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El Paseo at Michael's Santa Monica
El Paseo at Michael's Santa Monica
Rachel Jacobson

16 Pitch-Perfect Margaritas to Try in Los Angeles

Just in time for Cinco de Drinko

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El Paseo at Michael's Santa Monica
| Rachel Jacobson

Is there a more refreshing beverage than a margarita? When a cocktail achieves the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, there's nothing better to wet your whistle on a hot summer's day. And with arguably the best holiday just around the corner (when else is it acceptable to drink margaritas all day?), we here at Eater LA thought it would be nice to share the very best watering holes for the agave-based beverage. Whether you like your cocktails set ablaze or served in its purest form, here are the best places to drink margaritas in Los Angeles.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Gracias Madre

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One of LA’s most innovative beverage directors has made quite a splash with his line of cannabidol oil cocktails. Yup, it’s exactly what you think—essential oils from the cannabis plant are added to cocktails to add anti-anxiety and mood elevating effects. A particularly instagrammable pick is the Sour T-lesel, a blend of tequila blanco, lime, agave, mint, matcha, egg white substitute aquafaba, and, of course, CBD.

gracias madre

Broken Spanish

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Darwin Pornel, perhaps most widely known for his work at Faith & Flower, has recently stepped in as Bar Director of Broken Spanish. On his new cocktail menu are plenty of outstanding margarita variants including the Second Generation, a blend of mezcal, caramelized pineapple, lime, and black salt.

Michael's - Santa Monica

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One of the most interesting new margaritas comes thanks to Michael’s Santa Monica bar manager Meredith Hayman, who pours a margarita over a seasonal fruit granita. The current iteration features tequila blanco, vida mezcal, ginger, lime, page mandarin, blood orange and thyme granita, and citrus sugar; but as spring turns to summer, look out for an icy strawberry base.

Tower 12

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An outstanding addition to the South Bay’s cocktail scene is Tower 12’s Por Qué No, a blend of Cazadores Anjeo, mezcal, peach liqueur, chipotle, agave nectar, fresh lime, and pineapple juice. With a chipotle powder rim, it’s quite the drink to kick off a day on the Hermosa pier.

MiniBar

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This laid back Hollywood watering hole is shaking up the Chavito 2, a cinnamon sugar-rimmed tipple with reposado tequila, simple syrup, fresh lemon, lime, and orange juices over ice. Pro tip: pop in on Mondays for $6 margaritas all night.

The Bazaar by José Andrés

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One of the most beloved concoctions at José Andrés’ molecular gastronomy-utilizing bar is the Salt Air margarita, topped with a lovely salt foam that is reminiscent of the sea.

Salazar

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With its perfected margarita on draft for $10, you may find yourself lingering all day while you take in the Frogtown hot spot’s desert-chic vibes.

Instagram/@salazarfrogtown

Petty Cash Taqueria

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There are plenty of agave-based cocktails at Petty Cash, but you can’t go wrong with the classic Petty Cash margarita. Made with a choice of tequila or mezcal (go with mezcal), lime, and citrus-spiked agave curacao, this is a purist’s margarita that won’t disappoint.

Photo: Sierra Prescott

Casa Vega

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Casa Vega’s margaritas, particularly the hibiscus with Patron Roca Silver, hibiscus tea, mint and agave, are exactly what you want them to be: not overly sweet, nicely acidic, and most importantly, large. But almost as important as the pint-size libations are the cool ‘50s vibes that come with your drinks. Cozy up in one of the red booths, bust out your flashlight to read the menu, and enjoy your 1956 throwback.

El Compadre

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This Hollywood mainstay is known first and foremost for its flaming margarita. The extra boozy beverage is served ablaze to really set your evening on fire.

Ortega 120

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Often lauded as having one of the best classic margaritas in LA, this South Bay restaurant makes its own house mix to live up to the hype. You’ll be glad you can order the drink by the pitcher.

Las Perlas

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One of LA’s great mezcal bars, Downtown’s Las Perlas has a slew of entertaining margarita variations, but the classic Las Perlas margarita does just fine. Sweetened with agave and made with plenty of fresh lime juice, it is a margarita just as it should be.

Bludso's Bar & Que

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Why is Bludso’s on the list for best margaritas? There are few other places in the city where you can get the cocktail Texas-style, that is mixed with limeade and good ol’ PBR.

Mercado

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If you’re looking for hipper digs to sip a margarita, Mercado has you covered with its classic version made with Triple Sec and fresh sour

El Carmen

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The massive collection of tequilas at El Carmen might make your head spin, but sip on well balanced versions of the classic in the restaurant’s dim red lighting, and you’ll feel just fine.

Velvet Margarita Cantina

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While no one would say they are the best in LA, the margaritas at Velvet Margarita are only five bucks during its extended happy hour from noon to 8 pm. With extremely dark, clubby digs, there’s no better placed to drink an endless supply of the tequila cocktail.

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Gracias Madre

gracias madre

One of LA’s most innovative beverage directors has made quite a splash with his line of cannabidol oil cocktails. Yup, it’s exactly what you think—essential oils from the cannabis plant are added to cocktails to add anti-anxiety and mood elevating effects. A particularly instagrammable pick is the Sour T-lesel, a blend of tequila blanco, lime, agave, mint, matcha, egg white substitute aquafaba, and, of course, CBD.

gracias madre

Broken Spanish

Darwin Pornel, perhaps most widely known for his work at Faith & Flower, has recently stepped in as Bar Director of Broken Spanish. On his new cocktail menu are plenty of outstanding margarita variants including the Second Generation, a blend of mezcal, caramelized pineapple, lime, and black salt.

Michael's - Santa Monica

One of the most interesting new margaritas comes thanks to Michael’s Santa Monica bar manager Meredith Hayman, who pours a margarita over a seasonal fruit granita. The current iteration features tequila blanco, vida mezcal, ginger, lime, page mandarin, blood orange and thyme granita, and citrus sugar; but as spring turns to summer, look out for an icy strawberry base.

Tower 12

An outstanding addition to the South Bay’s cocktail scene is Tower 12’s Por Qué No, a blend of Cazadores Anjeo, mezcal, peach liqueur, chipotle, agave nectar, fresh lime, and pineapple juice. With a chipotle powder rim, it’s quite the drink to kick off a day on the Hermosa pier.

MiniBar

This laid back Hollywood watering hole is shaking up the Chavito 2, a cinnamon sugar-rimmed tipple with reposado tequila, simple syrup, fresh lemon, lime, and orange juices over ice. Pro tip: pop in on Mondays for $6 margaritas all night.

The Bazaar by José Andrés

One of the most beloved concoctions at José Andrés’ molecular gastronomy-utilizing bar is the Salt Air margarita, topped with a lovely salt foam that is reminiscent of the sea.

Salazar

Instagram/@salazarfrogtown

With its perfected margarita on draft for $10, you may find yourself lingering all day while you take in the Frogtown hot spot’s desert-chic vibes.

Instagram/@salazarfrogtown

Petty Cash Taqueria

Photo: Sierra Prescott

There are plenty of agave-based cocktails at Petty Cash, but you can’t go wrong with the classic Petty Cash margarita. Made with a choice of tequila or mezcal (go with mezcal), lime, and citrus-spiked agave curacao, this is a purist’s margarita that won’t disappoint.

Photo: Sierra Prescott

Casa Vega

Casa Vega’s margaritas, particularly the hibiscus with Patron Roca Silver, hibiscus tea, mint and agave, are exactly what you want them to be: not overly sweet, nicely acidic, and most importantly, large. But almost as important as the pint-size libations are the cool ‘50s vibes that come with your drinks. Cozy up in one of the red booths, bust out your flashlight to read the menu, and enjoy your 1956 throwback.

El Compadre

This Hollywood mainstay is known first and foremost for its flaming margarita. The extra boozy beverage is served ablaze to really set your evening on fire.

Ortega 120

Often lauded as having one of the best classic margaritas in LA, this South Bay restaurant makes its own house mix to live up to the hype. You’ll be glad you can order the drink by the pitcher.

Las Perlas

One of LA’s great mezcal bars, Downtown’s Las Perlas has a slew of entertaining margarita variations, but the classic Las Perlas margarita does just fine. Sweetened with agave and made with plenty of fresh lime juice, it is a margarita just as it should be.

Bludso's Bar & Que

Why is Bludso’s on the list for best margaritas? There are few other places in the city where you can get the cocktail Texas-style, that is mixed with limeade and good ol’ PBR.

Mercado