If we’ve learned anything from viral internet lists, it’s that every city has its stereotypes (and even a corresponding Myers-Briggs personality). New Yorkers are fast walkers; Chicagoans are diehard sports fans; Austinites are just plain weird. But what about San Antonio? If you’ve lived in this great Alamo City for any period of time, you probably aren’t surprised that San Antonio’s reputation is based almost solely around its incredible Tex Mex food culture.
When talking about San Antonio’s food culture, we could go on forever about tacos or steak fajitas or sour cream enchiladas or chile verde con queso tamales or tableside guacamole...you get the idea. But, rising above the rest, one prized tequila-infused staple seems to tie them all together: the margarita.
Photo courtesy of allrecipes.com
A classic margarita is composed of tequila, triple sec, lime or lemon juice, finished off with a salt-crusted rim, and served on the rocks or frozen (or straight up if you roll that way).
The origins of this beloved drink remain a bit of a mystery...over the last 75 years, multiple “creation myths” have emerged, each bearing their own unique spin. Some claim it was created in 1938 for a dancer who was allergic to everything but tequila (not a bad problem to have). Others swear it was the work of Mexican bartender Don Carlos Orozco, who created it for a German ambassador’s daughter named “Margarita”. Jose Cuervo holds the educated opinion that the cocktail was invented in 1938 in honor of Mexican showgirl Rita de la Rosa.
Whatever the true story behind the margarita, we know one thing for sure: it’s a stroke of pure agave genius, and we LOVE it. In the year 2008, Americans were consuming 185,000 Margaritas per hour on average.
You probably don’t need any more convincing, so we’ll get straight to the point. There are about a million places in San Antonio to get a margarita...but which places really mix up the best combinations? Here are a few of our tried-and-true favorites, along with a couple that might surprise you:
Location: 2427 Vance Jackson,
Image Courtesy of La Fogata
The #1 winner from the San Antonio Current “Best of SA” awards for best margarita, La Fogata sets the scene with a gorgeous patio and great views. But the real stars of this restaurant are the bartenders, constantly outdoing themselves with award-winning margaritas, most recently boasting ‘Winner of the San Antonio Margarita Pour Off’. La Fogata has been serving up margaritas and Mexican food since 1997 and has since poured well over a million of them. Varieties include the Top Shelf Margarita, Cointreau Margarita, Strawberry, Sangria, and Mango Margaritas, among others! Each month, La Fogata features a new tequila. Stop in today to try March’s pick: Tequila Exotico.Each delicious margarita is served in a 16oz glass and topped with the signature La Fogata orchid...or if you’re really feeling ambitious, you can upgrade to the 52oz “Texas Size” glass!
Location: 910 S Alamo,
Photo courtesy of Thrillist
Another San Antonio Current winner, Rosario’s is a true gem located in the King William Historic District. Rosario’s, which has been serving as a staple in the area since its opening in 1992, combines traditional tastes and vibes with a contemporary twist. From decor to food to (you guessed it) margaritas, this award-winning establishment manages to feel modern and traditional at the same time. The margarita variety is no different, featuring traditional cocktails like “Rosita’s Original Margarita” and the never-failing “Top Shelf Margarita” alongside unique variations like the Pica Pica Margarita (Hornitos Reposado infused with fresh cucumber and jalapeño), La Tuna Silver (tequila and prickly pear cactus juice), and the CocoRita (Rosario’s Original Frozen Margarita and Piña Colada).
Location: 155 E Commerce St
Photo courtesy of Thrillist
Though The Esquire might not look like anything special from the outside, we guarantee you’ll feel right at home as soon as you walk in the front doors. As the oldest bar on the River Walk, The Esquire has long been a San Antonio favorite. This “quintessential downtown bar” opened in 1933 to celebrate the long, dry prohibition era. Being part hipster and part historical, Esquire doesn’t skimp when it comes to Margaritas. According to them, the Nuestra Margarita was named one of America’s best margaritas! Utilizing a blend of lowland and highland tequila, fresh-squeezed key limes, and original French triple sec (Combier), the Nuestra is the real deal. Besides being the highlight of your week, your margarita purchase will benefit the Tequila Interchange Project, a nonprofit that advocates the preservation of sustainable, traditional practices!
Location: 23808 Resort Pkwy (inside JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa)
Photo Courtesy of MySanAntonio.com
Named by San Antonio Magazine Readers as a margarita-making favorite, Cibolo Moon is located inside the luxurious JW Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa. Besides contributing to the upscale atmosphere, the restaurant’s location provides it with gorgeous landscape and Hill Country views. The on-site Tequila bar (the only one of its kind in Texas...certified by the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico) offers 75 tequila varieties and around 10 infusions (raspberry habanero, pico de gallo, and lemon berry, etc.)
Thanks to a new menu, you can enjoy a mean Lemon-Berry Margarita, a Jalapeño-Hibiscus Martini, a Smoky Chelada, or the Alameda Margarita!
Location: 1401 S Flores St, Ste 102
Photo Courtesy of San Antonio Express-News
Created by Top Chef contestant Johnny Hernandez, The Fruteria and its margaritas are just as acclaimed as its famous founder. With a name that literally means "green grocer", how could the atmosphere and drinks be anything but refreshing? Enjoy Mexican-style tapas and cocktails in a vibrant, contemporary, yet casual atmosphere. The Fruteria Signature Margarita is available in classic varieties (frozen, on the rocks, lime juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, etc.) or infused with one of six infused options: mango melon, las fresas, Zapatista, 6 chiles tequila, piña mezcal, or los pepinos. If you’re anywhere near Southtown, you have no choice but to stop in for happy hour or a late-night drink!
Nao Latin Gastro Bar
Location: 312 Pearl Pkwy
While hundreds of margarita combinations and variations exist (if you don’t believe us, here’s a full list of creative margaritas to try), perhaps the classic is best. The Culinary Institute’s Latin-inspired restaurant offers the Nao Margarita, an uber-classic blend of blanco tequila, cointreau, lime juice. Simple, high quality ingredients are mixed up to create a traditional and irresistible glass.
Another San Antonio Current favorite, Chacho’s is sure to surprise you in several ways. While it remains a little rough around the edges, this authentic little San Antonio establishment offers a frozen margarita that’s to die for...and don’t let the margarita machine turn you away. These margaritas are good and strong.
Location: 13489 Blanco Rd
A bit of a hidden gem, El Mirasol is a family owned-and-operated establishment boasting authentic Mexican food and a beautiful patio upon which to enjoy it! A favorite spot for local San Antonians, El Mirasol (along with sister restaurant So Luna) serves a classic, tried-and-true margarita that you’re sure to love.
Location: 5800 Broadway
Located in Alamo Heights, Paloma Blanca is fit for royalty and manages to draw in regulars from all over San Antonio! From their acclaimed menu (which includes a paleo section) to their delicious cocktails, Paloma claims excellence as a standard. Their Margarita Premium is no exception...Patron Citronge is the secret to this incredible cocktail.
Photo Courtesy of Eater.com
Hopefully we’ve made our point. While Austin may think they invented the breakfast taco, we San Antonians know the truth: Tex Mex is our thing...and we take it very seriously. So even though National Margarita Day was last month, residents of San Antonio know that every day can be Margarita Day.
As San Antonio real estate professionals, we know more than just homes; we know San Antonio. With over 1,000 agents, we know every section of the city, right down to the block. We love our city and are passionate about what we do. Tell us what you want, and we’ll find it.