If you love margaritas, you’ve come to the right spot.
The margarita is the ultimate happy hour cocktail. Easy to find, easy to drink – sometimes a little too much- and easy to order. But, it’s also easy to make a bad margarita.
A truly great one shouldn’t be too sweet. It should have a little saltiness that cuts through any juices and end up very balanced.
668 Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312; (404) 781-0931, http://www.acrossthestreetatlanta.com/
Love puppies? Love margaritas? Good. Head directly to this Old Fourth Ward favorite on a gorgeous day for a spot on their dog-friendly patio. Everything on the menu, including the drinks, are made from scratch. Each margarita is tasty, whether you want spicy, traditional or fruity. Pair your choice with an order of goat cheese enchiladas for the ultimate patio day.
242 Boulevard SE, Atlanta, GA 30312; (404) 588-0006, agaverestaurant.com/
More Southwest than Tex-Mex, the folks at Agave still make one of Atlanta’s favorite margaritas. A dozen varieties, each better than the last, are available. Go with the Ultimate, made with Centenario Plata tequila, orange liqueur, fresh squeezed lime juice and house-made sour mix served over the rocks. Fried chicken is not normally paired with margaritas, but make an exception here.
1341 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316; (404) 622-3501
The East Side Mexican dive is the talk of the East Side. The spot is a hidden gem that’s becoming a more and more difficult to keep secret. That’s in no small part due to the drinks. A favorite is the one made with muddled cilantro and cucumber. It’s balanced and not cloyingly sweet. Pair it with a molcohete overflowing with juicy shrimp and chicken, and you’ll be an instant regular.
571 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312; (404) 223-9279, www.mibarrioatlanta.com/
Grant Park residents know that the strangely shaped red building across from Oakland Cemetery holds some of the most potently tasty margaritas in town. Alongside an expertly crafted torta and a salsa bladed thin, should be a glass goblet filled with a margarita. Arriving an almost lime green color, this is no cocktail crafted by a mixologist. This margarita has one job, and it does it well.
Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE #136, Atlanta, GA 30308; (404) 532-1580, http://mineroatlanta.com/
Any taco spot worth their salt-rimmed glass has to have a great margarita, right? Sean Brock’s new Ponce City Market taco stand brings it. On a menu stacked with tequila and mescal, the margarita keeps it classic with reposado and añejo tequila, dry curacao, lime, orange, and agave. It’s not overly sweet, and not overly boozy. Great for a mid-afternoon stop while exploring the Beltline.
The El Felix
1130 Avalon Blvd #1030, Alpharetta, GA 30009; (678) 248-5239, http://theelfelix.com/
Ford Fry’s Tex-Mex outpost is almost always on a wait. So, put your name on the list and sidle up to the bar for a drink. That drink should be the ginger margarita. Made with Lunazul reposado tequila, ginger syrup, muddled jalapeno, triple sec and lime juice. The lime cuts through the spice from the ginger and the heat of the jalapeno, leaving a pleasant tingling on your tongue. And a very pleasant buzz.
The Original El Taco
1186 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306; (404) 873-4656, www.eltaco-atlanta.com/
With dozens of tequilas on the shelves behind the bar, these guys take their cocktails seriously. Classics are available both frozen and on the rocks. Be sure to try the Key West. The drink is crafted with Antiguo Reposado, Orangeville and Key Lime juice. It’s tarter than a classic, and wonderfully refreshing. Bonus: If you’re flying out of town, there’s a location in the Atlanta Airport, so you can get your fix there.
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