Best of Miami

The Ten Best Margaritas in Miami

The Ten Best Margaritas in Miami
Courtesy of Bodega
When it comes to refreshing alcoholic beverages, few concoctions compete with the margarita. The mojito aside, the margarita is practically the unofficial drink of South Florida, and it's the only cocktail with its own hotel and lifestyle named after it, thanks to Jimmy Buffett.

Of course, Floridians don't need an excuse to relax and sip a cold one. Margaritas are year-round here. Every variation begins with a good tequila; then it's up to the bartender to add a touch of flair. Here are the ten best in Miami.
CANDACEWEST.COM
CandaceWest.com

The Bazaar by José Andrés

1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
305-455-2999
sbe.com

Chef José Andrés loves to play with his food. He adds whimsical touches to his dishes to create memorable bites. It's no wonder, then, that the same care is taken with his restaurant's margaritas ($14 to $16). A classic cocktail is graced with a touch of salt "air" — a briny foam that makes it seem as if the cocktail were kissed by a mermaid.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF BODEGA
Courtesy of Bodega

Bodega

1220 16th St., Miami Beach
305-704-2145
bodegasouthbeach.com

Try the Pico Picante ($13), Bodega's version of a margarita. It's made with Maestro Dobel tequila, Ilegal Joven mezcal, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeño, lime, and orange bitters and comes garnished with sliced cucumber.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF GIANNI'S
Courtesy of Gianni's

Gianni's at the Villa

1116 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
786-485-2200
vmmiamibeach.com

At Gianni's at the Villa, go big with the 24 Karat Golden Margarita ($24), prepared using gold-infused El Cartel tequila, Grand Marnier, and fresh orange and lime juices. It's poured over ice and finished with a salt rim and gold flakes.
click to enlarge W SOUTH BEACH
W South Beach

Living Room at W South Beach

2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
305-938-3000
marriott.com

The pineapple roast margarita at Living Room starts with homemade roasted pineapple juice that lends a caramelized flavor. Tequila reposado and lime are added. Finally, the shaken elixir is poured into a glass with a chili-pepper rim and garnished with a slice of pineapple.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF MAKOTO
Courtesy of Makoto

Makoto

9700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
305-864-8600
makoto-restaurant.com

Makoto's grilled pineapple margarita ($14) is the perfect complement to the restaurant's Asian flavors. For its margarita, Makoto infuses tequila with grilled pineapple and tinges it with cilantro. A spicy-salty rim seals the deal.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF MARGARITAVILLE
Courtesy of Margaritaville

Margaritaville

1111 N. Ocean Dr., Hollywood
954-874-4444
margaritavillehollywoodbeachresort.com

Every day is a perfect day to enjoy a margarita. They abound at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, where they run $8 to $15. Try the classic Booze in the Blender, which comes in a novelty blender for you to keep if you're a die-hard Parrot Head.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF REGENT COCKTAIL CLUB
Courtesy of Regent Cocktail Club

Regent Cocktail Club

1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
786-975-2550
regentcocktailclub.com

Regent Cocktail Club's version ($15) is a fresh take on the classic. After a generous pour of tequila, it calls for mint, lime, and bubbles. Add the Regent's dim, classy setting, and you have a sexy, warm experience unlike any other.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF SOCAL
Courtesy of SoCal

SoCal

1000 S. Miami Ave., Miami
754-600-1045
socal-taco.com

Barman Leo Holtzman's Gardner's margarita ($11) at SoCal is a gorgeous rose-hued drink that gets its name (and freshness) from red bell peppers, cucumbers, and serrano chilies. Herradura tequila is used in this perfectly sweet and savory cocktail. 
Strawberry basil margarita - CADANCEWEST.COM
Strawberry basil margarita
CadanceWest.com

TacoCraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar

5829 SW 73rd St., South Miami
305-668-5612
tacocraft.com

Life is short: Eat tacos and drink tequila. Well, at least that's what you can do at TacoCraft, which offers more than 150 tequilas and mezcals for your margarita (prices vary). Visit Monday for $5 margaritas.
click to enlarge Taquiza margarita - NICOLE GARCIA
Taquiza margarita
Nicole Garcia

Taquiza

7450 Ocean Ter., Miami Beach
786-588-4755
taquizatacos.com

Steve Santana's taqueria also serves some of the best margaritas in town. The cocktails are custom-made with fresh fruit and herbs. A strawberry margarita here contains fresh berries, not purée. A classic margarita starts at $10, but go during happy hour (4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday) and the drinks are half-priced.
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Clarissa Buch is a reporter and food critic who has covered Miami for more than half a decade. Her work focuses on food and culture (and food culture).
Contact: Clarissa Buch
Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss