Update: For our most recent list of best margaritas, please visit The Best Margaritas in Dallas.
It's that time of the year when sitting your ass on various local patios and drinking before noon is totally acceptable, folks. We're pretty excited about patio season, and it's indisputable that the best drink to enjoy on a patio on a spring day is a margarita. When it's hot out, they're impossibly refreshing. When it's still a little chilly because Texas weather is weird, the tequila will warm you right on up.
Some (many) margaritas in this city are terrible, even though it is practically the official drink of Dallas. When made with bottled sweet-n-sour and bad tequila, margaritas aren't even worth drinking. These 10 margaritas, though, meet a much higher set of standards. Made with the best ingredients and mixed by talented barmen, you might as well just tell your job to shove it and plop your ass on one of the fine patios attached to these 10 establishments. Get thee to drinking, Dallas.
Meso Maya Chef Nico Sanchez's Mexican food is reason enough to go to Meso Maya, but the margaritas are worth a stop in even if you're not hungry. There are about six margaritas on the menu, including avocado and serrano-berry infused versions, and you can't go wrong with any of them. Each is made with a different tequila, so you might as well just go ahead and give them all a try so you can really decide which is your favorite.
Gemma There isn't much Mexican influence on the Napa-inspired menu at Gemma, but you basically have to have at least one margarita on your menu in this town. It's Dallas law. If you've been to this Henderson Avenue hotspot, you know that the food is prepared to exacting standards, and the blood orange margarita is equally refined. It's a simple mix, with blanco tequila, blood orange juice and lime, which is all you need to make a great margarita.
Mariano's Tex-Mex food may not be haute cuisine, but we all love it in spite of its radioactive-orange cheese. When you're satiating your queso fix at Mariano's at Skillman Street and Northwest Highway, wash down all those chips with margaritas invented by a guy who gave us the world's most exciting invention since the steam engine: the frozen margarita machine. If frozen 'ritas give you brain freeze, stick with The Mariano, a classic top-shelf drink made with Don Julio Reposado.
Mi Cocina Yeah, we know Mi Cocina is a chain restaurant, but they still make some of the best damn margaritas in town. The Mambo Taxi is every lush in town's favorite, if only because it packs serious get-you-drunk power. If you're too classy for a taxi, upgrade yours to a Mambo Limousine, which replaces the plain-ass brandy with Chambord. It's still the sangria-rita you love from Chili's or whatever, just classed up with better ingredients. That's something we can all get behind.
El Tizoncito This casual taco and torta joint is well-known for its awesome charro bean soup, but the margaritas are also worth paying attention to. El Tizoncito offers three varieties — tamarind, guava and the usual lime — and they're only $6 each. You can be well on your way to hammered for less than $20, assuming you don't get the drunken munchies and order a few dozen tacos.