Nightlife

Where to get a margarita (or two) in Tempe, Arizona

Frozen or on the rocks, we love all Margaritas

Let’s be real. National Margarita Day shouldn’t be limited to just one day… but it is a day where you can drink as many margaritas (responsibly) without the judgement of others because, “…it’s National Margarita Day, guys!” This year, it’s February 22, 2021.

I ventured out on the streets of Tempe to find the best options for you to celebrate this revered holiday. You’re welcome. I’ve had my fair share of margaritas in all their glorious forms (on the rocks or frozen, with salt or sugar, and house or specialty). My poor liver just wouldn’t be the same without the wide variety of margaritas.

Most popular in Arizona, you’ll find each place has their own tasty version of Prickly Pear Margarita. In all honesty, I usually get it just to see how pink it is going to be at that particular place, as you’ll notice there’s a variation of a blush pink all the way to electric, 80’s pink. I personally look for the pink that is MOST Instagrammable. #millennial #doitforthegram

Another trend you will find is a spicy margarita, whether it be habanero, jalapeño or chili. Your mouth will be watering in more ways than one. Not only do they look so delicious and dangerous at the same time, but the spice or smoky just might make you wince. Some of these spicy margaritas aren’t for the faint of heart. As for me? I L-O-V-E spicy.

Here’s a quick roundup of the best margaritas in Tempe.

Illegal Pete’s 

525 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (623) 233-4311
Illegal Pete’s is a fun place with incredible patio space to knock out several margaritas. They want to celebrate National Margarita Day with an awesome special! Coin Style Margs made with Pete’s Patrón—Patrón reposado selected by Pete, himself—will be just $5 all day long (while supplies last). I personally love to pair their Chicken Quesadilla with any margarita because it allows me to reach all my food pyramid needs.

photo credit/permission @illegalpetesmill

Social Hall

715 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 747-3851
This local hub serves great food and craft cocktails inspired by Latin America and the U.S. When I can, I hang out on the patio to enjoy drinks around the fire pits with a group of friends. This spot is also filled with photo-ops including lounging on the hammocks outside or under their iconic neon vibes light against the palm wallpaper. I recently tried their Spicy Strawberry Margarita and loved it (so much that I had two… but who’s counting?).


Snakes & Lattes Tempe

20 W. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 361-6644
Drinking… games… drinking games?! Snakes & Lattes in Downtown Tempe is a game haven with more than 1,000 board games from cards to strategy. We’ve spent hours here unashamed because with this cool atmosphere, two patios that are pet-friendly and array of food and beverage options, who could blame us. A one-time game fee per day gets you unlimited access to their games. Quick recommendation – we absolutely love their poutine and lattes, but for those adult libations, may we suggest one of their blended margaritas? How about the Blended Mango Margarita?! Delish. I consider this my fruit serving for the day, and you should too. I am kidding. I’m not a licensed nutritionist, this is for fun and games. They do offer a great selection of local beers, wines on tap and even ciders are on rotation. Their ever-changing selection of adult beverages makes it a place you have to try monthly, if not weekly.

Tacos and margaritas at Snakes and Lattes Tempe
photo credit/permission @snakesandlattestempe

Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant

Arizona Mills, 5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 838-9610
1706 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 838-1005
The margarita options are almost endless here. Choose from a Skinny Margarita, that’s under 100 calories, Blackberry Citrus, Strawberry Mango, Caribbean Blue and the Cilantro Mango Cucumber, a combo of 1800 Silver Tequila, muddled cucumber, cilantro, mango puree and chili powder, shaken to perfection. And, that’s just the beginning of the full list.

GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina

920 E. University Dr. #204, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 219-9272
With National Margarita Day coming up on February 22, GuacStar has five delicious ways to celebrate: the classic La Casa ($6), spicy Tropical Heat ($9), CBD-infused Spanish Fly ($15), fruity Erotic Exotic ($9) and frozen Amorita ($9). To soak up that margarita goodness we recommend trying their enchiladas, nachos or tacos. All are delicious and all are vegan but you’d never know it!

photo courtesy of GuacStar

Culinary Dropout

149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 240-1601
If Jimmy Buffet had described his choice of margarita in the infamous “Magaritaville” hit, he would be talking about the Pink Cadillac from Culinary Dropout! Not only does it have refreshing pink coloring, but it also has a great taste. This knock-you-off-your-feet margarita encompasses silver tequila, three citrus sour, prickly pear curaçao and yuzu. Enjoy your beverage while lounging on Culinary Dropout’s over-sized patio with corn-hole games, ping pong tables and live music on the weekends – all illuminated under twinkling lights!

Loco Patron

222 S. Mill Ave. #115, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 699-0922
Our neighbors at Loco Patron offer incredible taco and margarita specials often and is a great place to enjoy Arizona’s patio weather and watch ASU sports of course! A must-try margarita, you need to get their Arizona Iceberg. And, while you may laugh at the idea of Arizona having icebergs, this drink is no joke. They take a pint of Dos XX and top it with their blended house margarita. Give it a try next time you go, or choose one of their other great margaritas like the Limon y Chile (you know I like smoky/spicy margaritas) or the Mango Habanero.

Beer Margarita drink at Loco Patron
photo courtesy of Loco Patron Tempe

Barrio Queen

Tempe Marketplace, 31 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 912-4052
Barrio Queen has become a staple of our diet with its location at Tempe Marketplace which opened in 2020. We love the design, massive patio and beautiful mural outside welcoming you to the restaurant. With a dozen margaritas to choose from, you’re sure to fall in love with tequila or at least find a new way to love it. Barrio Queen is shaking it up with $2 off specialty margaritas all day long. Plus, the restaurants have Don Julio sampling on the following days leading up to the holiday, with the Tempe location sampling on Monday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sign us up!

Sunbar Tempe

24 W. 5th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 687-8409
This new kid on the block did not miss a beat on the margarita game. If you are a kombucha fanatic or just want to try a fun new drink, the Sunbar Margarita is something you need to get your hands on. A margarita is already an amazing cocktail on its own but adding fizzy, fermented watermelon wonder kombucha to it? Talk about refreshing! It’s just the perfect afternoon drink for the upcoming hot days ahead. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself on their spacious outdoor patio.

Margarita at Sunbar Tempe
Sunbar Tempe

Thirsty Lion Gastropub 

Tempe Marketplace, 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. #1041, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-2920
Margaritas + Shopping? Yes, please! Let Thirsty Lion Gastropub at Tempe Marketplace quench your thirst for the finer things. Their Signature Blood Orange Margarita is an exceptional twist on a classic drink. P.S. it’s so pretty! Blood Orange is also very Arizona of us to have — citrus is one of our specialties. If you haven’t seen (or tasted) a blood orange, do it. ASAP. It’s nice to walk off the food and drinks afterwards by strolling through The District at Tempe Marketplace. Here, you’ll find lots of shopping, places for a sweet treat or go bar hopping at other eateries. Earn those calories!


Ghost Ranch

1006 E. Warner Rd. #102-103, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 474-4328
I’m obsessed with Ghost Ranch. The décor and the food are exploding with gorgeous colors. I recently went there with a group of friends and tried their oh so delicious Prickly Pear Frozé (pictured). You read that right… Prickly Pear Frozé is that perfect drink blending a quality blanco tequila with rosé, prickly pear and lime. When the team at Ghost Ranch described it to me… I about died and then quickly demanded it. “It’s a frozen margarita that fell in love with a glass of cold rosé and had the most perfect, well-balanced, cocktail baby.” Tell me that does not make you want to try this very photogenic drink!! I dare you.

Ghost Ranch in Tempe
Ghost Ranch – credit/permission @monicagoesshow

Pedal Haus Brewery

730 S. Mill Ave. #102, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 314-2337
Voted one of the “15 Best Patios in Phoenix” by azcentral.com, Pedal Haus is a cool place to hang out from the inside out. Their Haus Margarita features Sauza Blue Weber Agave Tequila, Haus made sweet & sour, orange liqueur, and a half rim of salt. Get one for just $5 during happy hour, from 3-6:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. I usually go hard on their appetizer lists because all starters are $2 off, then I get a marg to round out the meal. After work or on the weekend, I’ll often find myself lounging in the fold up patio furniture around the fire pit with great friends. Don’t mind if I do.

Gertrude’s at Desert Botanical Garden

1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ 85008 | (480) 719-8600
A sprawling, shaded patio nestled in the beautiful desert, you’ll find Getrude’s located at the Desert Botanical Garden. Whether you’re heading into the Garden or just wanting to enjoy a wonderful meal, you must try their oh-so-vibrant, Dragonfruit Margarita! We love the gorgeous color and the flavors are so refreshing. Don’t forget about their Rose Sangria if tequila isn’t your favorite!

drinks at Desert Botanical Garden
Getrude’s – photo credit/permission @jeanieann

Where will you be heading for National Margarita Day in Tempe?

Here’s a list of where to get a margarita in Tempe:

  • Illegal Pete’s *has great extended patio
  • Social Hall *has great patio
  • Snakes & Lattes Tempe *has great patio
  • Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant *has great patio at South Tempe location
  • GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina
  • Culinary Dropout at The Yard *has great patio
  • Loco Patron Tempe *has great patio
  • Barrio Queen *has great patio
  • Sunbar Tempe *has great patio
  • Thirsty Lion Gastropub *has great patio
  • Ghost Ranch
  • Pedal Haus Brewery *has great patio
  • Gertrude’s *has great patio
  • La Fonda Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
  • Fuzzy’s Taco Shop *has great patio
  • Los Reye de la Torta
  • Casa Reynoso
  • Maskadores Taco Shop
  • Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup

Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @tempetourism #ourtempe #nationalmargaritaday
National Margarita Day is February 22!

Reminder: Please drink responsibly. Do not drink and drive. These are recommendations of places to enjoy great Margaritas, not necessarily featuring National Margarita Day specials. Call restaurant for more information about their current specials.

#ourtempe

Tag us in your photos @TempeTourism or use #OurTempe.

Rachel Semik
Written Rachel Semik

Lover of all things social media and staying in the know, you'll find Content Strategist/ASU Alumni, Rachel out devouring ice cream sandwiches and tasting her way through Tempe's margarita scene.