12 of Charlotte’s best margaritas—whether you like them salty, spicy or sweet

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Photo courtesy of RuRu's Tacos and Tequila

What cocktail is a symbol of celebration at its absolute best, the pinnacle of cheerfulness and the epitome of fun? The margarita.

It’s astonishing what a little lime, tequila, agave and orange liqueur can do, whether you prefer your margarita spicy or sweet, frozen or on the rocks (or a little of each).

Here is your Charlotte margarita bucket list:

Amigos Margarita at Sabor

Various locations

 

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Order at the counter and grab a quick bite and drinks while you catch up with friends or family. Make sure to visit their salsa bar and get all of the salsas your heart desires.

Price: $5.95/house, $7.95/1800 silver tequila (but you can get $5 margaritas on Fridays!)

What’s in it: House tequila, triple sec and fresh squeezed lime juice

What else to order: Pair your marg with their Elote Loco ($2.95). It is corn on the cob lightly coated with mayo, covered with cotija cheese and dusted with chili powder. Or you could order an Empanada ($3.95) to share. It is fried pastry filled with cheese and your choice of ground beef, shredded chicken, chorizo or veggies

El Frio at Superica

101 W Worthington Ave. #100

 

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This Tex-Mex spot has plenty of great drinks, including margaritas — and their queso is a must. This is an ideal spot to go with a group.

Price: $9

What’s in it: El Jimador Blanco, Stirrings triple sec and fresh lime. Served frozen.

What else to order: If you are not feeling the frozen margarita, try the Matador ($10) with El Jimador Blanco, pineapple, lime and cilantro. Pair it with the Queso Fundido ($10) which is broiled Monterey Jack and Chihuahua cheeses with warm tortillas and salsa cremosa. It is simply a bowl of goodness.

Friend Zone at RuRu’s

715 Providence Rd.

 

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RuRu’s is a lively setting to enjoy some margaritas, including a beautiful and spacious patio and multiple dining rooms.

Price: $9 (but you can get $5 Friend Zones and Magic Mikes on Mondays)

What’s in it: House tequila, agave, lime juice, orange juice and a salted rim

What else to order: If you want to try something more unexpected, go for the Run Forrest Run ($9.50) which is Patron Reposado, Triple Sec, Agave, Lime Juice topped with red wine. The Magic Mike ($8.75) is RuRu’s “skinny margarita”and a delicious option as well.

Start with their queso, the I Am Mclovin’ ($6.95). Follow it up with some tacos. The Death by RuRu burrito ($10.95) is a perfect order if you are into spicy food. It has slow cooked pork belly carnitas, jasmine red rice, black beans, pepper jack cheese, crema and is topped with queso and RuRu’s hot sauce.

House Margarita at Three Amigos

2917 Central Ave.

 

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This no-frills restaurant on Central will come to your mind each time you are craving a margarita.

Price: $5 large house margarita on Fridays (usually $7.49/small and $8.49/large)

What’s in it: House tequila, triple sec and fresh lime

What else to order: Enjoy your margarita with the Chimichanga ($6.95 by itself, $9.49 with rice, beans and tortillas). It has an extra large tortilla rolled with your choice of meat, cheese, rice and beans, then fried and topped with queso, onion avocado, lettuce, queso fresco, tomato and sour cream. If you want an upgrade, the Premium Margarita is $9.75 and the Top Shelf Margarita is $11.75. Arrive hungry and thirsty!

Pomegranate Margarita at Cabo Fish Taco

3201 N Davidson St.

 

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Cabo Fish Taco has tons of special margaritas to try — and you can order their margaritas frozen for $1 more.

Price: $9

What’s in it: A refreshingly cool and tangy variation of their original margarita. It is a combination of Jose Cuervo Especial Gold, Pama liqueur, and their fresh house mix.

What else to order: Go with the BBQ Mahi Tacos ($10.50) which consists of grilled mango, bbq mahi-mahi tacos stuffed with cabo slaw, tomato, avocado, mixed cheeses and cilantro white sauce. Or try the lemon grilled shrimp ($10.25) and the Tavarua Wahoo Tacos ($10.50).

Smokey and the Peach at Paco’s Tacos and Tequila

6401 Morrison Blvd. #8a

 

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Located in the SouthPark area, this Tex-Mex restaurant has carved out quite the fan base in Charlotte.

Price: $11

What’s in it: Vida mezcal, peach puree, agavero and house sour

What else to order: Try the Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita ($10) for your second round. It has Jose Cuervo tradicional silver tequila, cucumber puree, lime juice and house sour, shaken with a freshly sliced jalapeño.

Pair it with the Enchiladas de Dennis ($13.50) roasted chicken, fresh spinach and mixed Mexican cheese enchiladas. They are topped with chile con queso and finished with avocado and red pepper crema.

Spicy Margarita at Bakersfield

1301 East Blvd.

 

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Bakersfield provides a fun and laidback atmosphere, and their spicy margarita is hard to beat.

Price: $9/glass, $36/ 64 oz. pitcher

What’s in it: El Jimador Blanco, triple sec, agave nectar, fresh lemon, fresh lime, fresh fresno and fresh jalapeño.

What else to order: Depending on your mood, order the chips and queso with chorizo ($7) or the chips and guac ($8) to share. Order the Short Rib Tostada ($9) with braised short rib, fried egg, blacked beans, hot sauce, queso fresco, shredded romaine, chives and cilantro buttermilk dressing.

The Fish Taco ($4) with crispy mahi, tabasco lime sauce, citrus cilantro slaw and the Al Pastor ($4) with chili marinated pork, pineapple, pickled white onion and cilantro are some favorite taco orders. If you want something lighter, the salads are solid too.

Tupelo Honey-Margarita at Tupelo Honey

1820 South Blvd.

 

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You may think of Tupelo Honey primarily for brunch (because their Bloody Mary is admittedly incredible and those biscuits are addictive), but it’s also a great stop for a margarita or two.

Price: $9.75

What’s in it: El Jimador Silver tequila, Tupelo Honey-liqueur, house-made sweet and sour and a chili-salt rim.

What else to order: Order the pimento cheese nachos ($7.50/small, $12/large). Thank us later.

The Viper at 5Church

127 N. Tryon St. #8

 

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Upscale dinner? Check. Delicious margaritas? Check. 5Church is the ideal place to stop for all of the above, the next time you’re looking for a night out Uptown.

Price: $13

What’s in it: Patron, Cointreau, Combier orange liqueur and lime, plus fresh cucumber water and a light sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

What else to order: Yellowfish Tuna Tartare ($15) from the late night menu, served with Asian vegetable salad, lotus root chips and soy-ginger vinaigrette.

Bella Rossa at Stagioni

715 Providence Rd.

 

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We know an Italian restaurant for a margarita feels like a long shot. But one sip of this colorful drink and you’ll understand.

Price: $13

What’s in it: Don Julio Blanco, blood orange liquor and shrub, and grapefruit juice.

What else to order: Pair your margarita with a fresh Margherita Pizza ($16), made with local tomatoes, fresh basil, smoke mozzarella and smoked extra virgin olive oil.

Jalapeño Margarita at The Improper Pig

110 S. Sharon Amity Rd.

 

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Maybe you know The Improper Pig for its BBQ or its Asian-inspired dishes. But you’re about to know it for its uniquely fruity-yet-herbal margarita.

Price: $9 (but margaritas are on special on Tuesdays and Saturdays for just $5)

What’s in it: House infused jalapeño tequila, triple sec, sour mix, jalapeño simple syrup and a splash of orange juice.

What else to order: Obviously the Improper Nachos ($6), made with housemade pimento cheese served warm over salt & vinegar house chips garnished with scallions. You can add a bit of protein, too — smoked chicken ($3), brisket ($4) or pork ($3).

The Evelyn at Workman’s Friend

1531 Central Ave.

 

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This spot is perfect year round. When it’s nice out, you can enjoy the new open-air bar or the sunny patio. When the weather’s not so great, you can warm up by the fire and dream of sunnier days with a margarita in hand.

Price: $10

What’s in it: Watermelon basil infused tequila, jalapeño agave, fresh lime and orange juice.

What else to order: Pair this spicy-yet-sweet marg with the Sliders ($10), made with house-ground brisket, arugula, oven dried tomato, caramelized onion aioli, Irish porter cheddar and a quail egg.

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