Year after year, the margarita remains the single most-ordered cocktail in the United States. And why not? The best margaritas offer a perfect ratio of lime and tequila, sweet and sour, and are things of beauty.
Also, we’re very concerned about avoiding scurvy, and while some people will tell you that’s not very likely to happen with a modern, non-seafaring diet, we still think it’s best to take in as much citrus juice as possible. If some tequila gets mixed in there, it’s just a delicious bonus, right?
With all that in mind, here are a few of L.A.’s best margaritas to sip for yourself.
A favorite Echo Park hangout, the always-festive Bar Flores has a delicious, flamingo-pink house margarita updated with naranja licor and a rim of house-made hibiscus salt. 1542 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; outdoor dining, indoor dining, and to-go.
A Valley institution since 1956 (founded by the same family that first opened a restaurant on Olvera Street in the 1930s), Casa Vega has been shaking up margaritas for generations. The cantina’s classic margarita is the signature recipe of founder Rafael Vega, but there are 14 other options to pick from as well. 13301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; outdoor dining, indoor dining, and to-go available (no to-go on May 5, 2021).
On their menu, Employees Only lists a drink called “the Better Margarita.” A bold claim, but with the addition of green chilies, grapefruit bitters, and honey to the traditional ingredients, it might just live up to the hype. 7935 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood; outdoor dining and to-go.
Not to be mistaken for Gracias Madre in WeHo (which we’ll address in a moment), this stylish newcomer is bringing Oaxacan fare and a deep mezcal and tequila program to an unexpected corner of Torrance. Try the smokey margarita, made with Los Javis mezcal and a spicy chili liqueur. 1261 Cabrillo Ave., Torrance, 801 N. Fairfax, West Hollywood, and 10426 National Blvd, Palms; outdoor dining, indoor dining, and to-go.
Gracias Madre is always a top pick for fantastic margaritas of all kinds. There’s even a mocktail margarita if you’re feeling booze-free. This year, they’ve topped even themselves, offering what they call the Time Machine Margarita–a $100 drink made of vintage spirits from the early 1960s. 8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; outdoor dining, indoor dining, and to-go.
Frogtown’s favorite patio hotspot serves so many of these delicious margaritas that they put them on tap for immediate access. Grab a seat under the olive trees and enjoy a couple alongside some of the best Sonoran-style grilled meats around. 2490 Fletcher Drive, Elysian Valley; outdoor dining and to-go.
Petty Cash offers an array of fantastic margarita variations to wash down your cauliflower nachos. One couldn’t go wrong with a drink called the Good Shit, but the blood orange chipotle version is also alluring. 7360 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove; outdoor dining, indoor dining, and to-go.
If your ideal margarita is bright green and served in a salt-rimmed fishbowl, you probably already know all about Acapulco. Sure, the cocktail snobs might look askance, but they’re just jealous of the teeny bottle of Grand Marnier you’ve got dangling on the side of your drink. 722 N. Pacific Ave., Glendale and 6270 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach; outdoor dining, indoor dining, and to-go.
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