In an ideal world, the cabinet where you keep your alcohol and the refrigerator drawer where you chill your limes would automatically restock themselves every 48 hours. But your fifth floor walk-up is nothing like Disney’s Smarthouse, which means that even though you can make a solid margarita at home, sometimes your only option is to pick one up. If this is you, take a breath and remember that your margarita mood is a remarkable reminder of your alcohol-fueled humanity. Then, head to a spot on this guide.
As you visit these spots, it’s likely that you’ll be asked to buy some food with your margarita. If you want to know more about why NYC bars can’t just serve chips with booze and call it a day, check out our feature all about the updated policy issued by the State Liquor Authority here.
Since May, Jungle Bird has been serving grab and go cocktails and snacks from their takeout window on 8th Avenue. So if you’re looking for a frozen margarita in Chelsea, you can get one here and take it with you on your walk around the neighborhood. They’ve also got a nice outdoor seating area covered in palm trees and aqua paint that’s open from 4pm to 11pm every day.
“Smokey yum yum” is one of the key ingredients in Leyenda’s mezcal margarita, and while that might not mean much to your taste buds, we’re sharing it to let you know that this Carroll Gardens spot doesn’t take itself too seriously. That said, the cocktails here are some of the best in Brooklyn, and going out of your way to drink a classic margarita on their outdoor patio is not a bad idea. You can also order batched margaritas online, if you think your margarita mood will last longer than a few hours.
The UWS may not have a beach, but it does have Playa Betty’s - a fun taco spot that’s known for bringing people together in the name of margaritas. Whether you’re taking your drink to-go or spending a few hours with friends uptown on their new expanded outdoor patio, you can order everything from spicy to colorful grapefruit margaritas here.
For years, Chavela’s has been Crown Heights’ go-to spot for meeting up with friends. And their outdoor patio on Franklin Avenue continues to be one of the most popular in the neighborhood. If you happen to walk by this summer, you’ll notice that almost every table is covered in margaritas, which should be all the information you need to order one to-go from the bar. If you live in the area, this Mexican spot will also deliver margaritas to your door.
Even if you could stop by Casa Enrique for a margarita without also ordering food, we’d never recommend it. We know the cocktails are great, but the mole de piaxtla and tres leches cake are what really make this Mexican restaurant incredible. However, we’re here to talk about margaritas, and they’ve got a few frozen ones, as well as some fruit-based options, like watermelon and papaya, available for takeout and dine-in on their new outdoor patio.
La Contenta Oeste in Greenwich Village is open every day for outdoor dining, delivery, and takeout, which means that any time is a good time to pick up a classic, guava, blackberry or passion fruit margarita from their takeout window. Their bottled cocktails are double servings, so if you’re planning on day-drinking before a backyard baby shower or a bike ride to City Island, you might want to pace yourself. You can also order ahead online to reduce your wait time.
The LES location of La Contenta is also open every day for outdoor dining and takeout. And since this restaurant is much smaller than their Greenwich Village spot, there’s much less sidewalk seating here. But, if you’re just planning to pick up a drink, there’s a table near the entrance where you can place your margarita order in-person.
There’s a good chance the bass-heavy dancehall music you heard on Fulton Street last weekend came from Baby Jane, the neighborhood bar in Clinton Hill hosting outdoor DJ sets all summer long. This is also the place you should consider picking up a margarita on the rocks before your picnic in Fort Greene Park. They’re open from 4pm to 9pm daily, and if you’re looking for a fun, umbrella-covered, curbside patio to cool off in the area, you’ve just found it.
Whether you want frozen or on the rocks, strawberry or passionfruit, a single or a double, Cantina Taqueria is basically Harlem’s unofficial margarita emporium. This Mexican restaurant and tequila bar has two locations in the neighborhood, including a spot on 111th Street (just one block north of Central Park), and another on Lenox Avenue near 125th Street. Before you head to whichever spot is closest, be sure to check their Instagram for drink specials.
This Astoria bar has a takeout window where you can order a range of cocktails, including a fancy version of a mezcal margarita with jalapeno-infused tequila. Sweet Afton is much nicer than your average drinking spot, so if you want to stick around, you can seat yourself at one of their sidewalk tables. Or, you can take your drink to-go and walk over to Astoria Park to take in the view.
If you’re in the mood for a mezcal or passion fruit margarita on the Upper East Side, remember that this taco mini-chain has a to-go counter and a few tables set up on 72nd Street and 2nd Avenue. You can seat yourself and then patiently wait for your drink order while you fantasize about gargantuan tortas, buttery grilled corn, and chunky guacamole. If you don’t want to wait, just place your order ahead of time on their website.
While it’s primarily a beer bar, Bronx Alehouse is also a go-to spot for frozen cocktails in the Bronx. You can swing by for drinks like a passion fruit margarita that looks like it got into a fight with a box of crayons, or a classic margarita on the rocks with as many lime wedges as your heart desires. They’re open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining every day from 11am to 9pm.