The ULTIMATE NYC Margarita Map

Margarita Map

UPDATE: It's National Margarita Day, y'all! Time to punch out and get your celebration on — and we're showing you all the best places. This story was originally published on May 4.

Like any good drink, the margarita has a muddled history. Some say it was named after the daughter of a German ambassador in 1941. Others, like cocktail historian David Wondrich, contend that it was a happy accident; a Tijuana bartender was apparently making a brandy-based Daisy, but reached for the tequila instead. After all, the Spanish word for “daisy” is margarita.
Whatever. We only care how they taste. And, with that in mind, we introduce the Refinery29 Margarita Map, your no-brainer guide to quickly finding awesome margs in the nearest ‘hood. On tap, we're serving up classic shaken drinks for the cocktail connoisseur and sweet neon slushies to satisfy your inner spring-breaker. We’ve even cheated a bit to include a few “not-strictly-margarita” margaritas for those of you who like a bit of adventure in your glass. Asking for an extra tequila shot, well, that's up to you.
Margarita Map
Upper West Side
1. Mamajuana Cafe
The house rocks margarita is a perfect complement to smoky elote corn and a heaping plate of seafood-filled paella. ($6)
Mamajuana Cafe, 570 Amsterdam Avenue (between West 87th and West 88th streets) 212-362-1514
Tuesday Happy Hour 5PM-8PM
2. Cafe Frida
Do not resist the Hibiscus Margarita, with its deep pink hue, tropical tartness buoyed with pomegranate and rimmed with guajillo chili. ($12)
Cafe Frida, 368 Columbus Avenue (between West 77th and West 78th streets) 212-712-2929
3. Fatty Crab
A little bit of fusion never hurt anything, and Happy Hour’s Malaysian Margarita fits right in line with spicy wings and Fatty Sliders at the bar. ($6)
Fatty Crab, 2170 Broadway (between West 76th and West 77th streets) 212-496-2722
Happy hour M-Th 4-6p; outdoor area (front patio)
4. Santa Fe
Before you hit up Central Park for an afternoon of hilltop lounging, hit up Santa Fe for masa-crusted shrimp and guac, along with a fine frozen margarita in super-size. ($11)
Santa Fe, 73 West 71st Street (between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West) 212-724-0822
5. Rosa Mexicano
Don’t knock the classic: Rosa’s Frozen Pomegranate Margarita is the drink of choice here, and it may convince you that slushie margaritas aren’t just the appletinis of tequila cocktails. ($11.50)
Rosa Mexicano, 61 Columbus Avenue (between West 62nd and West 63rd streets); 212-977-7700
Outdoor area (front patio)
Margarita Map
1. Tequila Chito’s
If you just want a drink that looks like it stepped out of Tom Cruise’s bar in Cocktail, TC’s Blue Margarita is exactly what you’re seeking. ($7)
Tequila Chito's, 358 West 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th avenues) 212-463-0535
2. Trailer Park Lounge
When you want to get smashed like cheap trash, grab a frozen margarita pitcher like you’re a coed in Cabo, but try to keep your top on this time. ($42, serves six)
Trailer Park Lounge, 271 West 23rd Street (between 7th and 8th avenues) 212-463-8000
Daily happy hour 4-6p, $5 margaritas and $6 off margarita pitchers
3. The Tippler
This Westside spot’s very un-margarita Dizzy Oaxacan — with mezcal, amaro, grapfuit, and ginger beer — is the best antidote to margarita fatigue. ($12)
The Tippler, 425 West 15th Street (between 9th and 10th avenues) 212-206-0000
4. Sueños
The Watermelon Margarita is pink, sweet and girly — but, like Paz de le Huerta, its punch cannot be underestimated. ($14)
Sueños, 311 West 17th Street (between 8th and 9th avenues) 212-243-1333
Happy hour Tues-Sun 5-7p, buy one margarita/sangria/bottled beer get one free
5. Pounds and Ounces
This brand-new spot — outfitted with a mural by Gaga-loving artist Manny Castro — sports a Cleaver Margarita spiked with Avion Blanco tequila and roasted lime juice. ($14)
Pounds and Ounces, 160 8th Ave. (between 17th and 18th Streets) 646-449-8150
6. Crema
If you’re of the mind that simple margaritas are for simple people, infuse your glass with all kinds of fruit and flavorings, from ginger to mango to pineapple jalapeño. ($14)
Crema, 111 West 17th Street (between 6th and 7th avenues) 212-691-4477
Daily happy hour 4-7p, with $5 classic margarita
Margarita Map
West Village
1. Tortaria
You just can’t beat the price of this classic, perfectly executed house margarita, or the oozy grilled Oaxaca cheese torta you’re eating alongside it. ($5/$25 pitcher)
Tortaria, 94 University Place (between East 11th and 12th Streets) 212-776-1830
2. Mole
Where there’s smoke, there’s probably alcohol involved — or at least that’s how we heard it over Mole’s mezcal-topped Smoky Margarita.
Mole, 57 Jane Street (between Hudson Street and 8th Avenue) 212-206-7577
3. Agave
The traditional margaritas are well and good, but Agave’s Prickly Pear version is a standout with its bubblegummy flavor that transports you straight to the Mojave. ($11 / $50 pitcher)
Agave, 140 7th Avenue South (between West 10th and Charles streets) 212-989-2100
4. Empellon Taqueria
When you finally get that tax return check, don’t hesitate to splurge on the Elite Margarita, with your choice of chichi tequila, Serrano tincture and smoked salt. ($28)
Empellon Taqueria, 230 West 4th Street (between West 10th and Christopher streets) 212-367-0999
5. Ofrenda
If your standard marg hooked up with a Pimm’s Cup, their baby would be Ofrenda’s Cucumber Margarita, but without the wonky Mexican-British accent. ($11)
Ofrenda, 113 7th Avenue South (between West 10th Street and Stonewall Place) 212-924-2305
Happy Hour 4-7 daily, $5 margaritas
6. Mercadito
Sure, you could order just a traditional margarita, but Mercadito gives you the option to smoke — your drink, that is. Mayor Mike can’t take that away. ($13)
Mercadito, 100 7th Avenue South (between Grove and Barrow Streets) 212-647-0830
Happy Hour M-F 4-6:30p, margaritas $5-6
7. Panchito’s
The restaurant claims to serve one of the six best margaritas in NYC, and them’s fightin’ words, especially when it comes to frozen pitchers. ($50)
Panchitos, 105 MacDougal Street (between Minetta Lane and Bleecker Street) 212-473-5239
Kick back on one of the tufted loungers during Happy Hour with the house’s signature Spicy Margarita laced with jalapeño tequila. ($7)
Entwine, 765 Washington Street (between West 12th and Bethune streets) 212-727-8765
Happy hour 5-7p, $7 margaritas
Margarita Map
Lower East Side/ East Village
1. The Beagle
The cocktail-driven Beagle’s brand-new brunch isn’t especially Latin, but the spicy Mexican Razorblade goes down nice with a plate of foie butter pancakes. ($13)
The Beagle, 162 Avenue A (between East 11th and East 12th streets) 212-228-6900
2. Mayahuel
We can’t recommend just a single potion at this temple to tequila, although there are several tequila-based Daisies on the menu if you want to roll like Wondrich. ($13)
Mayahuel, 304 East 6th Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues) 212-253-5888
3. Hecho en Dumbo
The sour Margarita Tamarindo is a subtle evolution from the staid old lime cocktail, and it’s bangin’ alongside the Happy Hour Ceviche en su Jugo. ($14)
Hecho en Dumbo, 354 Bowery (between East 3rd and East 4th streets)212-937-4245
Happy hour 5-7p, four kinds of margaritas ($7 each) and micheladas
4. El Sombrero
It’s hardly the best Mexican food in the city — although they don’t skimp on portions — but the recession-priced post-work pitchers are the real draw. ($28)
El Sombrero , 108 Stanton Street (between Ludlow and Essex streets) 212-254-4188
5. Pianos
Downtown music venue and chill bar, Pianos has an awesome vibe for sipping margs. Even though most will be downing so-cheap beers, this place whips up a mean kick on the tongue… in a glass.
Pianos, 158 Ludlow Street (at Stanton Street); 212-505-3733
6. Los Feliz
By turns rustic and elegant, Los Feliz knows its way to our hearts is through the combination of an excellent margarita and flawless interior design. ($8 / $45 pitcher)
Los Feliz, 109 Ludlow Street (between Delancey and Rivington Streets) 212-228-8383
7. Sweet and Vicious
The Jargarita — simply, a margarita in a Mason jar — is a frozen blend of heaven on a balmy summer day, making you feel like you’re back on the hacienda in La Paz. ($9)
Sweet and Vicious, 5 Spring Street (between Bowery and Elizabeth Street) 212-334-7915
8. Barrio Chino
At this Asian-accented barroom, spice is on the menu in the form of infused agave: Go for the Habanero Grapefruit Margarita alongside some antojitos. ($11)
Barrio Chino, 253 Broome Street (between Orchard and Ludlow streets) 212-228-6710
Margarita Map
1. Calexico
The yummy food cart’s Greenpoint home serves up a fresh-and-hot Jalapeño Mint Margarita, which should go down well between bites of Baja fish tacos. ($9)
Calexico, 645 Manhattan Avenue (between Bedford and Norman avenues) 347-763-2129
Happy hour: two-for-one house margaritas and draft beers every weeknight from 4pm to 6pm, and again from Midnight - 1am.
2. Nights and Weekends
A ballin’ concoction of anejo tequila, mezcal, and Hennessy, the Millionaires Margarita is the definition of over-the-top tipple, especially with that lava salt rim. ($17)
Nights and Weekends, 1 Bedford Avenue (between Bedford and Manhattan avenues) 718-383-5349
3. Turkey's Nest
B-burg’s favorite watering hole for cheap, legally questionable to-go margaritas never fail to deliver its promise: a boatload of alcohol for a day in McCarren Park. ($6-10)
Turkey's Nest, 94 Bedford Avenue (between North 11th and North 12th streets) 718-384-9774
4. La Superior
La Superior is a Williamsburg hotspot for flavorful tasty Mexican street fare and doesn't disappoint when it comes to the Margaritas, either. Obviously we're doubling down on both.
La Superior, 295 Berry Street (between 2nd St and 3rd streets); 718-388-5988
4. El Moderno
When you’re this close to Bushwick, you can find better Mexican food, but the $3 Happy Hour margaritas are unbeatable for your money. ($3)
El Moderno, 519 Metropolitan Avenue (between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street) 718-384-6429
$3 happy hour margaritas until 8p
5. Brooklyn Star
Out of its own ashes, the Brooklyn Star reemerged last year, now serving a Spicy Margarita infused with Serrano pepper agave syrup and grapefruit. ($8)
Brooklyn Star, 593 Lorimer Street (between Conselyea Street and Metropolitan Avenue) 718-599-9899
Half-off happy hour (wine only) 4-6p daily
6. Mesa Coyoacan
The eye-opening Toronja Habanero, infused with chili and spiked with grapefruit, might just be the best hangover helper this side of Metropolitan. ($9)
Mesa Coyoacan, 372 Graham Avenue (between Skillman Avenue and Conselyea Street) 718-782-8171
7. Huckleberry Bar
Huckleberry’s awesome back yard is the perfect setting for the Oaxacan Nutcracker, a margarita cousin with mezcal, apricot liqueur, orange and lime. ($12)
Huckleberry Bar, 588 Grand Street (between Leonard and Lorimer streets) 718-218-8555
Outdoor area; screens Mad Men and '90s movies!
Margarita Map
Cobble Hill/ Carroll Gardens
1. Colonie
Ruby red orange juice and El Jimador tequila mingle with smoked paprika salt in this delish brunch spot’s Cara Car Margarita. ($12)
Colonie, 127 Atlantic Avenue (between Henry and Clinton streets) 718-855-7500
2. Alma/B61 Bar
The bar below amazing rooftop restaurant Alma serves up a mighty fine classic margarita, perfect for sipping while they’re getting your al fresco table ready upstairs. ($7)
Alma/B61 Bar, 187 Columbia Street (between Degraw and Sackett streets) 718-643-5400
Outdoor area; hour Monday - Thursday 4 to 7p, Two for one well drinks and $1 off draft beers
3. Lobo
Go for the supersized Grande salt-rimmed classic, or add some heat with the Sangre de Lobo, a cinnamon and blood orange tequila treat, at this Tex-Mex tequila bar. ($9-13)
Lobo, 218 Court Street (between Warren and Baltic streets) 718-858-7739
Outdoor area; daily happy hour 5-7p with $5 margaritas
4. Clover Club
Not a traditional margarita, the Juana Juanita plays with traditional flavors (orange, agave, lime) and swaps in lemon, pineapple, and maple syrup. ($12)
Clover Club, 210 Smith Street (between Baltic and Butler streets) 718-855-7939
5. Cubana Café
It’s your classic triple sec version at this Caribbean spot, but you try for a fruity frozen variation if your afternoon is feeling in need of a slushie. ($7)
Cubana Cafe, 272 Smith Street (between Sackett and Degraw streets) 718-858-3980
Just a hop over the super-fun(d) Gowanus Canal, Mezcal’s pitchers are perfect for pregaming before a Bell House show. ($35)
Mezcal's, 522 Court Street (between Huntington and Nelson streets)

More from New York