Whether you prefer oak-aged añejo on the rocks, or a blended tequila concoction served in a pineapple — nothing is quite as much fun to drink as a margarita. In anticipation of impending Cinco de Mayo celebrations, check out our map of the must-have margaritas around San Diego.Read More
Where to Drink Margaritas in San Diego
Super south-of-the-border sippers ahead
1. Cantina Mayahuel
Educate yourself in all things agave at this real-deal cantina, which just so happens to boast one of the biggest tequila selections in San Diego. Any of the two hundred plus bottles of añejo, blanco and reposado can be combined with orange nectar, orange liquor and fresh lime juice, and made into a delicious margarita.
Made with Casa Noble Crystal organic tequila, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, a blend of Point Loma Farms organic lime juice accented with a touch of grapefruit, clementine and just a hint of agave, the Mercado ($16) is Puesto’s new house-made marg.
3. El Camino
For something sweet, try El Camino’s watermellon marg (El Jimador Blanco, watermelon puree, lime, and simple syrup). For something with a little more kick, the jalapeno (Cazadores Reposado, fresh jalapeño, lime juice simple syrup, and orange liqueur) should be just the ticket.
4. Leña Craft Mexican
From the namesake Lena Margarita (Herradura Blanco, Cointreau, housemade sour, lime fresco sea salt), to the Pepino-Jalapeno Margarita (Maestro Dobel Diamante, Cointreau, cucumber, jalapeno, housemade sour), you can’t go wrong turn with any of the specialty cocktails at this charming new spot in La Jolla.
San Diego, CA 92101
Many argue the “Mexican Daisy” is likely a local… from the Baja Coast, circa 1930s - 1940s. Anthony Schmidt’s version, made with blanco tequila, fresh lime, agave and house made curacao, will set you back $10. During happy hour (Monday - Friday, 5 - 7 p.m.) you can sip em’ for $7 a piece.
6. Casa Machado
Rocking a slight 70s vibe, this cheery Mexican eatery in Kearny Mesa boasts a full bar and views over Montgomery Field runways. Stop by for $4.25 margaritas (regular) during the daily happy hour (Monday to Friday, 4-7 p.m.), and a basket or two of their more than delicious chips and salsa.
7. Don Chido
After all the “Bey Hive” buzz this week, happening Gaslamp go-to Don Chido’s is saying cheers to Queen Bey with a namesake Lemonade margarita. Made with, what else, but lemonade, tequila and agave. We say cheers to the left, to the left.
8. Casa De Bandini
This festive eatery on the Carlsbad/Encinitas border serves classic Mexican cuisine and margaritas "as big as your head", according to one Yelp reviewer. Nom on their tasty chips and salsa while you sink a few Cadillacs’ on the outside patio.
9. En Fuego Cantina & Grill
The owners’ namesake “Bubba’s Margarita” (Hornitos, Sweet & Sour, splash of orange juice, Grand Marnier float) is a margarita menu staple at this 1930s era historic North County hotspot.
10. Ponce's Mexican Restaurant
Viva la Ponce’s (Herradura Añejo, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, sweet and sour, fresh squeezed lime) is a house favorite; but if elements of roast agave, lime rind, gentle smoke, and rainwater are more your style try the Smokey -- a solid blend of Don Julio Añejo, and housemade agave nectar topped with a Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal float.
11. Coasterra Restaurant
Coasterra’s expansive margarita menu features over 70 labels of carefully sourced agave spirits. Blended with Olmeca Altos Reposado Tequila, coconut cream, lime juice with a coconut salted rim, hand shaken the traditional way, Deb’s Coconut Margarita is equal parts tropical, refreshing and sweet.
12. Isabel's Cantina
Take your pick from the pomegranate mint (Pom juice, fresh lime, agave nectar and mint) or Jalapeño raspberry margarita (roasted jalapeño infused agave spirit, agave, raspberry puree and fresh lime) at this buzzy local favorite spot in PB.
13. Hello Betty Fish House
The O'side Rita - Cuervo Tradicional, Orange Liqueur, Lime, Agave, Good Ol’ Kosher Salt ($9), and Eddie Would Go - Cazadores Blanco Tequila, Coconut Rum, Orange Liqueur, Lime, Pineapple ($10) are two suitably surfy-inspired sippers worth checking out at this breezy North County hangout.