February 21, 2020

These Are Cincinnati's 18 Top Spots to Sip on a Margarita

Nothing says summertime (or wintertime) quite like sipping on a salt-rimmed frozen margarita in the sunshine — or one on the rocks; both are good. The Queen City has plenty of top-notch spots for marg-sippin' but these are a few of our favorites.
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La Ofrenda
30 Findlay St., Over-the-Rhine
Spanish for “offering,” La Ofrenda is a dimly lit and cinematic tequila establishment near Findlay Market. With a colorful altar at its center, the bar invites guests to experience Mexican heritage while celebrating their own story and where they came from. La Ofrenda serves unique margaritas — like the Zócalo Cafe, made with Cantera Negra Coffee tequila, cold-pressed coffee and orange-infused condensed milk, and the Grapefruit Basil, which incorporates a grapefruit foam through a molecular technique. With a carefully curated drink selection including 130 varieties of tequila, mezcal and sotol, La Ofrenda is celebrating the spirits of Mexico with a new generation. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

La Ofrenda

30 Findlay St., Over-the-Rhine
Spanish for “offering,” La Ofrenda is a dimly lit and cinematic tequila establishment near Findlay Market. With a colorful altar at its center, the bar invites guests to experience Mexican heritage while celebrating their own story and where they came from. La Ofrenda serves unique margaritas — like the Zócalo Cafe, made with Cantera Negra Coffee tequila, cold-pressed coffee and orange-infused condensed milk, and the Grapefruit Basil, which incorporates a grapefruit foam through a molecular technique. With a carefully curated drink selection including 130 varieties of tequila, mezcal and sotol, La Ofrenda is celebrating the spirits of Mexico with a new generation.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Cactus Pear
3215 Jefferson Ave., Clifton
As the 2019 Best of Cincinnati winner for Best Margarita, Cactus Pear is the top reigning community-voted spot to grab a marg in the city. Accentuated by a cute back patio and menu chock full of fajitas, tacos and plenty of additional Mexican specialties, this eatery is just a hop, skip and a jump from the University of Cincinnati is a surefire way to get your tequila fix Taco Tuesday or anytime the mood strikes. From the standard house margarita to peach, cucumber, strawberry and melon, Cactus Pear has a whopping 17 flavors to choose from. Get them frozen, on the rocks or half and half. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Cactus Pear

3215 Jefferson Ave., Clifton
As the 2019 Best of Cincinnati winner for Best Margarita, Cactus Pear is the top reigning community-voted spot to grab a marg in the city. Accentuated by a cute back patio and menu chock full of fajitas, tacos and plenty of additional Mexican specialties, this eatery is just a hop, skip and a jump from the University of Cincinnati is a surefire way to get your tequila fix Taco Tuesday or anytime the mood strikes. From the standard house margarita to peach, cucumber, strawberry and melon, Cactus Pear has a whopping 17 flavors to choose from. Get them frozen, on the rocks or half and half.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Mesa Loca
2645 Erie Ave., Hyde Park
Stepping into a spot left vacant by Cock & Bull Hyde Park, Mesa Loca is a standout new addition to Hyde Park Square. Serving expertly prepared Mexican fare in a cool, contemporary setting, they also don’t skimp on the cocktail list. Instead of the standard salt rim, Mesa Loca accents margarita glasses with Tajin, a mild chili/lime/salt mix. Flavors include the classic ‘rita, blood orange, mango and pomegranate. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Mesa Loca

2645 Erie Ave., Hyde Park
Stepping into a spot left vacant by Cock & Bull Hyde Park, Mesa Loca is a standout new addition to Hyde Park Square. Serving expertly prepared Mexican fare in a cool, contemporary setting, they also don’t skimp on the cocktail list. Instead of the standard salt rim, Mesa Loca accents margarita glasses with Tajin, a mild chili/lime/salt mix. Flavors include the classic ‘rita, blood orange, mango and pomegranate.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Condado Tacos
195 E. Freedom Way, Downtown; 3329 Vandercar Way, Oakley
Condado’s build-your-own taco concept first took Columbus by storm in 2014 before opening their first Cincinnati location on The Banks in April 2019 and expanding with an Oakley eatery in November. Their delicious housemade margaritas have also gotten the stamp of approval from the taco and tequila loving masses of the Queen City. Go for the standard house margarita or choose one of nine other flavors, from prickly pear and muddled jalapeño to pomegranate and blood orange. Get any of their signature margaritas half-price during happy hour from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Condado Tacos

195 E. Freedom Way, Downtown; 3329 Vandercar Way, Oakley
Condado’s build-your-own taco concept first took Columbus by storm in 2014 before opening their first Cincinnati location on The Banks in April 2019 and expanding with an Oakley eatery in November. Their delicious housemade margaritas have also gotten the stamp of approval from the taco and tequila loving masses of the Queen City. Go for the standard house margarita or choose one of nine other flavors, from prickly pear and muddled jalapeño to pomegranate and blood orange. Get any of their signature margaritas half-price during happy hour from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Gomez Salsa Cantina
2437 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills; 107 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine
What once began as a humble walk-up window for fueling Washington Park lunch dates and satisfying the post-last call cravings has blossomed into a haven for all salsa-adjacent fare in both Over-the-Rhine and Walnut Hills. Gomez’s housemade margaritas and cocktails are the best way to wash down a Turtle — a Frankenstined burrito wrapped around rice and beans, sour cream, lettuce, salsa, meat, veggies, cheese and a crunchy tostada and sealed with a layer of crispy cheese. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Gomez Salsa Cantina

2437 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills; 107 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine
What once began as a humble walk-up window for fueling Washington Park lunch dates and satisfying the post-last call cravings has blossomed into a haven for all salsa-adjacent fare in both Over-the-Rhine and Walnut Hills. Gomez’s housemade margaritas and cocktails are the best way to wash down a Turtle — a Frankenstined burrito wrapped around rice and beans, sour cream, lettuce, salsa, meat, veggies, cheese and a crunchy tostada and sealed with a layer of crispy cheese.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Nada
600 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine
This Downtown mainstay is a colorful tribute to cocktails and tacos both on the walls and on your table. Start off with a classic Nadarita aka their house marg, or kick it up a notch with one of their creatively flavored craft margaritas. The La Bomb-A mingles reposado tequila with fresh lime, blood orange and habanero syrup, and the Summertime Sabbatical pairs blanco tequila with fresh lime, cucumber and watermelon. Spice seekers can opt to heat up the libations with a jalapeño-infused tequila. Last spring, Nada upgraded its menu with herbaceous twists and revamped tacos, like the caramelized cauliflower taco with garlic-whipped goat cheese, scallion, marcona almond and fresno pepper. Pair a few tacos with a margarita and some good company, and try your best to save room for dessert. 
Photo via Facebook.com/Nada

Nada

600 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine
This Downtown mainstay is a colorful tribute to cocktails and tacos both on the walls and on your table. Start off with a classic Nadarita aka their house marg, or kick it up a notch with one of their creatively flavored craft margaritas. The La Bomb-A mingles reposado tequila with fresh lime, blood orange and habanero syrup, and the Summertime Sabbatical pairs blanco tequila with fresh lime, cucumber and watermelon. Spice seekers can opt to heat up the libations with a jalapeño-infused tequila. Last spring, Nada upgraded its menu with herbaceous twists and revamped tacos, like the caramelized cauliflower taco with garlic-whipped goat cheese, scallion, marcona almond and fresno pepper. Pair a few tacos with a margarita and some good company, and try your best to save room for dessert.
Photo via Facebook.com/Nada
Mita’s
501 Race St., Downtown
Chef Jose Salazar is a continent away from his mamita and the hand-cranked mill she used to grind corn for arepas and empanadas, but his restaurant, Mita’s, is a tribute to her spirit and to Spanish and Latin American food. Their bar also happens to make some of the best margaritas in town. A simple concoction of tequila, citrus cordial and fresh lime, it’s a timeless tribute to the well-loved refreshment. The El Luchador adds in ginger and jalapeño for a spicy twist, or try the zero-proof pineapple margarita for a fruity, booze-less libation. 
Photo via Facebook.com/MitasCincinnati

Mita’s

501 Race St., Downtown
Chef Jose Salazar is a continent away from his mamita and the hand-cranked mill she used to grind corn for arepas and empanadas, but his restaurant, Mita’s, is a tribute to her spirit and to Spanish and Latin American food. Their bar also happens to make some of the best margaritas in town. A simple concoction of tequila, citrus cordial and fresh lime, it’s a timeless tribute to the well-loved refreshment. The El Luchador adds in ginger and jalapeño for a spicy twist, or try the zero-proof pineapple margarita for a fruity, booze-less libation.
Photo via Facebook.com/MitasCincinnati
Bakersfield OTR
1213 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Bakersfield OTR has been a hot spot for tacos, tequila, whiskey, PBR served in a glass boot and old-school Western ambiance since 2012. Frequently touted as having some of Cincinnati’s favorite margaritas, Bakersfield serves them the old fashioned way with fresh-squeezed lemon and lime. Stick with the classic house margarita, try flavors like pineapple and orange hibiscus or swap out tequila for mezcal for a smoky twist on this crowd favorite. 
Photo via Facebook.com/BakersfieldOTR

Bakersfield OTR

1213 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Bakersfield OTR has been a hot spot for tacos, tequila, whiskey, PBR served in a glass boot and old-school Western ambiance since 2012. Frequently touted as having some of Cincinnati’s favorite margaritas, Bakersfield serves them the old fashioned way with fresh-squeezed lemon and lime. Stick with the classic house margarita, try flavors like pineapple and orange hibiscus or swap out tequila for mezcal for a smoky twist on this crowd favorite.
Photo via Facebook.com/BakersfieldOTR
Casa Figueroa
6112 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge
Casa Figueroa has been serving Latin-inspired fare to its Pleasant Ridge neighbors since 2017. Grounded by a menu of local and sustainably sourced ingredients, their fresh-squeezed margaritas are a delicate balance of sweet and sour. Regular house margs and spicy versions are always available, while fruity flavors like blueberry, pineapple, mango and blackberry come and go with the seasons. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Casa Figueroa

6112 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge
Casa Figueroa has been serving Latin-inspired fare to its Pleasant Ridge neighbors since 2017. Grounded by a menu of local and sustainably sourced ingredients, their fresh-squeezed margaritas are a delicate balance of sweet and sour. Regular house margs and spicy versions are always available, while fruity flavors like blueberry, pineapple, mango and blackberry come and go with the seasons.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Frida 602
602 Main St., Covington
Tequila and mezcal come first at this Latin-leaning MainStrasse spot. Served in cute, salt-rimmed cactus glasses, their margaritas start with Frida Kahlo Tequila and fresh-squeezed citrus; flavor options include Passionfruit Punch and Smokey Prickly Pear. Named for the legendary Mexican painter herself, expect to enjoy rounds of cocktails and tacos a-la-carte surrounded by vibrant flare and colorful touches. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Frida 602

602 Main St., Covington
Tequila and mezcal come first at this Latin-leaning MainStrasse spot. Served in cute, salt-rimmed cactus glasses, their margaritas start with Frida Kahlo Tequila and fresh-squeezed citrus; flavor options include Passionfruit Punch and Smokey Prickly Pear. Named for the legendary Mexican painter herself, expect to enjoy rounds of cocktails and tacos a-la-carte surrounded by vibrant flare and colorful touches.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger