Who has the best margaritas in the Twin Cities? Margaritas are like pizza. Everyone has their favorite. Do you like the classic, or are you fancier? Sweet or sour? Spicy or mild? This is a list of five of my favorite spots but there is also a quick recipe for an at-home cocktail or a new Minnesota-made mix that I like as well.
The Best Twin Cities Margaritas
Head to St Anthony Main on Main Street in Minneapolis for a margarita on the river. Jefe is open for indoor and outdoor seating and has a beautiful classic margarita with Reposado tequila, Tattersall orange crema made in Minneapolis (a great stand-in for simple syrup for at home margaritas too), and lime. Simple but classy and smooth. Don’t miss their other stand-out drink their ancho chili and honey Pina de Fuego a spicy Pina Colada with aged rum that’s a winner on a summer patio day.
This habanero cilantro margarita is the one that all hot margaritas get measured by for me. Made with Reposado, a cilantro simple syrup, and a habanero tincture, it’s spicy but with a pleasant burn. Don’t miss the pork ribs, elote style brussels sprouts, and charred sweet potato while you are there.
There is no better value in a classic margarita than El Burrito Mercado in Saint Paul. The Silva family has been doing authentic Mexican food and margaritas since the 1970s at their spot that is a full grocery, a grab-and-go deli, and a full-service restaurant. They have an expanded patio that has music and mariachi on Friday nights. A giant classic margarita is $9 and they have a variety of flavors to choose from including the
Not like your average Mexican restaurant, this place features twists on everything, and I mean that in the best way possible. Daniel Del Prado’s food paired with Marco Zappia’s inventive fermented cocktails leaves you wondering what the heck you just had and how to get more. The Naked Dani #2 cocktail is the closest thing they have to a margarita, but it is so much more made with Fermented Seville Oranges and topped with foam that looks like a bubble bath and a playful rubber ducky. Reservations here can be hard to come by but it absolutely should be on your list for date night.
If you are in the mood for a spicy little number head to any of the three Barrio locations in Edina, St Paul, or Downtown Minneapolis and order the Macho Camacho, a blood orange margarita with ancho chili-infused throughout so you get a spicy yet earthy flavor balanced by the sweetness of the orange. Don’t miss the $15 Margarita take-home kits from Barrio if you are ordering tacos to go. Their Trinity margarita mix and their Black Diamond Pomegranate Margarita are ready to add your favorite Blanco tequila with some ice and a shake.
This spot on Lake Street in Minneapolis has a sweet little patio and one of my all-time favorite margaritas, The Oberon. The Oberon features fresh basil and serrano chili-infused tequila with agave nectar. This margarita is super refreshing, and the basil makes it so fresh on a hot summer day. Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. margaritas are only $5 so grab an Oberon and their Elote or pork empanada as a snacky side.
The Best Margarita Mix
If you are looking for a shortcut to the best Margarita you need to get Summer Lakes Beverage fresh juiced Margarita mix. The mix is $19.99 at most stores and it comes frozen in a glass bottle. They have a Classic and a spicy jalapeno version that is wonderful. These margaritas are all-natural with no preservatives just freshness waiting for your Blanco tequila or even soda water or club soda for a Non-Alcoholic Alternative.
THE FAMILY MARGARITA RECIPE
This is a family recipe. This was the margarita that my mother-in-law Dolores and her friend Lila would have at the cabin. This is the perfect Margarita using the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 method. You must have fresh limes and if you are feeling fancy, you can sub out Tattersall Orange Cream or Grand Marnier for the Cointreau or Simple Syrup. You can also use Agave Nectar instead of simple syrup. If you are feeling fancier check out my Watermelon margarita recipe here. Feeling spicy? Slice some fresh jalapeno into the drink and garnish with some cilantro.
- 2 oz silver tequila
- 2 oz Cointreau or simple syrup
- 2 oz fresh lime juice
- Fill the shaker with ice, and add the tequila, orange liquor, and lime juice. Place the top on and shake to combine all ingredients.
- Run the edge of a lime wedge around a rock’s cocktail glass. Dip the edge of the glass in kosher salt. Add ice.
- Strain the contents of the shaker into the ice-filled glass. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.