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Scottsdale's Best Margaritas

No tequila cocktail is as beloved as the margarita. While the tasty Tequila Sunrise or Paloma have their fans, it’s the margarita that has been crowned America’s favorite cocktail. For its legion of devotees, the margarita may conjure up Mexico’s white-sand beaches and lively cantinas. Here in Scottsdale, I think of poolside cabanas, Sonoran Desert sunsets and our wonderful Mexican restaurants.

Although its birthplace is recognized as Mexico, the origins of this libation are a bit murkier. One popular story has Pancho Morales inventing it in the border town of Juarez at Tommy’s Place for a woman named Margarita, another credits Carlos “Danny” Herrera of Rancho La Gloria mixing up the drink for showgirl Marjorie King, and a third purports that it was created in Tijuana for actress Rita Hayworth, whose real name was Margarita Cansino. Some surmise that it’s a Mexican variation of the Daisy group of old-school drinks (the Spanish word for daisy is margarita), while others point out it’s simply a Sidecar with tequila, substituting lime for lemon. 

Whatever the story, one thing is for sure. Sipping on a bright and refreshing margarita is the perfect way to enjoy our year-round patio weather. Join us on a tequila-fueled exploration of the best margaritas in Scottsdale.


La Hacienda at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

La Hacienda margarita

One of Scottsdale’s best Mexican restaurants, La Hacienda also houses a 200+ tequila collection to pair with its sophisticated menu. Embrace the flavors of the Southwest with creations such as the Serrano Margarita with an exclusive tequila infused in-house with fresh serrano chiles and pineapple, or the colorful Barbary Fig Margarita accented with hibiscus and sweet prickly pear cactus fruit.


The Herb Box

Herb Box Margarita

Known for its farm-fresh cuisine, The Herb Box curates its cocktail program just as thoughtfully. Take, for example, the bright and juicy flavors found in the Spicy Mango Margarita, which starts with 21 Seeds all-natural tequila infused with jalapeño and cucumber. The organic tequila’s subtle heat is tempered by puréed mango, fresh lime juice and agave nectar, crafting a tropical refresher rimmed with tajin and garnished with a slice of jalapeño.


CALA at Senna House Scottsdale

CALA margarita

Transport yourself to the Mediterranean at CALA, where the menu is as diverse as the coastal cities it captures. Cocktails reflect the vibrant food philosophy, so expect to find signature margaritas including the vivid Mykonos Margarita enhanced with blue curaçao or seasonal sippers such as a Coconut Margarita embellished with coconut syrup and toasted coconut and the Passionfruit Margarita graced with passionfruit syrup and adorned with a beautiful orchid.


Cien Agaves Tacos & Tequila

Cien Agaves margarita

Befitting a restaurant with “tequila” in its name, this lively Mexican cantina in Old Town Scottsdale boasts a margarita selection with more than a dozen variations, along with margarita flights and The Gigante in a sharable 56-oz mega glass. For frozen bliss with a French twist, order the Chambord Margarita swirled with black raspberry liqueur.


Prado at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Prado margarita

Spice up your sip at the Montelucia’s Spanish-style signature restaurant. Whether you’re admiring the restaurant’s décor inspired by Andalusian architecture, enjoying Camelback Mountain views on the patio, or relaxing in M Bar, the Camelback Cooler will fit the mood. A signature since it first appeared on Prado’s debut menu, this refreshing yet piquant margarita blends blanco tequila, lime juice and agave spiked with an herbaceous muddle of cucumber, cilantro and jalapeño chiles.


The House Brasserie

House brasserie margarita

Matching the charm of the restaurant’s location in an historic 1939 house and its award-winning patio is an acclaimed craft cocktail program that transforms with the seasons. Belly up to the cozy bar or settle in on the lush terrace while enjoying creative margarita riffs using unexpected flavor enhancers such as bell pepper syrup. Drinking your veggies never tasted so good.

Christina Barrueta is an award-winning food, beverage and travel writer who has written for publications such as Phoenix Home and Garden, WhereTraveler, and Time Out. The author of Arizona Wine: A History of Perseverance and Passion and Phoenix Cooks cookbook, she has been inducted into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame and recognized for awards including PHOENIX Magazine’s Best Food Blog. and Arizona Foothills magazine’s Favorite Food Website, Best Food Instagram, and Most Influential in Valley Food.