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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, March 4

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Carl / August 12, 2005 11:02 AM

I know a place, take the orange line until it ends at cicero. You will be in a large building, follow the signs that say Miami, there is about a 2 1/2 hour wait before you get one but it is well worth it! Theres a similar place at the end of the blue line as well.

Sandy / August 12, 2005 11:11 AM

For your everyday good margarita, I like Cesar's in Lakeview. They don't skimp on the free chips and salsa, which is a bonus.

If I need to impress someone, I take them to Japonais - they add fruit juice to their margarita to jazz it up a little.

lisamay / August 12, 2005 11:25 AM

You wouldn't think of it, but Trio Atelier in Evanston. The bartender there makes the best margaritas ever. None of that blended silliness, just good booze.

(Full disclosure - I'm partial to the bartender as I happen to live with him. But I stand by my recommendation.)

HuckleCat / August 12, 2005 11:27 AM

Yeah I'm not a fan of the blended ones either.

I like the Topolo Margarita at Frontera Grill.

Emerson Dameron / August 12, 2005 11:36 AM

I recommend the Whirlaway in Logan Square, for a margarita or a game of dominoes the bartender and some dude from Syracuse. If you're a first-time customer and you have a referral (use me), you get a free shot of your choice. I tried to call house, but they insisted I take something top-shelf.

karen / August 12, 2005 11:44 AM

i have to go with cesar's too... we always get free shots of tequila on the side for some reason. you cant go wrong with that!

and, to step back to my college days, if you feel like taking a trip to the far, far suburbs... eduardo's in dekalb has THE BEST original margarita ever. they are this amazing teal green color, & they are just absolutely supurb. not too sweet, not to sour.

kelly / August 12, 2005 11:48 AM

Matchbox has the best margaritas, they actually use REAL juice and not a mix and they powder the rim with sugar, MUY BUENO

Susan / August 12, 2005 11:50 AM

I've always been partial to the margaritas at Las Pinatas in Old Town (1552 N. Wells). Their website includes a page full of paeans to the margaritas (

RevDave / August 12, 2005 12:00 PM

El Jardin, on Clark. The Gold Margarita is face-melting. It's very good, very strong, and very dangerous. 2 = good time. 3 = serious gastrointestinal issues.

misty / August 12, 2005 12:06 PM

Get sloppy on pitchers (on the rocks) at Tecalitlan. Margarita specials on some weeknights. Chicago Ave, near Ashland. Look for the burro following a carrot. Everybody wins the Margarita Challenge! Tip, the no smoking section smells like tinkle, if you're into that.

K. / August 12, 2005 12:08 PM

Hey, I *wasn't* craving margarita's until this thread started up !

I vote for Cesar's on Clark. The margaritas are good, cheap and powerful.

steven / August 12, 2005 12:09 PM


cesar's on clark
las mananitas on halsted
tarascas on clark
topolobampo...great mescal margaritas

Leah / August 12, 2005 12:24 PM

My apartment, ever since this article came out. Thanks, Saucy! Please start posting again!

Other than that, Las Pinatas and Salud.

Demian / August 12, 2005 12:29 PM

Matchbox by a long shot is my favorite margarita - Adobo is another good one as is Frontera. Quality tequila and fresh ingredients are the keys!

j3s / August 12, 2005 12:33 PM

It's a little pricey, but I love the margaritas made with Patron anejo at Las Palmas. Good tequila makes a difference.

mutantmachine / August 12, 2005 12:52 PM

The thought of a Matchbox margarita makes my mouth water. Actually, my shirt's soaked from typing this. Mmmmmm.

Hal / August 12, 2005 1:19 PM

For those playing the home game: The Best Margarita Recipe Ever (from my days in Austin):

1/3 fresh squeezed lime juice
1/3 triple sec
1/3 tequila

Shake in cocktail mixer with ice and serve in a martini glass with a salted rim, if you like. Also known, not surprisingly, as a Texas Martini (back in the '80's, before martinis were cool again). My brother puts jalapeno stuffed olives in, but I think olives are yukky. I likes mine plain. Simple and tasty.


Erica / August 12, 2005 2:07 PM

El Cid #1 or #2 (both Logan Square)
Mi Tierra on Belmont (near the train station)

steven / August 12, 2005 2:54 PM

I've heard so many good things about Matchbox, I'm going to have to try it out this weekend. This Fuel topic might be one of the most helpful ones EVER.

pat / August 12, 2005 4:35 PM

Oddly, I've always found that the mexican restaurants that loudly proclaim their margaritas as "the best" usually have less than stellar food (perhaps because the margaritas are distracting the taste buds)... so I suppose the converse could be said; mexican restaurants with food that's so so, probably have great margaritas.

it's just a theory though.

Chad / August 12, 2005 4:43 PM

Chalk another vote for Cesars. El Cid is solid, too. I love Mi Tierra, but for the great, inexpensive food, not their margaritas...

K. / August 12, 2005 4:52 PM

Yeah, Mi Tierra is an overlooked gem. Great, cheap food and drinks. I used to go there weekly when I lived in Lakeview. When I moved, I lost about 15 pounds.

Dunl / August 12, 2005 5:16 PM

Frontera: the blue agave margarita

printdude / August 12, 2005 5:32 PM

Those huge-ass margaritas what make your head spin after just one. Have two and you'll be forced to call your friend's while you heave chunks in your backseat, waiting for them to come and pick you up.
(true story, but I was not the heaver, I was the friend)

Mrs. Notifbutwhen / August 12, 2005 6:01 PM

Gotta love Matchbox and Frontera, but also the Rolls Royce margarita at El Tapa Tio (Roscoe/Ashland)!

Deej / August 12, 2005 7:36 PM

I have to go with Cesar's as well. Huge pitchers, lots of variety, and free tequila shots! Great dinner stop before a night out.

Adobo Grill (North and Wells) makes a table-side margarita that's pretty darn good too.

FlowFeel / August 13, 2005 9:11 AM

Garcias in L-Sq. has the best bar none. My wife and i have tried a 100 spots and this is it. they have somehting like 60 different kinds of tequila!! And darn fine burritos too!

waleeta / August 13, 2005 8:36 PM


But seriously folks...Frontera Grill. Awesome guacamole too.

bam / August 15, 2005 7:47 AM

If you find yourself in the area, try Maria's New Mexican Kitchen in Santa Fe.

They wrote the book on margarita's, literally. Published by ten speed press out of berkeley. There is no finer place to get blitzed in town, serious food and 100s of insanely fine drinks.

One of the 'tricks' of the house is the use of lemon in place of some of the lime juice -- counters the seasonal variation in the tartness of the limes. Add a healthy splash of grand mariner and some anejo! I'm thirsty!

ataraxy / August 15, 2005 10:03 AM

I like the simplicity of the three-ingredient margaritas mentioned above. But if you're willing to put a little more work into one, try this recipe (makes two really good margaritas). [The original version of the recipe calls for an ounce of margarita mix to add tartness.]

2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (use key limes)
2 oz simple syrup
2 oz Tequila (white/silver tequila, 100% agave)
1 oz Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
1 oz water (optional, to taste)

Otherwise, I'm going to vote for Shady Grove or Z Tejas in Austin, and Garcias or El Jardin in Chicago.

patrick / August 15, 2005 10:18 AM

Adobo 'fo 'sho doh. Order shaken with a shot of mezcal on top- smokey, potent deliciousness that'll make you want to slap yo mama.

sky / August 15, 2005 11:20 AM

Maybe it's a little pricey, a little commercial, but damn, i don't care....sometimes I just need to go visit my favorite uncle....Uncle Julio's that is, and get my swirl on! Seriously, the swirl is to die for....and steak tacos melt in your mouth. I had the Gold Cadillac at El Jardin once and I don't remember getting was like 7pm on a sunday, and had to leave work the next day because i was so sick.

Mister C / August 20, 2005 1:02 PM

Garcia's on Western near Lawrence has awesome Margaritas. Plus, there's this combo restaurant, Angelo's/Mi Rancho, on the 3000 block of Montrose (never actually been there) that delivers pitchers of Margaritas (pretty good ones at that).

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