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Not Bored in DCNot Bored in DC Things to do, eat, and know in Washington, DC

Best Margaritas in Washington DC for 2024, by Category

Washington, DC isn’t just the heart of American politics, it has an incredible cocktail scene that could rival any across the nation. If you’re on the hunt for the best margaritas in Washington DC, you’ve come to the right place. I love margaritas and have tasted over 100 across the city, and these are the best.

Whether you’re looking for a margarita that will get you rocked, a margarita to pair with tableside guacamole, or the best happy hour deals for margaritas, I’ve got you covered.


My expert opinion on the best margaritas in DC: spicy margs, margarita happy hours, and everything in between #greenscreen #washingtondc #dmvfoodie

♬ original sound – not bored in DC | valerie

Best Strong Margarita

El Rey

Drinking a margarita at El Rey is like getting into a time machine, because you will teleport into the future. El Rey stands as the undisputed champion of strong margaritas. In the heart of the U Street, this spot built from shipping containers doesn’t play around when it comes to delivering a margarita that packs a wallop. Their signature margarita is not just a drink; it’s an experience: bold, straightforward, and without any frills. It’s the perfect choice for those who like tasty drinks and prefer their cocktail with a bit more kick.

El Rey, 919 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

Best Spicy Margaritas

A refreshing spicy margarita with a lime wheel garnish sits on a table at BKK Cookshop and is the best spicy margarita in Washington DC, accompanied by a background of a potted plant with long green leaves.
BKK Cookshop’s Thai Chili Mango Margarita (RIP)

After my favorite spot for a spicy margarita, BKK Cookshop, closed down in March 2024, I’ve been searching for a new definitive favorite, but haven’t found one yet.

Spicy margaritas are hard to make right. Too often, a bar will rely on a spicy rim to bring the heat to a spicy margarita.

The Hot Honey Spicy Margarita at Honeymoon Chicken in Petworth has both a spicy drink and a spicy rim. The spices on the rim are a bit savory and would accompany their Michelin Bib Gourmand fried chicken well. It’s a good option, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best.

More research is clearly needed. Stay tuned.

Best Swirl Margarita

Lauriol Plaza

Next up, we have Lauriol Plaza, a nostalgic classic that’s best known for its frozen margaritas on outdoor space. Situated in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, Lauriol Plaza is where you go when you want your margarita with a twist–literally. Their swirl margaritas are a fun pop of color, tasty, and exactly what you want when sitting on their rooftop or patio. It’s the perfect treat for those hot and humid DC evenings when you still want to be outside or a sunny weekend brunch.

Lauriol Plaza, 1835 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Best Margarita Happy Hour

A hand holding a frozen margarita topped with a fruit slice, with another classic margarita cheersing on the patio of Republic Cantina in Washington DC, in front of the Outlaw Hour menu during happy hour.

Republic Cantina

If you’re all about snagging a great deal (who isn’t?), then Republic Cantina’s happy hour (or as they call it, Outlaw Hour) is your must-visit destination. Located in the Truxton Circle, this spot offers the best value happy hour that will have you coming back for more. Their margaritas are truly crafted, with the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and salty.

I love a good happy hour deal on food, and Republic Cantina has great food deals, along with a late night happy hour on weekends. Happy hour runs from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on weekdays, plus 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Get margs for $8-10 during happy hour, and deals on queso, nachos, and frito pie. It’s a laid-back, friendly spot with a patio and indoor seating.

Republic Cantina, 43 N St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Best Tamarind Margarita

Close-up of a salt-rimmed, chilled glass of a tamarind margarita at El Rinconcito II in Washington DC, garnished with a lemon slice, served on a patio table with soft daylight enhancing its vibrant orange color.

El Rinconcito II

My favorite type of margarita is a tamarind margarita. If you’re like me and enjoy the tangy spice of tamarind margaritas, El Rinconcito II in Columbia Heights has the best in town. This cozy, unassuming neighborhood spot is where locals go for a taste of Central American and Mexican cuisine, accompanied by an inventive drinks menu.

The tamarind margarita, with its tangy, sweet-and-sour profile, is a standout, and not overly sweet. It’s the perfect accompaniment to their food (I can’t resist their nachos), or just as wonderful enjoyed on its own.

El Rinconcito II, 1326 Park Rd NW, Washington, DC 20010

Best Margarita & Guacamole Combo

A margarita with a chili-salt rim in a blue glass next to a stone molcajete filled with fresh guacamole topped with cheese, accompanied by a bowl of red salsa, set on the Oyamel bar counter in Washington DC


Oyamel isn’t cheap, but it’s good. José Andrés opened this Mexican restaurant years ago, and it became known for its fresh made-to-order guacamole (generally made table side). If you want the ultimate margs and guac experience, Oyamel in Penn Quarter is it. It’s an experience that’s as much about the taste as it is about the atmosphere and the experience.

Oyamel, 401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Best Variety of Margarita Flavors

El Chucho

For those who like to try creative flavors and switch it up, El Chucho will feel like a dream. This Columbia Heights spot boasts a margarita menu that offers an host of flavors that range from the classic to the unconventional. Whether you’re in the mood for something fruity, spicy, or just something different, El Chucho has a margarita to match. It’s the perfect spot for the indecisive drinker or anyone looking to to try a rainbow of margaritas.

El Chucho, 3313 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010

Best Margarita & Taco Combo


For those who want the classic combo of tacos and margs, Mezcalero is your best bet. This Columbia Heights spot is known not just for its authentic Mexican fare but also for how perfectly it all pairs with their margaritas. They have a wide variety of taco options for whatever your tastes (including huitlacoche, a delicacy of a fungus that grows on corn). They are one of my favorite spots for brunch, where I always get the chilaquiles, but for night time, I always have to get a variety of tacos.

Mezcalero, 3714 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010

Best Margaritas in Washington DC

Washington, DC is a city full of monuments, museums, and margaritas. Nearly every restaurant has a margarita on its menu, but not every restaurant has earned the title of the best margaritas in Washington DC.

There’s a margarita for every taste and mood, from the strongest of sips at El Rey to the heat of BKK Cookshop, each spot offers a unique take on margaritas. Work your way through the list and let me know what you think!

Was there a spot that I missed? Let me know where you think has the best margaritas in DC!

Valerie Moore

Having lived in Washington, DC for the past 16 years, Valerie has a lot of thoughts about the best things to do, eat, and know around the city. She loves doing deep dives into the interesting things she finds, and sharing with the world. You'll often find her dog, Lil Mikey, along for the ride.

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