Margaritas and summertime go together like bikinis on the beach and red beans and rice, but as any connoisseur of the tequila-fueled libation will tell you, all margaritas are NOT made equal.
But lovers of the ‘rita are fortunate that Galveston is a place where the margarita is taken very seriously. As a result, there are numerous restaurants and watering holes serving up some of the finest margaritas this side of Jalisco. It’s a difficult job, but somebody has to do it, so let’s take a look at five places serving up the best margs on the island.
Hotel Galvez Bar & Grill (2024 Seawall Blvd.)
“The thing that’s special about having a margarita made at the Hotel Galvez's Galvez Bar & Grill is that it's being made at a bar where the bartender who created the margarita once made his concoctions,” said Christine Hopkins, director of communications for the Hotel Galvez.
Legend has it that while working at the Old Galveston Bar, the original site of the bar at the Hotel Galvez, bartender Santos Cruz made the first margarita in the late 1940s for singer Peggy Lee. While the actual origins of the drink are the subject of much debate and conjecture, it’s a fact that this bar has been serving them for decades, has perfected the delicate balance of flavors and has the pedigree to prove it.
Squeeze Rita’s & Tequilas (3204 Seawall Blvd.)
With over 50 brands of tequilas to choose from, this popular island oasis takes margarita development to near scientific perfection. With each drink handcrafted by Mixologist Maryori Aceituno, Director of Operations Lauren Desormeaux says, “each specialty ‘rita offers a selection of flavor profiles to satisfy all.” Plus, their drinks range in size from 12 to 100 ounces!
Lucky Lounge (8305 Stewart Rd.)
The esteemed judges at the 2015 Texas Margarita Festival, held annually in Galveston, bestowed its “Best Margarita in Texas” honor on Lucky’s blueberry basil lemon margarita, and the first place finish was no fluke. Lucky Lounge has carved its place among the margarita cognoscenti by serving carefully crafted creations, in addition to its immensely popular Monday Margarita Madness that features $2 frozen margs. And its 380,000-song jukebox has its own fan club.
Tsunami’s Exotic Tequila Emporium (2314 Strand)
Located in The Strand District, Tsunami’s features over 45 tequilas, 12 styles of margaritas and is the place where tequila aficionados hang out. The staff knows its tequila and is always happy to help you make selections from the voluminous menu. You can even create your own margarita if you’re feeling adventurous.
Salsas Mexican & Seafood Restaurant (4604 Seawall Blvd.).
One of the finest Mexican restaurants in Galveston, this Seawall Blvd. mainstay features some of the best margaritas in town to go along with its awesome food and Gulf Coast ambience. In 2010, none other than Texas Monthly bestowed its “Best Margarita on the Island” honor on Salsas, which also features a spectacular view of the gulf that makes the world-beating margaritas go down even smoother.
Well, that’s my top five, but there are many other spots serving up great margaritas on the island just waiting for you to grab a cold glass and sample.