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Best of Toronto

The Best Margaritas in Toronto

Posted by Jen Hunter / April 30, 2014

margaritas torontoThe best margaritas in Toronto have improved dramatically with the addition of a number of excellent tequileiras to the city over the last couple of years. Since the opening of Lower Ossington mainstay Reposado, newer spots such as El Catrin, Fonda Lola and El Caballito have lent some serious clout to the equation.

But what makes a good margarita? None of the offerings listed here will resemble the frozen slushie of bar mix and El Cheapo that you might see on vacation. In fact, it seems that most bars have embraced the use of premium blue agave tequila, with Toronto's Tromba featuring heavily on lists around the city.

Here are the best margaritas in Toronto.

See also:

The top 5 tequila bars and restaurants in Toronto
The Best Cocktails in Toronto
The Best Mexican Restaurants in Toronto

Playa Cabana Hacienda

Playa Cabana Hacienda

There are four locations in the Playa Cabana chain, which looks increasingly like it's growing into an empire of Mexican-inspired restaurants. Hacienda is located at Dupont and Avenue in the Annex, and features a rustic atmosphere, bar snack-sized plates of tacos and tostadas, and an extensive bar list showcasing Mexican beers and tequilas. The top flight margarita is a must try, made with Patron Anejo, St. Germaine elderflower liqueur, Grand Marnier and fresh lime. More »

Reposado

Reposado

Reposado has been the go-to spot for tequila and mezcal aficionados since opening its doors on the Lower Ossington strip more than eight years ago. With a selection of over 130 bottles to choose from (and an extensively educated bar team to teach you all about them), a great back patio, live music, and delicious tapas, it makes for an excellent spot to imbibe. More »

La Carnita

La Carnita

With graffiti on the walls, hip hop on the stereo and great tacos at the pass, this College and Palmerston spot has become something of a reliable weeknight hangout for locals. The small but impressive tequila list has a few gems at prices that won't break the bank. Look out for Tromba margaritas on tap or barrel-aged (if you can catch them before they run out). More »

Grand Electric

Grand Electric

This Parkdale gem has been drawing patient crowds (who'll often wait up to two-and-a-half hours for a spot at the bar) since opening over two years ago. With a great selection of meat, veggie and fish tacos, plus some outrageously great specials, it's become something of a must-try for cheap eats fans. The bar boasts an impressive bourbon list, although they also make a few stiff and delicious tequila based drinks including a Margarita, Paloma or the spicy El Chili Verde. More »

El Catrin

El Catrin

This large and impressive-looking restaurant in the Distillery district has a vast tequila and mezcal list, with over 90 to choose from, offering some reasonable tasting flight options to boot. There's also a huge selection of tequila cocktails to choose from. Try one of the margaritas on offer on the heated patio. A favorite is the Frutas Fresca, a blend of fresh fruit (of your choice), Tromba Blanco and Patron Citronge. All are available by the glass or pitcher for sharing. More »

Drake Hotel

Drake Hotel

The Drake has one of the city's most revered bar programs, with many of the greatest bartenders in the city getting their start (or still working) at this landmark located at Queen and Beaconsfield. It's no surprise that they also make a great margarita, especially if it's being enjoyed on the rooftop patio on a warm afternoon or evening. More »

No One Writes To The Colonel

No One Writes To The Colonel

This friendly neighbourhood bar at College and Bathurst has a relaxed retro lounge vibe with a quaint front patio. The bar distinguishes itself from other bars in the area with nightly DJs spinning esoteric vinyl finds, while the cocktail list gives classics a little makeover for a reasonable price. As for the margaritas, there's a rotating menu of fresh-fruit choices, including peach, strawberry, pineapple, papaya and lime. More »

Ruby Watchco

Ruby Watchco

This locavore Riverside restaurant owned by celeb chef Lynn Crawford has been a popular East End restaurant for several years. Known for their prix-fixe family-style dining, they've excelled at making guests feel like they're right at home, but with better ingredients and decor. Like the menu, the cocktails are also changing regularly, and are crafted with the same flair and imagination. More »

Valdez

Valdez

This King St. restaurant boasts one of the best rooftop patios in the city, with sliding covers to protect revellers in inclement weather. It also plays host to a mean spot to enjoy a margarita, with excellent happy hour specials and an open-air barbecue in the warmer months, not to mention great of snacks all year round. More »

Fonda Lola

Fonda Lola

This traditional Mexico City cantina on Queen West has been creating quite a buzz in the neighbourhood since opening in late 2013. The simplistic but elegant take on classic Mexican dishes as well as the homey and inviting service makes it hard to get a seat on a weekend. The margaritas have the same appeal - the combo of maple water, maple syrup, fingerling lime, and one of the many tequilas on hand makes it hard to stick to just one. More »

Pacific Junction Hotel

Pacific Junction Hotel

Contrary to its name, this is not a hotel at all, but an island themed bar on King East featuring an interesting selection of Tequila, mezcal and rum. The decor is fun, from old oil drum bar stools to a bathtub banquette. Several takes of the margarita are on offer, including the top-secret Pacific Margarita or the Supercharged, made with Tequila, Averna and Red Bull. More »

Aft Kitchen and Bar

Aft Kitchen and Bar

This Queen and Broadview gem has a relaxed aesthetic, lots of beautiful wooden fixtures (thanks to the Brothers Dressler) and a healthy range of bourbon and scotch behind the bar. The BBQ menu on the weekends is a must-try, as well as their bar program, which adds smoke to virtually everything it touches, including the Smoked Blueberry Margarita, made with blueberries, basil and tequila. More »

Discussion

7 Comments

Craster / April 30, 2014 at 03:17 pm
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What about Vasquez on Richmond?
Kev / April 30, 2014 at 03:32 pm
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Lot Street at Queen and Bathurst! their spicy jalapeno margarita is amazing
DeePee / April 30, 2014 at 04:32 pm
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El Caballito is not worth the time. We were there a few weeks ago before a show next door, and the food is ridiculously overpriced. The soup INSANELY salty. The don't even serve coffe or tea to have with your dessert. AVOID!
yuck / April 30, 2014 at 05:33 pm
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Fonda Lola drink sucks
sean / April 30, 2014 at 08:03 pm
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you don't make a margarita with an anejo tequila. anything aged older than a reposado would be a waste. even a good 100% agave blanco tequils is fine. the key is fresh lime juice not the horrible sugary mix that most places have.
Lamar replying to a comment from sean / May 8, 2014 at 02:45 pm
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You obviously don't like tequila. I never use blanco... it has the least flavour.

For a good rita, you gotta use good tequila. Hellooo it's the main ingredient.
Miss416 / June 28, 2014 at 08:53 am
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I can't wait to try all of these! It's also fun to make margaritas at home for a crowd. Have a great post on making margaritas on the fly on the I Brought Wine blog: http://ibroughtwine.com/2014/06/26/marg-draft/

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