Top Secret Trip blog


Best American Cities for Margaritas

June 1, 2016


The margarita certainly has Mexican roots, with tequila being the key ingredient. Although the origin can’t be confirmed, there are several stories about how this drink came to be, with at least two Texans and one Californian claiming credit. When it comes to margaritas though, it’s not about who was first, it’s about whose is best.


Here is our list of the best cities in America for margaritas.


El Paso is not exactly number one on most tourists’ agenda, but Pancho Morales, one of the people who claim to have invented it resides there now. He was a bartender at Tommy's Place on Juarez Avenue. It was there, Pancho said he invented the drink in 1942.  Once, when a lady asked him for a drink he didn't know how to make, he improvised and the margarita was born. Today you can get them on Juarez Avenue, and for history's sake alone, it should be on the list.


Los Angeles also has a resident who claims to have invented the drink. The Tail O' The Cock Bar, at 44 S. La Cienega Boulevard, claimed to be the first place to serve the drink in the late 1940s. It was named by Vern Underwood in the early 1950s, and the name stuck. There are many great places to have a drink in the Los Angeles area, and it has enough of a connection to the original to make it on our list.


Dallas also has to be on the list because this is where Mariano Martinez invented the frozen margarita machine in 1971. The original machine was given to the Smithsonian in 2005. The idea caught on and history was made.


















• The people in San Antonio also take their margaritas seriously. With so many places to enjoy a drink outdoors - think the famous River Walk - it is a natural city to enjoy this concoction. Outdoor cafés and patios are the perfect spot on a warm day after enjoying the coolness of the city.
























Key West, Florida, the hometown of Jimmy Buffet, helped make the margarita famous. The first Margaritaville restaurant opened on the island in 1985 with Buffet's name attached. He made the drink popular with his song "Margaritaville," and his restaurants are now worldwide. While in Key West, you need to spend at least one afternoon “wasted away in Margaritaville.”


















New Orleans is a crucial addition to the list, partly because it is one of the few cities where you can walk the streets with a drink in hand. There is a place called Superior Grill that serves Margaritas in a Styrofoam cup, making it even easier to carry around. New Orleans is a great city for drinking and good times, so it’s a natural.


This list focuses mainly on historical connections, but in reality there is no bad place to have a margarita. The drink is made for warm weather and enjoying time with friends.  Margarita season has just begun and there is still time to book a mystery trip that just might lead you to one of the best margarita cities in America, or the world.


San Antonio

Key West, Florida