According to me, obviously. But I think you can trust my taste. If you know me, you know that I’m the margarita queen.
BEST HAPPY HOUR:
Monday through Friday (weekdays only), 3pm – 6:30pm — $2.50 house and flavored margaritas, plus a free nacho bar.*
I first fell in love with their drinks at a business dinner about a year ago. Then, a bunch of lobbyists started hosting events here when Regular Session started at the Texas Capitol. I couldn’t get enough. Imagine my delight when I found out about their amazing happy hour.
You can’t beat it. It’s super cheap and gosh, their margaritas are strong and delicious! They’re two bucks (and a half) a pop and you can get them on the rocks, frozen, and even with fruit flavor added at no extra charge. Oh, and did I mention you get a free nacho bar, too? And I mean a free nacho bar that has some pretty dang tasty ingredients — chips, queso, refried beans, ground beef, guacamole, pico, salsa, pickled jalapeño slices. You can basically eat your dinner there if you really wanted to. Second and third rounds (and maybe a fourth if you fancy), all free.
Thursdays, all day, dollar margaritas (frozen or on the rocks)
I’m not referring to El Arroyo’s regular happy hours (even though that’s pretty decent, too – where else can I get a skinny margarita for just $3.50?). I’m definitely referring to their Thursday special. Dollar margaritas. You know the drill. Get your coworkers out after work and get slizzzard (hah, just kidding, unless you’re serious). It’s extremely crowded though (in other words, very happenin’). Get ready to have your back soaked with sweat while waiting forever for tables. But word on the street is that it’s totally worth it and you can always get a double order margarita while you’re waiting!
Honorable mention: RED’S PORCH
The only reason why Red’s Porch is an honorable mention is because their happy hour house margaritas cost a bit more, at $3.25 each. Apparently though, they have 40 hours per week of happy hour time. It’s every weekday from 11am – 7pm. This is perfect if you have a day off of work or if your coworkers decide that you all want to get margaritas in the middle of the day (which I’m sure happens because it has happened to me once before and I’m normally pretty conservative with these things). But be careful, the portions are rather large – you get a glass goblet.
BEST FLAVORED MARGARITAS:
I can’t even begin. Waiter! Get me a sampler of everything on your margarita menu, please? Actually, can you tack on a full-sized version of your muddled peach and blueberry margarita with Milagro Silver? My mouth is watering like crazy. Guess what else? The food here is just to die for as well, and the atmosphere is lovely. Date night, anybody? I’ll be yours forever (that is, forever meaning the duration of the date). They also have a happy hour M-F 4pm – 7pm and Sunday 3pm – close where you can get house margaritas for $4 (not the best value but totally worth it for the taste, the food, and the ambience).
Yum! I typically get a mango, raspberry, and/or strawberry flavored margarita here (any combination, 1-3 flavors, depending on my mood). I swear they add the best fruit purees. I’ve never had better flavored margaritas anywhere else. But if you really want to get a good taste of their specially crafted margaritas, then I’d take a gander at their Specialty Margaritas menu. I’ve only had the Pura Vida Rita and The Don (both extremely tasty and I recommend only one drink per visit due to strength).
After my first time here, I kept saying, “Should’ve stopped at one.” Two margaritas here will take you over. The worst part of this is that Gloria’s margaritas are mighty tasty and not that large, so it’s entirely difficult to stop at one. The good part, though, is that they have this absolutely, ridiculously yummy purple-tinted black bean dip that comes with your chips and salsa (all free, by the way). It gives you more of a cushion in your tummy for your margarita consumption. It’s an awfully fancy restaurant, too, and you know how I love those. Though I think happy hour house margaritas are only $4, maybe $3? I can’t remember. If you’re downtown, feeling swanky, and not wanting to shell out too much cash, then you’ve got to come here. It’s a beautiful, classy place with knock-you-dead margaritas.
I was in total shock and awe when I first had one of Hopdoddy’s frozen margaritas. I mean, it’s a specialty burger place – who would’ve thought that the margarita would be just as tasty and potent as their burgers? I was expecting a watered-down, having-to-order-multiples frozen margarita. But gosh, I was so very wrong. It was heaven. Oh, and they garnish it with this beautifully chic black chunky salt on the rim. I do love aesthetic pleasure! Just don’t order more than one. You’ll be thrown over.
AND WHEN YOU’RE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD…
The college buddies get-together. Always familiar. Always a classic.
Additional places to get margaritas in Austin: 40 Places To Get A Margarita In Austin.
*Update: I previously thought the happy hour margaritas at Serranos were $2 each – they’re actually $2.50 each. Still a mighty good value if you ask me!