2018 Independent Winners

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  1. Matteo’s Salsa Loco, Fenwick Island, DE. There were so many new entrants this year, we thought someone would beat the Tresarita. But, with the entire staff voting, we couldn’t find one. Tres Amigos tequila and the proprietary margarita mix still deliver the best quality. We talked with Matt the owner, and he is going to risk everything in 2018 by changing the tequila to his own brand. So hurry and get the classic while you can!.
  2. Los Zarapes, Marlborough, MA. Located on a side street 30 minutes outside of Boston, a family run restaurant has a better tequila bar than you will find in the city. The Zarape’s namesake margarita is their best, made with Cazadores Reposado. But you could spend all night working with the excellent bar tenders creating new possibilities.
  3. Cusp Restaurant, La Jolla, CA. Part of the Hilton Curio collection, the Cusp restaurant offers amazing sunset views of La Jolla and the Pacific ocean. More importantly, it delivers an outstanding margarita made with Correlejo tequila and Gran Marnier. This one is served ice cold and is tart, making for the perfect ending to a day in paradise.
  4. El Pedregal, Los Cabos, MX. Sure, Cabo Wabo is less than a mile away, and all the spring breakers are welcome to drink what they’re serving. When you eat at this five star resort, the house margarita is made with Don Julio 70, a blend of two anjeos. Yet it’s not too dark, it’s very light and perfect for a hot day. Best of all, if you stay at the hotel, you get a free one when you check in!
  5. The Pony Room, Rancho Valencia, Del Mar, CA. Whether you sit inside or outside, you will be treated to an amazing margarita. It’s called “the Palomino” and is made with Siete Leguas Reposado and includes spiced vanilla, ginger and citrus. We usually only like the ingredient rule, but this is one exception we are happy to make!
  6. Consuelos, San Jose, CA. If you can, sit outside in El Jardin and take in the amazing sights and sounds of Santana Row. Or sit inside at Consuelos and marvel at the tequila selections. They make a great version using Cazadores Blanco, but this is another bar staff you can trust to be creative.
  7. Antojito’s, Orlando, FL. A newer addition to the Universal CityWalk, Antojito’s seems even more committed to a great margarita than it’s more famous neighbor, Margaritaville. Based on recommendations, our staff checked this place out only to find many good margaritas. Their favorite was “The Fresno” with Milagro Reposado, agave nectar, chili pepper and cilantro. For purists, try the “Fresh Margarita” with a good house Corazon or upgrade to one of the many excellent tequilas they have. Don’t miss the mariachi band for entertainment while you enjoy your beverage!
  8. Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar, San Francisco, CA. Of all the places on our list, we guarantee this is the most fun. Enjoy your margarita and watch the hula dancers come down on a barge while the “rain” falls from the ceiling – we are not kidding. Located in the basement of the Fairmont, this place is a total throwback to the 60’s. Is the margarita good? It’s good enough for you to put that crazy volcano shirt on.
  9. Holbert’s, Frankfurt, Germany. So, we know Germans are known for beer, but their version of a martini margarita got us to change our mind. Using 1800 Reposado with Gran Marnier, served in a martini glass neat, no ice.
  10. Cava del Tequila, Orlando, FL. Back on our list, this tequila bar in the heart of the Mexico exhibit in EPCOT remains a favorite. Don’t expect the ordinary as the staff loved the Jalapeno and Wild Passionfruit versions. There are many choices and this is not your parent’s theme park. Just get there at off hours, because the cave is packed at Happy Hour.

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