What with the third weekend of February being National Margarita Weekend, we have a few crisp, citrusy tequila cocktails on the calendar. Inclined to add the same plan to your schedule? Let’s make ’em good ones.
Finding the best margaritas in Nashville is, of course, as subjective as any other food or drink choice. But since we’ve explored a healthy share of Nashville restaurants and bars, we have a pretty solid bead on where you’ll get the right stuff in the margarita universe: good tequila, fresh citrus, a confident balance and, if you’re into it, a fair share of creativity and maybe a little bit of spice.
Below, some of our main-squeeze Nashville margaritas:
7 of the best margaritas you’ll find in Nashville
201 3rd Ave. S., Downtown Nashville
We host Walk Eat Nashville food tours in Downtown Nashville, and spend a fair amount of time at Mexican street food spot Bakersfield. Conveniently, the restaurant also happens to serve our team’s favorite margarita — both the house Bakersfield Margarita and (especially) the top-shelf Premium Margarita are perfect executions of a classic, with fresh citrus and agave nectar, balanced just right. It’s definitely not just us in the fan club, either: In 2018, Bakersfield had one of the 10 best-reviewed margaritas in the country, based on Yelpers’ opinions.
104 5th Ave. S., Downtown Nashville
At Pancho and Lefty’s (another Downtown Nashville spot), they put a Nashville twist on classic Mexican street food — it’s a key choice if you’re craving hot chicken tacos, and one of the few places in Nashville where you can score great eggy, cheesy Migas. They also make a mean margarita. A favorite: The P&L Main Squeeze Margarita, sweetened with orange juice and, if you like, given a kick with fresh jalapeño.
2905B Gallatin Pike, East Nashville
Among East Nashville’s most crafty craft-cocktail spots, the Fox Bar is always good for a surprise — say, a cocktail with banana and avocado, or mixing mezcal and Green Chartreuse with carrot and turmeric. So, naturally, the folks at the Fox mix up something refreshing on the margarita front too: an on-tap Garden Margarita, spiced up via Ancho Reyes Verde liqueur (made with poblano chiles) and infused with extra-fresh flavor courtesy of bell pepper, avocado and cilantro.
2909B Gallatin Pike, East Nashville
Margarita hunting can be an expensive endeavor in a growing craft-cocktails town like Nashville, where a single mixologist-mixed drink routinely runs $12 to $15. Which is why Walden’s approach — a focus on on-tap cocktails, $10 and under — is an (appropriate, given the name) breath of fresh air. Their house margarita is classic — Lunazul blanco tequila with Merlet Trois Citrus triple sec, lime, lemon, simple and soda — done right, and priced at a comparatively approachable $8. Added money-saving pro tip: If you decide to skip National Margarita Weekend and wait, they do $5 margaritas on Tuesdays.
2526 12th Ave. S., 12 South
Any cocktail lover who turns his or her nose up at chain restaurants should tilt the nose back down a bit for Bartaco, whose staff skips no steps when it comes to margarita construction — they squeeze fresh limes right into the shaker, making a fresh and balanced drink. Ask for the spicy margarita, and they’ll throw some fresh jalapeños in too, for a killer kick.
1120 McGavock St., The Gulch
If you really like it hot, you’ll find few better options than the Pepe’s Picante Pepino margarita at Gulch spot Saint Anejo, made with scorching Hellfire Habanero bitters, balanced by cucumber-infused tequila blanco. If hot isn’t your preference, you’ll still have plenty of options on the broad margarita menu there, from a fresh and floral Jalisco Flower margarita with lavender, ginger and rosemary, to a fresh/sweet La Conquista with mango, honey and mint.
1200 Villa Place, Edgehill Village
Margaritas are delicious. Margaritas aren’t usually the most diet-friendly beverage, though — and, sadly, low-cal or “skinny” marg offerings tend to have a Mountain Dew-spiked-with-nailpolish-remover quality. Not the ones at the Nashville outpost of Taco Mamacita, though. TM’s Skinny Margaritas are based on a house-made, Splenda-sweetened citrus base, fresh-squeezed lime, and a good pour of Sauza Silver Tequila, so they’re big on flavor even if they're small on calories (150 a marg). If you’re counting pennies and counting calories, another pro tip: Wednesdays are two-for-one days, and you can snag Skinnys, the classic Elvez or OJ-juiced El Camino margaritas.
Hope one (or several) of these help you do National Margarita Weekend right in Nashville.
Looking for a way to explore the best food in Nashville? Walk Eat Nashville walking food tours make it easy — covering East Nashville, Midtown and SoBro/Downtown, each tour includes tastings at multiple restaurants/shops and behind-the-scenes interactions with chefs and owners. Learn more about Walk Eat Nashville food tours.