Summertime Margaritas

By Jeffrey Totey

Some margarita connoisseurs or purists will balk at the idea of a “frozen” margarita comparing them to nothing more than a Slurpee with alcohol. But even they might be easily persuaded to think differently trying one of the following concoctions on one of Seattle’s (rare) super hot days during the summer. The icy-cold drinks will cool you down in a hurry allowing you to “chill” and enjoy the afternoon or evening. Here are five of the best locations to enjoy such an offering:

Red Star Taco Bar
513 N. 36th St., Suite E.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 258-3087

The story goes that “A team of individuals with diverse backgrounds and a shared love of tacos came together through a series of fortunate events to create our humble taco bar” states the Red Star Taco Bar website. The price is right here as well. You’ll find a variety of “Margarita Slushies” (in lime, mango, peach, strawberry, raspberry or pomegranate) for just $6 each. These tasty treats are a nice compliment to Red Star’s large variety of tacos which they offer up 3 for $8 or 4 for $11. These include their breakfast tacos (scrambled eggs, chorizo or bacon and served with pico and salsa verde), tortilla chip-crusted catfish, blacked Alaskan rockfish, shredded beef, bacon, sriracha honey tofu and a bunch more. Red Star Taco Bar is open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. every day.

Mama’s Cantina
2234 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 728-6262

Mama’s Cantina serves their house-made frozen margaritas in peach, raspberry or mango flavors in salted rim glasses and garnished with a lime wedge. For those who prefer the traditional margaritas, they serve those too with a delightful blend of Lunazul tequila, triple sec and house-made sweet & sour. Both sell for $8 but come to one of their happy hours from 4:00-6:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m.-midnight and enjoy them for just $5. Mama’s has been “serving food from the heart” since 1974 and are known for their hearty plates of chiles rellenos, posole, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and nachos “as tall as the Space Needle.”

Barrio Mexican Kitchen & Bar
1420 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 588-8105

Perhaps the most unique versions of frozen margaritas will be found at Barrio Mexican Kitchen & Bar. Here you’ll find the Frozen Strawberry and Basil which is made with Blanco tequila and strawberry-basil shrub with lime. Add a mexcal float for a buck more or a green chartreuse float for $2. Barrio also offer four other house-made margaritas, cocktails, beer, wine, etc. Of course, the other reason to stop here is the food. Specials include their Carne Asada (grass-fed skirt steak, spice rubbed and grilled with roasted pepper), Smoked Mushroom & Kale Enchiladas (oaxaca and jack cheeses, roasted pepper and onion rajas) and the Chipotle Braised Chicken Enchiladas (jack and oaxaca cheese, crema and roasted pepper and onion rajas).

Related: Best Signature Drinks in Seattle

Cantina Lena
2101 5th Ave.
Seattle WA 98121
(206) 519-5723

Located next door to the downtown Cinarama movie theater, Cantina Leña features a number a interesting sounding beverages including their signature frozen margarita which is said to be made with “casa pacific blanco, salt and brain freeze.” In addition, they offer quite a large variety of non-alcoholic beverages on their menu as well including Jarritos (mandarin, tamarind, strawberry, pineapple, lime, agave and mineral water), the Classic Horchata (almond and rice milk and cinnamon) and the Meidanoche (half Starbucks cold brew coffee and half classic Horchata). Cantina Lena is known for their Yucatan-inspired dishes made with fresh Northwest ingredients making their food the best of both worlds.

Nacho Borracho
209 Broadway E.
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 466-2434

Nacho Borracho’s slushie-styled margaritas made Zagat’s #1 choice for “5 margaritas you’ve got to try in Seattle.” The flavors and varieties of the margaritas change often but you’ll have a hard time finding one similar to the tart avocado margarita made with lime, but they warn “those pint glasses go down easy and they’re strong.” They recommend having one with the bar’s signature Totchos which is basically tater tots smothered in cheese, onions, salsa and guacamole.

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