Margarita Madness: Tropical Tequila Time

February 21, 2024
Spicy grapefruit margarita with chili salt rim, served with chips, lime slices and guacamole

Margaritas stand out as a beacon of festivity and flavor. This classic cocktail, with its perfect blend of tart, sweet, and salty, has become a staple in celebrations and casual gatherings alike. Across Metro Detroit, a handful of establishments have mastered the art of the margarita, each adding their unique twist to this beloved drink. From traditional recipes to innovative creations, let’s explore the places that make Metro Detroit a margarita lover’s paradise.

EL BARZON RESTAURANTE

3710 Junction Avenue, Detroit

This Detroit staple has been serving traditional Mexican and traditional Italian dishes for more than 17 years now, giving chef and owner Norberto Garita much-deserved praise from local media and beyond. While known for its eclectic menu, El Barzon also shines in its cocktail offerings, with margaritas that are perfectly balanced. Whether paired with a hearty Italian dish or a spicy Mexican entree, the margaritas at El Barzon are a great accompaniment to the food and atmosphere of this well-loved Southwest Detroit restaurant. Check out the seasonal pomegranate margarita with El Barzon’s homemade citrus agave, or one that is always available, like the mango marg with mango puree or the Motown margarita with Cointreau, simple syrup, and fresh lime and orange juices. 

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EL CHARRO

16720 East 14 Mile Road, Fraser

24401 Harper Avenue, St. Clair Shores

21519 21 Mile Road, Macomb

El Charro is a Metro Detroit must-try. “El Charro Restaurants have been family-owned and operated since 1971,” says Office Manager Caitlin Thomas. “Our restaurants are ‘famous’ for our Puffy Tacos, and our Fraser & Macomb restaurants have a full bar with delicious house-made margaritas and tons of other cocktail options.” El Charro’s commitment to tradition and quality is evident in all of their dishes, which are crafted with care and served with pride. Their family legacy is a reminder of the enduring appeal of great food and great drinks shared with loved ones. For the margaritas, order a classic, fruit-flavored, golden, or premium, with options like the Prickly Pear or the Electric Blue margs. One thing that sets El Charro apart? You can get premade margaritas and other cocktails to go!

trio of margaritas from el charro
Photo courtesy of El Charro

THE SKIP

1234 The Belt, Detroit

Not many people might see themselves as “let’s go drink in an alley” kind of folks. But that’s all changed with this fun, sort of hidden spot where people of all ages go to see and be seen. The Skip is like a year-round tropical oasis in The Belt Alley, where they serve up flavorful drinks along with an island vibe. It is a lively spot that focuses on frozen cocktails, particularly margaritas, of all flavors. One refreshing example is the frozen cucumber margarita, made with Blanco Tequila, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, lime, orange, and of course, cucumber.

MEXICAN VILLAGE RESTAURANT

2600 Bagley Street, Detroit

47350 Van Dyke Avenue, Utica

As one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in the area, Mexican Village Restaurant carries on the tradition of serving hearty, authentic dishes in a warm, welcoming environment. Their margaritas, made with traditional recipes and a generous spirit, are a favorite among Metro Detroiters. Whether enjoyed in their festive dining room or ordered to go, a margarita from Mexican Village Restaurant is a sip of everything good. Beyond the classic marg, additional flavors include wild berry, raspberry, and mango, which can be mixed. For even more Mexican cuisine, check out our list here.

IMPERIAL

22828 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale

Imperial is described by Social Media Manager Johanna Medranda as “your favorite local taco joint; a roadhouse, honky-tonk, or tavern… known for our cocktails, tacos, and all-around laid-back atmosphere.” At Imperial, the margarita is celebrated as a symbol of festivity, crafted with an eye for quality and a heart for hospitality. Whether enjoyed alongside LA street-style tacos or Sonoran hot dogs, a margarita at Imperial is a tribute to the simple pleasures of good food, good drinks, and good company. If you want one that is more fruit-focused, order the pineapple or strawberry banana margarita. For floral notes, the hibiscus margarita with hibiscus and lime is delicious, and the jalapeño version has just the right kick. How about for the beer fans? Imperial has a Coronarita, which is a mix of the house margarita with a Corona. No matter the version, the margaritas are always well-poured at Imperial and make for friendly conversation at its welcoming bar and community-minded tables.

trio of margaritas from imperial
Photo courtesy of Imperial

LOS GALANES

3362 Bagley Street, Detroit

Los Galanes is renowned for its vibrant ambiance and extensive menu of delicious Mexican favorites. Their margaritas are a reflection of the restaurant’s playful spirit, offering a variety of flavors that range from classic lime to other fruits, like melon, banana, and peach. Perfect for celebrations or a casual night out, Los Galanes ensures that every margarita is a toast to joy and camaraderie. Order yours as a jumbo, or get a liter for the table to share, but you won’t regret it either way. These margaritas are a perfect pair to any entree you select. 

MESA TACOS + TEQUILA

312 South Main Street, Royal Oak

At Mesa Tacos + Tequila, the name says it all. This establishment offers a wide selection of spirits to complement its inventive menu. Their margaritas are crafted with attention to detail, utilizing fresh juices and high-quality tequila to create a drink that is both authentic and inventive. There are often seasonal margarita flights available, letting patrons enjoy four delicious cocktails along with their meals. Other fun flavors and combinations include blackberry-cilantro, habanero-peach, strawberry-basil, and grilled pineapple. You can also order a 64 oz. margarita tower or a pitcher to share with the table. 

This article has been updated to include new information. The original article was published on February 21, 2020, and was authored by Karen Dybis.

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