthday or the end of the workday, the margarita is our drink of choice. Frozen, on the rocks or straight up, there's something about the sweet/tart combination that speaks to our collective souls.

Based on feedback from Eater readers and on our experience, here's a guide to the most important margaritas in a city where almost every restaurant, regardless of its genre, has one on the menu. As is to be expected, it's dominated by Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants, but don't miss Pappy's: the humble restaurant on I-10 serves a killer frozen margarita, that, at $2.50, is also a killer deal.

As always, those who are horrified by the inclusion of a place they hate or the exclusion of a place they love should feel free to sound off in the comments.

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The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

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Still the first word in Houston margaritas, and that's only going to improve now that Anvil's Bobby Heugel is one of the restaurant's new operating partners.

TQLA Houston

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Considering this restaurant's name, the margaritas better be a signature item, and they are. There's a huge tequila selection as well.

El Gran Malo

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With its 40 different infused tequilas, El Gran Malo has redefined margaritas in Houston. The blueberry-jalapeno version is one example, with its sweet/spicy kick.

Molina's Cantina

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It's a Houston Tex-Mex institution, and the margaritas are an important part of its popularity. Always made fresh.

Pappy's Cafe

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The frozen margaritas here are $2.50. There are places in town that charge that much for iced tea. Despite the low price, they still taste like tequila.

El Patio

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The electric blue, frozen margaritas at El Patio have been a mandatory component of celebrations for a long time. Should be experienced at least once.

Cyclone Anaya's

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While the rumors about these margaritas being "enhanced" with another, more potent liquor are probably false, they are curiously strong. Also, the lively bar scene just makes the drinks taste better, somehow.

La Fisheria Houston

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Another restaurant that's embraced the modern margarita. At this summer's Eater happy hour, guests were slurping down the cucumber basil version as quickly as they could be made.

Cafe Adobe

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Cafe Adobe's cheap, potent margaritas have made it a Houston happy-hour institution. As for the food, have another margarita.
Hugo's commitment to authentic Mexican cuisine extends to the bar, which features a large tequila selection and margaritas that nail the drink's signature sweet/tart balance.

El Real Tex-Mex Cafe

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Some people love to hate the place, but El Real's recent introduction of the build-your-own margarita that allows customers to choose the style, tequila, sweetener and orange component is pretty genius. While it took them awhile to dial in the house frozen, it's pretty solid these days.

Pico's Mex Mex

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Pico's is an institution that helped Houstonians appreciate interior Mexican cuisine, and the Pico's margarita, served in an individual shaker, is an important part of what makes the restaurant so compelling.

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

Still the first word in Houston margaritas, and that's only going to improve now that Anvil's Bobby Heugel is one of the restaurant's new operating partners.

TQLA Houston

Considering this restaurant's name, the margaritas better be a signature item, and they are. There's a huge tequila selection as well.

El Gran Malo

With its 40 different infused tequilas, El Gran Malo has redefined margaritas in Houston. The blueberry-jalapeno version is one example, with its sweet/spicy kick.

Molina's Cantina

It's a Houston Tex-Mex institution, and the margaritas are an important part of its popularity. Always made fresh.

Pappy's Cafe

The frozen margaritas here are $2.50. There are places in town that charge that much for iced tea. Despite the low price, they still taste like tequila.

El Patio

The electric blue, frozen margaritas at El Patio have been a mandatory component of celebrations for a long time. Should be experienced at least once.

Cyclone Anaya's

While the rumors about these margaritas being "enhanced" with another, more potent liquor are probably false, they are curiously strong. Also, the lively bar scene just makes the drinks taste better, somehow.

La Fisheria Houston

Another restaurant that's embraced the modern margarita. At this summer's Eater happy hour, guests were slurping down the cucumber basil version as quickly as they could be made.

Cafe Adobe

Cafe Adobe's cheap, potent margaritas have made it a Houston happy-hour institution. As for the food, have another margarita.

Hugo's

Hugo's commitment to authentic Mexican cuisine extends to the bar, which features a large tequila selection and margaritas that nail the drink's signature sweet/tart balance.

El Real Tex-Mex Cafe

Some people love to hate the place, but El Real's recent introduction of the build-your-own margarita that allows customers to choose the style, tequila, sweetener and orange component is pretty genius. While it took them awhile to dial in the house frozen, it's pretty solid these days.

Pico's Mex Mex

Pico's is an institution that helped Houstonians appreciate interior Mexican cuisine, and the Pico's margarita, served in an individual shaker, is an important part of what makes the restaurant so compelling.

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