Cinco de Mayo and the advent of patio season have us in a margarita-drinking state of mind—the sun will be back this afternoon, after all! With so many options in the Mile High City and surrounding areas, it wasn’t easy to narrow down our favorites…but these six spots offer the best al fresco vibes and tastiest margaritas around. ‘Nuff said.
Not only does Centro Mexican Kitchen’s Centro margarita, crafted with El Charro silver tequila, muddled orange, and lime juice, ring in at just $8, but it manages to get the hard-to-nail sweet-sour balance just right. It also pairs perfectly with chef Johnny Curiel’s stewed lamb tacos. Nab a patio seat near the fire pit—preferably when the sun is setting behind the Flatirons—for the ultimate tequila cocktail experience. 950 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-442-7771
Señor Bear’s Pan-Latin fare has been the talk of the town since it opened 11 months ago, so it’s no surprise that the LoHi eatery fills up quickly for its daily “hora loca” (happy hour). Pop by from 3-6 p.m. for the classic $5 house margarita, made with Espolon Reposado tequila, fresh lime juice, agave, and a half-salt rim. If you’d rather sip your hooch straight, opt for one of the agave flights, which feature three selections of reposado tequila or mezcal for $18 and $22, respectively. 3301 Tejon St., 720-572-5997
With it’s low-lit speakeasy feel, the Greenlight Lab, an experimental bar from Denver-based design and architecture firm LivStudio, isn’t your typical margarita-drinking venue. And it’s beta (experimental) tequila cocktail isn’t your typical margarita: The $12 concoction features Cimarron tequila, blood orange and lime juices, a bitter kick from Leopold Brother Aperitivo, La Venenosa raicilla (an agave-based spirit), and Chareau aloe liqueur. There may not be any outdoor seating at this back-alley bar, but this beguiling drink is worth sitting indoors for. 1336 27th St., 720-788-5320
The RiNo location of Troy Guard’s popular Los Chingones taqueria has a new late-night sister restaurant: Los Lounge. Located next door, the Lounge serves up a shortened version of Los Chingones’ Mexican menu, including its creative margaritas. Relax on the patio with one of the spicy infused margaritas, which pack a kick thanks to serrano-habanero-jalapeño-infused tequila. It’s $8 regularly, but you can snag it for just $5 during the weekday happy hour from 3-6 p.m. 2461 Larimer St., 303-295-0686
If you’re looking for the consummate high-end margarita drinking experience, head to Tennyson Street’s five-month-old cocktail lounge, Tatarian. Its $14 Drunken Tree is a play on the classic margarita, marrying the classic components of tequila blanco and lime juice with a spicy ginger syrup and clove tincture. It’s a refreshingly unexpected take on the drink. 4024 Tennyson St., 303-416-4496
As the name suggests, this Pearl Street Mall bistro knows its agave spirits. Not only does it stock more than 100 types of tequila, but the bartenders here churn out perfectly mixed margaritas, including a just-sweet-enough prickly pear iteration. Sip your poison on the front patio where you can people watch on sunny days. Bonus: On Cinco de Mayo Saturday, Tahona’s happy hour lasts from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and flights of tequila start at just $14. 1035 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-938-9600