There’s nothing like a quality tequila mixed with the perfect amount of lime juice in a salted rim glass that instantly transports me to a beach in Mexico. While Austin may not be ocean-side, there’s no denying it’s darn hot here at least nine months out of the year. Sometimes, the only way to beat the heat is to sit on a patio and drink a margarita, either frozen or on the rocks.
Take your own trip to Margaritaville by indulging at these 16 places serving up the best margaritas in Austin.
Thank you to the bars and restaurants featured in this article for allowing me to sample their drinks at no charge. All opinions are my own.
Traditionalist looking for lime, tequila, and salt only? Head to the following margarita purveyors serving up cocktails with the simplest of ingredients.
With a salsa bar, menu of interior Mexican food, and over nine types of margaritas to choose from, you can’t go wrong by dining at Polvos. The South 1st Street eatery is a favorite for classic margaritas by the glass or pitcher.
2004 S. 1st St. – Website
2/ Güeros Taco Bar
This South Congress taco bar has 20 margaritas (yes, you read that right) to choose from. So there’s no doubt everyone can find something to satisfy the palette.
But if a regular ol’ margarita is what you’re after, try the Purist made with Patron Silver, Patron Citrónge, and freshly squeezed lime juice. It’s sure to please.
1412 S. Congress Ave. – Website
3/ Matt’s El Rancho
This OG of Austin Tex-Mex cuisine boasts it’s a “Family-friendly Tex-Mex spot that’s been drawing crowds with enchiladas and margaritas since 1952.” No surprise there, since Matt’s El Rancho has margaritas of all varieties and colors, and has perfected the classic.
2613 S. Lamar Blvd. – Website
➡ Keep reading: Matt’s El Rancho Serves Iconic Taste of Tex-Mex in Austin
Chuy’s opened in 1982, bringing Tex-Mex and margaritas to the people ever since. Now with multiple locations in the Austin area and beyond, this restaurant offers plenty of margaritas to choose from, including famous, deluxe, and skinny ritas all made with freshly squeezed lime juice!
Multiple locations – Website
5/ El Alma
Head to El Alma, located in a funky yet beautiful building off Barton Springs Road, for great food, drinks, and ambiance. The sister restaurant of El Chile and El Chilito is serving up more margaritas than Jimmy Buffet can shake a stick at—11, to be exact. Some are spicy, some are fruity, and some are skinny. Purist? May I suggest the Clásica, featuring Jimador Silver, triple sec, lime juice, and agave.
2115 Holly St. – Website
Since 1977, this Austin icon has been quenching the thirst of Austinites everywhere with lime-tequila concoctions. They have an incredible selection of tequila for all your classic margarita needs, or drink down one of Trudy’s other famous margaritas, such as the sangria or strawberry.
Multiple locations – Website
7/ El Arroyo
El Arroyo may be known for their hilarious and famous sign out front, but their classic margs are hard to beat. They’re made with their Famous El Arroyo Fresh Margarita Mix, Tequila, and Richard’s Sparkling Rainwater. Delicious and refreshing!
1624 W 5th St. – Website
Sip slowly because the following margaritas add a punch of flavor through exotic ingredients. Cheers!
Just when you thought a margarita couldn’t get any more refreshing, Fresa’s went and added cilantro and cucumber for a flavor upgrade that rivals margaritas everywhere. I’d say the cucumber cilantro margarita is one of the best in town, and this patio is hard to beat.
Multiple locations – Website
➡ Keep reading: Top 10 Austin Restaurants When It MUST Be Gluten-free
9/ Tillery Kitchen & Bar
This Mediterranean-influenced restaurant has a few amazing things going for it, like stunning views of the Colorado River and a unique margarita that will satisfy your cravings. Delicate notes of sage fancy up the classic marg. Don’t miss it.
3201 E. Cesar Chavez St. – Website
➡ Keep reading: 5 East Austin Patio Bars for Happy Hour Bliss
10/ Stay Gold
Feeling devilish? Order up the El Diablo at Stay Gold, featuring Ghost Tequila, blackberries, lime, and a splash of ginger beer. It’s smoky and sweet, and can only be described as the Mexican cousin of the Moscow Mule.
1910 E. Cezar Chavez – Website
➡ Keep reading: Guide to Sunday Funday in East Austin
Indian soul food is what you’ll get at Nasha, and the drinks follow the theme. On the beverage menu, you’ll find the Tulsi margarita that features holy basil, similar in taste to mint. Nasha is also known for its curried margaritas, which feature spices reminiscent of India.
1614 E. 7th St. – Website
➡ Keep reading: Nasha Brings Mumbai and Margaritas to Austin’s East Side
12/ The Little Darlin’
The Little Darlin’ is your typical neighborhood watering hole, complete with a wide selection of drinks, an inside bar, and an outside patio. When the weather warms up, the bar offers patrons something called the Mango Fandango, a blend of mango and margarita fixings. It’s a welcomed frozen treat in the heat.
6507 Circle S. Road – Website
➡ Keep reading: 3 New South Austin Hangouts That Capture The Classic Vibe
13/ Hula Hut Austin
Hands down, the Austini Tini is my favorite drink in Austin. Technically, it’s more of a Mexican Martini, since it includes jalapeno-stuffed olives. But they’re optional. If you prefer your drink without them, then you’re pretty much left with a margarita. Local spirits Z Silver Tequila and Paula’s Texas Orange, and a splash of handmade sweet n’ sour, combine to create this smooth margarita-esque drink named after our beloved city.
3825 Lake Austin Blvd. – Website
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14/ The Peached Tortilla
The Peached Tortilla is an Austin fusion favorite, serving up Asian comfort food, tacos, and bowls. Their delicious Margarita de Peached is also a fusion inspired drink, and is made with habanero infused tequila and thai basil.
5520 Burnet Rd, Suite 100 – Website
Margaritas Made With Nontraditional Spirits
If a rose by any other name is still a rose, then is a margarita made with a spirit other than tequila still a margarita? I’m gonna say yes, but you be the judge.
15/ Still Austin Whiskey Co.
You’re not living your best life unless you’ve been to Still Austin Whiskey Co. The folks over at this distillery are doing some amazing things with whiskey, including mixing up some mean margaritas.
If you need two more reasons to drink local spirits, then order up a classic margarita that seamlessly blends New Make and Daydreamer whiskey with a housemade sour mix. Or try the new frozen Blackberry Jalapeño margarita that also features New Make and Daydreamer whiskey, plus a delicious dose of housemade blackberry jalapeño syrup.
With margaritas this good, you’ll forget they’re not made with tequila.
440 E. St. Elmo Road – Website
16/ Desert Door Texas Sotol
Desert Door is your portal to savoring sotol, tequila’s distant relative made from the desert spoon plant. On the other side of the door, you can sip on the desert door margarita that’s a blend of sotol, fresh lime juice, ancho Reyes poblano, and orange liquor. This tasting room is located right outside of Austin in Driftwood.
211 Darden Hill Road, Driftwood – Website
➡ Keep reading: Discovering Desert Door and One of Texas’ Oldest Spirits
@theAustinot wants to know:
Where is your favorite place to get a margarita in Austin?
The original version of this article was published May 2, 2018.