When it comes to food and drink in Austin, some might say we have better options to choose from. And as connoisseurs of Austin’s gastronomic scene, we have to agree. We’ve been to every diner, cafe or patio that’s worth a visit – it’s one of our favorite assignments! But to complete our guide to restaurants in Austin, we knew we needed a map of places to be sure to visit. When it comes to the best margaritas in Austin, there’s one for every occasion.
We have spicy, sweet, fruity, frosty and our favorite spicy. Indeed, there is no shortage of delicious tequila cocktails in this city. Whatever type of margarita you’re looking for, Austin will likely make it in a frozen glass – with (or without) salt.
There’s nothing like tequila mixed with the perfect amount of lime juice in a salt-rimmed glass that reminds me of good times with my favorite people. After sampling our fair share of margaritas in a city full of them, we’ve rounded up the best margaritas in Austin below.
Best Rooftop: El Alma
El Alma serves modern Mexican food with a unique Austin twist. Spend a sunny day or a stellar evening on the beautiful rooftop patio atop Barton Springs Road, which offers the best views of downtown Austin. Try the sweet and fruity Mangorita or try the Flaquita, made with el Jimador Blanco flavored with serrano watermelon.
What to order: Alma has an alternate drink of the month – always a good option – but their Margarita Clásica is fine.
Happy hour: Daily from 3 to 6 p.m. Margarita Clásica for $7, Sangría for $6, discount Cerveza for $1 and Mangorita for $8.
Best Margarita House: Licha’s Cantina
Licha’s is a small bungalow known for its Mexico City-style street food and mescal cocktails in East Austin. The homemade margaritas, made with silver tequila, lime and kombier (triple sec), are available to steal during happy hour, which runs Tuesday through Friday. The outdoor space is huge, so gather your friends to grab a few pitchers in the large front, back or side patio.
What to order: Have you ever heard of ginger and lemon margaritas? It might be your next favorite cocktail.
Happy hour: Tuesday-Friday from 4-6 p.m. Cocktails and antohito for $8.
Best Date: Comedor
If you’re looking for a fun place to date, Comedor couldn’t be better. Chef Gabe Erales’ contemporary Mexican restaurant (Dai Due Taqueria, Noma) and Philip Spear (Uchi) is one of the best ways to spend a Saturday night. Outdoor dining, anyone? My favorite, however, was the carrot tequila, a bright original drink flavored with tequila blanco, anise chtabentun and just enough lemon to cut through the earthy richness of the carrot juice.
What to order: The Comedor Margarita, infused with orange and garnished with lime zest and a salty rim, is a fresh take on a southern border classic.
Happy hour: Monday through Thursday. 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Most options: Güero’s Taco Bar
Güero’s Taco Bar, another Austin classic, is a kitschy South Congress gem with one of the best people-watching patios in town. It also has one of the longest margarita menus on this list, offering many tequila options. Margaritas at Güero’s are served the old-fashioned way — shaken by hand and made with freshly squeezed lime juice. Pair your margaritas with exceptional Texas-Mexican dishes like mole, authentic al pastor tacos, or handmade tortilla enchiladas.
What to order: The Longhorn, mixed with 512 tequila made right here in Austin, is a Guero classic.
Happy hour: Wednesday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Frozen & Casa Margaritas for $4, $2 off specialty margaritas and $2 beer.
Best Upland Mexican: ATX Cocina
The contemporary Mexican cuisine you’ll find at ATX Cocina makes this restaurant one of my top recommendations. From large to small plates, their food menu never fails to disappoint with unique dishes like red chile fried chicken and classic Texas-Mexican dishes like queso fundido. If you’re a coconut fan like me, their Coco Loco is a sweeter cocktail that still contains tequila.
What to Order: Sometimes simplicity is just what you need with margaritas – the ATX margarita does the trick.
Happy hour: Monday through Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 4 to 5 p.m. Margaritas de la Casa for $9 and Mescal Paloma for $9.
Best seasonal drinks: De Nada Cantina
With a menu full of everything from breakfast tacos (a Texas-Mexican staple) to tacos served with homemade blue corn tortillas, De Nada Cantina will satisfy both your hunger and cocktail cravings. Bonus points if you try their seasonal pastries-the themed drink trend is one of my favorite things about this town!
What to order: Who doesn’t love a seasonal drink? De Nada’s seasonal margaritas are made with fresh, seasonal fruit.
Happy hour: Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Best combination of food and drink: Fresa’s
While Fresas’ Chicken al Carbon is to die for, their beverage menu gives a tasty plate a run for its money. There are drinks for almost every meal of the day – some of my favorites are pink mimosa, ranch water and pineapple mule.
What to order: Cucumber wins me over in almost everything. Marg with cucumber and cilantro from Fresa is no exception.
Happy hour: Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. $2 off all Aguas Frescas, Botanas, beer, wine and margaritas.
Best Place: Joan’s Fine Foods
This restaurant’s location alone could secure it a spot on any list of Austin favorites. Joann’s Fine Foods, located in the Austin Motel in South Congress, is a café and diner surrounded by upscale stores, local businesses and a lively atmosphere. Their beverage menu includes classic Texas-Mexican drinks like Paloma, but also offers the option to add liquor to any water fresca or juice on their menu.
What to order: Retro Margaritas have a light flavor with a touch of chili salt.
Happy hour: Monday through Friday, 3 to 5 p.m.
Most unique offerings: La Condesa
La Condesa is a popular Austin food staple thanks to their varied menu, which is always a winning feature when dining with a large group. Their drink menu is no exception and consists of less popular cocktails such as watermelon martinis made with elderflower liqueur and seasonal sangria made with fresh local fruit and orange liqueur.
What to order: I’m a big fan of adding fruit to margaritas, so the Margarita La Condesa with roasted pineapple is one of my top choices.
Happy hour: Monday through Friday from 5-6pm. Half off on all alcoholic beverages.
Most Authentic Taste: Fonda San Miguel
The authenticity of the atmosphere and cuisine at Fonda San Miguel is what sets this restaurant apart from many other Mexican restaurants in Austin. Their food and drink menu features many Mexican-inspired dishes and drinks such as chile rellenos, ceviche, and of course, margaritas!
What to order: Fonda San Miguel’s Pepino Pica with cucumber and serrano peppers is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.
Happy hour: Monday through Thursday, 5 to 7 p.m. $2 off tequila and tequila cocktails.