Legend Has It That The Margarita Was Invented In Dallas. So, Yeah, It Stands To Reason That The City’s Got Some Truly Tasty Offerings.
Many, many, many margaritas have graced the tables of Dallas restaurants.
After all, legend has it that the sweet, sour and salty drink was invented here in 1948. And then, in 1971, Mariano Martinez saved his business — the iconic Mariano’s Hacienda — by converting an old soft-serve ice cream machine into the world’s first frozen margarita machine.
Yeah, Dallas’ ties to the margarita — the sixth best-selling cocktail in the world at the moment — run deep.
But just because the drink was made here doesn’t mean every single one made here is top-notch. By all means, there are some very bad margaritas to be found around town. Fortunately, just as there are bad ones, there are some truly great ones.
And luckily for you, we’ve rounded up this list of the 10 best margaritas to be found around Dallas. It’s worth noting that their flavors all vary greatly — only a handful of these offerings can be considered “traditional,” frankly — and, in that regard, there’s something for everyone to love in this collection.
The Oilman at El Bolero. It’s all about black and gold when it comes to this uber-stylish margarita that’s available at the Design District’s El Bolero. To make this one, the crew mixes Patron, Napoleon mandarin, lime and agave. This black cocktail is topped with gold flakes, rimmed with gold salt and served with rock candy.
Avocado Margarita at Meso Maya. Sure, we tend to eat our avocado on toast these days. But if you haven’t had yours swirled into a margarita at Meso Maya, then you haven’t lived. Adding it into the mix mellows out the tang of the sweet/sour concoction and gives the whole thing a lovely green hue. Besides, there’s all that good fat. It’s healthy for you, if you really think about it.
Star Canyon Margarita at Stampede 66. If dinner and a show sounds good to you, step right up to Stampede 66 and order the Star Canyon margarita, which is named after one of chef Stephan Pyles’ former restaurants. This margarita is hot pink, topped with a sliver of spicy serrano pepper and appears in front of you following a very cool table-side preparation.
Ultra Premium Shaken Rita at Beto & Son. On the surface, this margarita sounds like your average top-shelfer: Avion Ultra Premium Tequila, orange liqueur, fresh lime and agave. But when the setup arrives tableside and you’re given a show in its presentation, you’ll know something’s up. The best part of the Ultra Premium Shaken Rita is definitely the pearls of orange liqueur that burst in your mouth like giant, drunk fish roe.
Fresh Guava Margarita at Gloria’s. Herradura Silver Tequila, fresh guava, Grand Marnier, orange juice and agave nectar make up this refreshing beverage that’s only one of 14 margaritas on the menu at Gloria’s. You can’t go wrong with any of them, although this fairly straightforward option is quite the delight itself.
Dean’s Margarita at Fearing’s Restaurant. It’s the addition of the herb Damiana that makes this simple cocktail raise eyebrows. The liqueur made from this herb is said to have been included in the very first margarita ever. Whether that’s true is up for debate –as is the ancient Aztec legend that it contains aphrodisiac qualities. Sip it and see, we suppose!
Keeping Up With The Jerry Joneses at Jalisco Norte. If you crave quality and don’t mind parting with $50, you may want to visit Jalisco Norte for one of the most expensive margaritas in town. They’ll stir you up a Keeping Up With The Jerry Joneses — a mixture of super-high quality agave imported from Jalisco, Gran Patron Platinum tequila, Grand Marnier Centenario and lime. It may sound simple, but it’s delightfully amazing.
The Gold Digger at Pazzo Uptown. Fifty buck is chump change at Pazzo Uptown, which has its own $75 margarita that’s made with Patron Gran Platinum, 100 Year Grand Marnier and “Unicorn Tears,” which is described as “a glittery gin liqueur that’s been infused with edible flecks of silver.”
The Rosé Rita at STIRR. When one margarita isn’t enough for you, you can order one of these bad boys for the table and feel like a badass. The Rosé Rita at STIRR comes in a pitcher and features Avion Silver, Bijour Rosé, lemon juice, St. Germain liqueur, strawberry puree and fresh strawberries.
Mambo Taxi at Mi Cocina. Surely, no list of Dallas margaritas is complete without mention of the infamous Mambo Taxi — a favorite of ladies who lunch, happy hour hounds and pretty much everyone else in this town. In fact, it’s rumored to be the “little bit of Rita” that Lou Bega needs in his one hit wonder “Mambo No. 5.” Just kidding. I just made that last part up. I’ve had a few too many ‘ritas tonight. This is a fun job sometimes!
Cover image of The Oilman Courtesy of El Bolero.