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phx: the best REAL margarita

After browsing through winedubar's "what CH faves do you not get" thread, I am in agreement that Barrio isn't all that. But they do make some tasty margaritas. So, where else might one go for a real margarita (I think you will all know what I mean-- no sweet&sour mix, please :) )? And maybe a bowl of gucamole to go with? Extra points for daytime hours... Sometimes I just can't wait until 5:00!!

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  1. no guac but richardson's prickly pear marg totally rocks. i like the cilantro margs at tradiciones, and i also dig the margs a via de los santos


    4 Replies
    1. re: winedubar

      Re: Via De Los Santos
      You talkin' about the .99 babies?? We used to pound the small pitchers of those down for the sheer thrill of a $6 pitcher.

      The margaritas up at El Encanto are pretty good on a nice warm day on the patio. Don't know if they're real, but the outdoor setting forces us to visit a couple of times a year (sans kids). Yeah, they're probably made from a mix. We just don't care.
      I can't vouch for the food though.

      1. re: mamamia

        oh yeah i love those :D

        i'm a recovering vegetarian, and via de los santos was just about the only place that used to have real veg refried beans.

        now i eat the carne asada ;) and lots of marg's

        1. re: winedubar

          haha! I AM a vegetarian, so maybe I will them a try!

          1. re: hollyeve

            Via De (what we call it) is also one of the only places in town that has good calabacitas(squash w/corn and cheese) on their menu. Good veg option.

            Calabacitas cooked that way are a very traditional item in Mexican homes, but you rarely see them in restairants.

    2. Los Sombreros uses fresh lime for all but the house margarita. They've got great guac, too.

      1. In Phoenix, about the best commercial Margaritas, that I have had were at Via Delosantos, on Central in N. PHX. The food is pretty good, though I usually choose El Bravo (nearby) for the food. My friends still swear that mine are the best, but that doesn't count.


        Via Delosantos
        9120 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          I definitely agree with the other posts regarding Via Delosantos. I also think the food is quite good.

        2. Embarrased to admit this....but I love the margaritas at Z tejas. The Z top shelf on the rocks with extra salt is fabulous! I believe they'll serve you on as soon as they open, possible 11 ish!

          5 Replies
          1. re: Kam7185

            Haha! I'm not the only one that was embarrassed to admit loving Z tejas margaritas...I love their Chambord margarita. They only let you have 2 because they are so strong.

            1. re: sundevilgirl

              Rio Mirage, in the West Valley, also makes a mean Chambord Margarita.

              Rio Mirage Cafe
              13863 W Bell Rd, Surprise, AZ 85374

            2. re: Kam7185

              Why embarassed? Because Z'Tejas is a chain? If so, that's one thing I dislike about CH....it fosters a snobby attitude (not accusing you of this....I'm accusing the collective CH community for making you feel embarassed to admit you <gasp> like something from a Corporate entity).

              In any case, you're right. Z'tejas makes a tasty margarita.

              1. re: boingo2000

                And some freakin amazing pork and shrimp dumplings, in my opinion. Everything else has been lackluster there, in my experience. But the peach margaritas make up for it. ;-)

                1. re: boingo2000

                  I have NOTHING against chains, unfortunately I frequent them too often. I was just embarrased because it may not be viewed as a "REAL" margarita. But, nevertheless, I LOVE ztejas and yes, the dumplings are to die for. They make a killer ceasar salad too!

              2. The margaritas at Z-Tejas may not be terribly authentic, but man they're tasty!!

                The huckleberry margarita at the Roaring Fork happy hour is tart and tasty.

                But the best damn margarita around is to be had at the Old Town Tortilla Factory in Scottsdale. More than one publication has called it the best margarita in the world (Travel Channel I believe? Southwest Magazine?) and after a serious attempt to fact-check it myself, I think I agree. ;-)

                1. If you're into blended margaritas, I believe Ajo Als makes a pretty decent one.

                  1. Sierra Bonitas on 7th st & Glendale have pretty good margaritas. I'll throw in a vote for Via De Los Santos, as well. I love that place. I also like Richardson's, Padres and Barrio Cafe (I like the food there too).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BrandonPHX

                      Try the Margarita @ the VillageTavern @ Gainey Ranch. It too is made w/ a fresh citrus mix and plents of fresh fruit in it. If you go for the Jumbo it's serves in a 'Fish bowl sized glass!

                      I have to second Ztejas......love them!

                      Has anyone tried Margaritaville @ Westgate?

                    2. I like El Zocalo in Chandler. But ONLY for the margaritas, guacamole and their patio. The actual entrees I don't think are all that great. Decent, but nothing spectacular...

                      1. Sam's Cafe @ Biltmore Fashion Park makes a pretty tasty margarita - their chips and salsa are awesome too.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: azhotdish

                          ooohh... now this is what I'm talking about! Tequila, Grand Marnier, and lime. Perfect! And close to home, too. Thanks for the rec!

                          1. re: hollyeve

                            Just had Sierra Bonita's house margarita last night and it was truly horrible. It tasted like pure triple sec. I have to put in a vote for Barrio's Pink Chevy, which is the main reason we go there (besides the guacamole). And Mi Patio's margs get the job done nicely, even though they aren't anything spectacular, they certainly fit the bill especially for an afternoon day of playing hookie, drinking margaritas, and setting your mouth on fire (in a good way) with their camerones del diablo. Chasing the Mi Patio marg with a shot of top shelf silver tequila (like the Hornitos Plata) is highly recommended...:)

                            1. re: furrybluecyclops

                              Yes... I think I am going to have to stick to Barrio for my margaritas and guac. The only reason I don't LOVE Barrio is that they don't really have a bar. I always feel bad if I sit at a table and don't order a "meal". Being a vegetarian, I usually don't order entrees at Mexican restaurants, what with all the lard flying around. I have had the pink chevy marg, but my fave is just thier house margarita.

                              1. re: hollyeve

                                Yeah I know what you mean about not ordering a meal, but I'll bet if you had a bowl of their posole (which is quite good) and the chips and guac, with a couple of margs, they'd treat you just great. :))

                        2. Also have to give LosDosMolinos a vote for their margs!