Many Tucson restaurants offer prickly pear margaritas. This one can be found at Reforma.

When it comes to margaritas, our reader @caxinn14 said it best. Her favorite? Any and all. Though it’s hard to go wrong with the simple cocktail, when it’s pushing 100 degrees, I want to know where Tucsonans go to cool down with friends and a refreshing drink.

While many readers shared their picks with us, a few restaurants came up most frequently. This list contains those, along with our staff favorites!

Delicia's Mexican Grill

When I was reporting for 12 Days of Tacos, the lighthearted atmosphere at Delicia's left as strong an impression on me as their delicious tacos. At 2 p.m. on a Sunday, you’ll see friends catching up over huge, refreshing margaritas, with families enjoying Sunday brunch in the booth next door. It’s a jovial, family-friendly yet down-for-a-good-time atmosphere that I don’t come across often. Join the party!

Location: 4581 S. 12th Ave.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday | 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday

Price: $5.99 house margarita; specialty margs range from $6.99-$9.99.

For more information, check out their website.

El Charro

While many readers recommended this iconic Tucson establishment, reader @michele.algreen gave us a heads up about their pitcher system. Any of their margaritas, from their basic house special to their Cadillac (made with Cazadores Añejo, aged tequila), can be upgraded into the pitcher size.

Most margarita glasses hold nine ounces. Most pitchers hold 60 — so you are roughly getting six servings to a pitcher. I love this incentive to get a group together for a good time.

Locations: Downtown | 311 N. Court Ave.

Oro Valley | 7725 N. Oracle Road

Ventana | 6910 E. Sunrise Dr.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily

Price: House marg is $8. House pitcher is $27. Specialty margaritas range from $9-$12, and you can get them in pitchers, too, from $29-$37.

Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. $2 off all margaritas, other drinks and appetizers

For more information, check out their website.

Guadalajara

Former #ThisIsTucson team member Samantha Munsey with the Bandera margarita at Guadalajara Original Grill in 2016.

While many of our readers recommended Guadalajara, few specified which side of the schism they were on. For those of you who don’t know (like me, before I started writing this article), the Guadalajara brand of Mexican restaurants in Tucson was founded by a husband-wife team. When they divorced, they split the intellectual property. You’ll see cohesive branding, like beautiful hand-painted lettering of the same font, across both chains.

Only the Guadalajara Original Grill is run by Emma Yolanda Vera, who hails from the Mexican metropolis. 

The other locations, listed on a website under the umbrella “Guadalajara’s,” are run by Seth Holzman. Like their estranged sister restaurants, they also feature a margarita-focused menu, with a bevy of options and happy hour specials. 

Both drink menus feature the tricolored Bandera margarita we’ve highlighted in the past.

Guadalajara Original Grill

Locations: Prince Road | 1220 E. Prince Road

Oracle Road | 7360 N. Oracle Road

Hours: Prince | 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday | 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Oracle | 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday | 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Price: House marg is $8.50. Frozen house margaritas are $10, $12 with real, frozen fruit added for flavors like mango and prickly pear.

Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, featuring $5 margaritas, discounted drinks and limited menu items.

For more information, check out their website.

Guadalajara’s

Locations: Kolb | 750 N. Kolb Road

Broadway | 4901 E. Broadway

Marana | 5955 Arizona Pavilions Dr.

Hours: Kolb | 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday | 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday | 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday | 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Broadway | 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday | 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday | 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday | 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Marana | 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday | 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Price: $8.50 for 16-ounce house marg. $15.95 for 32-ounce Guadalajarita. Specialty margs are usually ~$12.

Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, featuring $4 house margs and $3 discounts on some appetizers.

For more information, check out their website.

LaCo

At one of my first in-person events with the Arizona Daily Star team, my colleague Elvia Verdugo ordered the prickly pear margarita, while I ordered their Pink 75, their hibiscus spin on the champagne cocktail. While I enjoyed my drink, I was in the minority with my order: everyone was ordering the bright, beautiful prickly pear margaritas. It was the thing to get! I made the mental note, next time I went, that I had to try. Their menu has since updated to feature hibiscus, I believe, in lieu of the prickly pear flavor, but it can never hurt to ask.

Location: 201 N. Court Ave.

Hours: Closed for summer, but hours are normally: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday | 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday | Closed Monday

Price: $8 house margarita, add flavors like hibiscus or tamarind for $1.

For more information, check out their website.

Reforma

You can choose any three margaritas from Reforma Modern Mexican’s menu to create your own flight.

We’ve featured Reforma on #ThisIsTucson before, highlighting their margarita flights — perfect for the indecisive foodie. Reader @sgabaldon recommends their Roca Rita, made with Roca Patron Silver.

Location: 4340 N. Campbell Ave.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday | 11 a.m. to midnight Friday | 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday | 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Price: House marg starts at $9, $13 for flavors, $15 flights. Their high-end Roca marg costs $30.

Happy hour: $6 house margs from 3-6 p.m. daily.

For more information, check out their website.

Taqueria La Esquina

I mean, look at it. This mango margarita, topped with a stick of chamoy, should’ve made top billing on our slushie coverage of last year. Taqueria La Esquina has a creative drink menu across the board. Their take on the margarita is no less inventive.

Location: 4876 S. Sixth Ave.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday | 11-1 a.m. Friday-Sunday

Price: $7 house marg, $10 mango marg, other specialty margaritas range from $10-$12.

For more information, check out their website.

Tohono Chul Garden Bistro

Tohono Chul's margarita uses Cheri's prickly pear syrup, whose sweetness is well balanced by the tequila, lime and salty rim.

If you’re looking for a brunchtime marg, Tohono Chul’s bistro was overwhelmingly recommended by readers for their bright magenta prickly pear margarita. They offer bottomless margaritas and mimosas for only $7 more than a single, so it’s the move if you’re planning on having more than one.

While the bistro is only open for brunch, the gardens at Tohono Chul are hosting Chillin at the Chul, a evening event series that will offer small bites alongside a limited bar menu. You can get your prickly pear margarita fix alongside live music, DJs and free admission to the botanical garden on Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 3!

Location: 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte

Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday

Price: $12 prickly pear margarita. Make it bottomless for $19.

For more information, check out their website.

Wisdom’s Cafe in Tumacacori

This was the recommendation, by @necessitysoaps, that I was most excited to pursue. Located in funky Tumacacori, Wisdom’s has a history that dates back almost as long as El Charro’s. Unfortunately, they’re closed for repairs through early July. But as soon as they’re back up and running, I’m excited to soak in the saguaro-rib ceiling, rustic atmosphere and enjoy the patio alongside their signature margarita.

Location: 1931 I-19 Frontage Road, Tumacacori

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

Price: $9.95 for Wisdom’s Margarita. Add flavors like tamarind or mango for $1. Specialty marg costs $17.

For more information, check out their website.

Other recommendations from readers


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