The Craft Brewers Conference is in town this week, which means there’s endless beer flowing in D.C. Take a break from that brewed beverage and sip on something more fun instead, like a margarita. With an international reputation, this fine city is home to great taquerias and cantinas with better margaritas than you’d think. You can find a traditional version of the lime drink, or a more creative take on the libation (think cucumber or hibiscus). Plus, there’s nothing like warm weather and a margarita to have you thinking you’re on a tropical vacation. Cheers.
Oyamel is one of the best-known Mexican restaurants in D.C. The José Andrés establishment is lauded for it’s small plates, tacos, and creative take on the margarita. Instead of rolling the rim of the margarita glass in fine salt, Oyamel’s bartenders top off the beverage with a delicious salt foam instead (creative, right?). Every Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., imagine yourself on a beach in Mexico sipping on margaritas and munching on tacos. During “hora feliz,” sip on a classic margarita for $5, or order a pitcher for the whole table for $30. Pair it with a $4 anojito or two tacos for $4, and enjoy.
The Columbia Heights restaurant is perfect if you’re looking to stick with a more traditional margarita. The Mezcalero margarita with tequila or Mezcal keeps with tradition, or if you can’t get away from beer, switch up your order and get the Mezacalero boilermaker (beer and a shot of Mezcal). Regardless, you’re going to have a good time.
For a more creative approach to the margarita, check out Tico. The hibiscus margarita is a berry-inspired take on the traditionally lime libation. If you’re not feeling the margarita theme here, skip the hibiscus marg and go for the rosé sangria or the tico punch. Either way it’s a makeshift tropical escape.
If you’re looking for even more margarita flavors, happy hour at El Tamarindo is a good bet. Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. sip on $5 margaritas and indulge in other sweet drink specials while you’re there. Ditch the traditional lime flavor and try the cucumber margarita (lime juice, jalapeño, cucumber, agave nectar, and Don Julio Reposado Tequlia) instead.
It’s not a margarita round up if we don’t include a cantina. The H Street restaurant is home to classic and frozen margaritas, and the margarita “a tu gusto,” where choose your own tequila. Swing by on a Monday for Margarita Mondays and drink as many margaritas as you can, or just go for regular happy hour between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to get your margarita fix. Like in any cantina, you’ll find yourself stumbling out the door by the end of the night.