For Cinco de Mayo or any other occasion here are four restaurants/bars in Tampa Bay who make the best margaritas. Become familiar with the names of these places, locations and prices of this tequila based creation made famous in a popular song.
Little did Jimmy Buffet know his 1977 signature song “Margaritaville”, written after he toured Texas while enjoying their Margaritas, would eventually become a phenomenon. It is the drink of choice for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. What exactly is a margarita? It’s a tequila cocktail with orange liqueur and lime juice sometimes topped off with a salt rimmed glass.
Since tequila is the drink’s main ingredient this spirit is imported from Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is a commemoration of the Mexican army’s defeat of the French in 1862. That is the connection to Cinco de Mayo and margaritas. Buffet’s anthem about a delicious liquor drink was written in Key West, but further northwest from the Florida Keys are these excellent restaurant/bar establishments in Tampa Bay serving their unique take on margaritas.
Miguel’s Mexican Seafood & Grill
Located near downtown Tampa on W. Kennedy Boulevard and MacDill Avenue is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Tampa Bay. Not surprising their margaritas is served with premium tequila brands from Patron Silver or Don Julio Blanco or Jose Cuervo.
Their specialty margarita is Miguel’s Top Shelf. For $10.25 it consists of Cabo Wabo, Patron Citronge and Grand Marnier with a sour mix and topped with lime juice. The Jet Fuel margaritas are available on the rocks. By the glass it’s $6.25 and for a pitcher is $29.50. The frozen variation is $6.75 by the glass and $33 for a pitcher.
Address: 3035 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33609. Phone: (813) 876.2587
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Green Iguana Bar & Grill
If you want a party or fiesta atmosphere with your margaritas, especially on Cinco de Mayo, this is the place to be. Green Iguana is located at various hot spots in Tampa Bay such as Raymond James Stadium, Tampa’s entertainment and nightlife district of Ybor City, St. Pete, Brandon, North and South Tampa They offer only two options of margaritas, but they are worth savoring.
The famed Iguana’s Favorite Margarita, or “The Iggy’s” as the bartenders and regular patrons call it, features premium Patrón Citrónge, sweet and sour mix, and Rose’s lime juice at $7.50. Their Famous Margarita may be an acquired taste for some based on certain ingredients. Besides having Sauza Gold tequila also in the mix is fresh lemonade and beer. Check their website for a Green Iguana near you for addresses, phone numbers and hours.
Vallartas Restaurante Mexicano
For the consummate margarita lover this is for you. It may in fact be the only place in Tampa Bay serving up 60 oz. size margaritas. Vallartas has a variety of locations throughout North Tampa. Happy Hour is every day from 2-7 p.m. Beside their standard 12 oz. Lime and Strawberry flavors ($6 and $6.25) you can get the Jumbo (32 oz. at $10.50 and $11.99) and Monster (46 oz. at $12.99 and $14.50) sizes too. As for a Texas Style margarita at an additional cost this includes more tequila. Their 60 oz. Margarita! costs $24 and features Top Shelf Tequila, OJ and Grand Marnier in a big cocktail goblet. Check their website for a location near you to call for their hours.
Enjoy a margarita by the beach at this authentic cantina located in Indian Rocks Beach and another location in Tarpon Springs. You will truly experience Margaritaville here. The Indian Rocks Beach location features Mariachis every Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. On Thursdays and Sundays you can get their 2 x1 specials on margaritas. People come for their frozen margaritas in flavors such as strawberry and mango. Los Mexicanos also takes reservations. Location: 301 Gulf Blvd. Indian Rocks Beach, Florida 33785. Phone: (727) 596 5253. Hours: Monday – Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday 12-10 p.m.
Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet, Songfacts.com
Kenji Magrann-Wells, “What Is…a Margarita?,” The DailyMeal.com
Cinco de Mayo, History.com
Sgipson, “Margaritas? Please Sir May I Have Another?,” ClairmontOnTheGreen.com
Miguel’s Mexican Seafood & Grill, MiguelsCafe.com
Green Iguana Bar & Grill, GreenIguana.com
Stephanie Geary, “Best Margaritas in Tampa,” Tampa,CBSLocal.com
Vallartas Restaurante Mexicano Tampa, VallartasTampa.com
Los Mexicanos Mexican Restaurants, LosMexicanosRestaurant.com