Top 9: Find the best margaritas in Cincinnati

Posted at 4:23 PM, Apr 29, 2015
and last updated 2017-02-22 13:01:47-05

A margarita is a simple drink -- tequila, lime and triple sec -- but the variations are endless and it takes some tricks to get it right.

Here are WCPO's picks for the Top 9 margaritas in Cincinnati. 


Nada (Downtown): Whether by the bottle or glass, Nada's margaritas are on the sweet side but delicious. Beyond the classic lime, this restaurant offers a few variations, including pink grapefruit and chile-mango. 

Bakersfield (Over-the-Rhine): Bakersfield probably serves the most margaritas in town, always fresh and delicious. Try the spicy margarita, infused with jalapeños, for a kick that isn't too hot, or splurge for the premium margarita with El Arco blanco, Cointreau and a float of Grand Marnier on top.

Igby's (Downtown): Igby's margarita isn't on the menu, but ask nicely and the bartender will make one for you. This margarita is different, with Don Julio reposado, Four Roses bourbon, lime, agave and an egg white. It's got a luxurious texture and a complex flavor profile.


Mazunte (Oakley): Mazunte's tart margaritas are great to sip while waiting for your tacos.

Cactus Pear (Clifton): Want a frozen margarita? Grab one at Cactus Pear, which features a blood orange margarita as its signature margarita, as well as other flavors including prickly pear and mango. They go beautifully with the eatery's odd-colored but delicious signature salsa. 

Django Western Taco (Northside): Django popularized the spicy margarita here in Cincinnati, and it does not disappoint. The spicy drinks also are a good way to pace yourself. (Regular margaritas go down so easily!)  


Frida 602: Aside from serving killer tacos and other Mexican food, Frida has several excellent margaritas featuring its well-curated tequila selection. Try the Nectar del Diablo, which features smoky mezcal, chili lager and hellfire shrub for a super spicy, extremely unique take on the margarita. (Though it's no longer listed on the menu, Frida can still make it if you ask nicely.) Don't worry, Frida has a classic version, too!

El Rancho Grande: Sometimes you just need a margarita as big as your head. This is the place to get them, in sizes ranging from large, to larger, to call an Uber. You can get them in flavors, frozen -- however you would like. 


Don't want to leave the house? Making a margarita is easy.

Choose your favorite tequila -- I use El Arco -- and your favorite triple sec (Cointreau, Patron Citronage and Luxardo Triplum are all great choices).

You'll also need lime juice and simple syrup, which is easy to make. Boil 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar together and let it cool; it'll keep in your refrigerator for a week or two.

To make one margarita, combine 1 1/2  ounces tequila, 1 ounce triple sec, 3/4 ounce lime juice and 1/4 ounce simple syrup. Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice until cold, and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with salt.

Want a pitcher? Mix 1 1/2 cups cups of tequila, 1 cup triple sec, 3/4 cup of lime juice and 1/4 cup of simple syrup. Fill a pitcher with 4 to 6 cups of ice, pour the mix over it and stir until chilled and some ice has melted.