Cinco de Mayo, often mistaken as Mexico’s Independence Day, commemorates Mexico’s underdog victory against France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In Mexico, the day’s importance has faded over time, but its significance in the US has grown substantially as a time to celebrate Mexican-American culture. If you like to partake in a margarita or 2 on this special day, we put this list together to help you get started!
1. El Techo
This breezy rooftop restaurant has incredible views, plus a wide variety of Latin American street food. In addition to their fabulous margaritas, consider trying other mouthwatering cocktails including pisco punch, sangria, and more. Happy hour is from 4-6pm on weekdays, where you can enjoy a $4 Modelo or $7 margarita!
Location: 2516 Mission Street
Nopalito’s unforgettable margaritas are made with Pueblo Viejo Blanco, lime, Combier, and agave nectar. They also offer smokey mezcal margaritas; a “Sweet Heat” cocktail with pineapple, lemon, and habanero; and a variety of non-alcoholic agua frescas.
Location: 306 Broderick Street and 3690 18th Street (to-go window)
3. Puerto Alegre
Puerto Alegre has one of the most impressive margarita menus we’ve ever seen, not to mention plenty of delicious food! Try margaritas in flavors like lime, strawberry, and peach. Or step up your game with specialty tequila options including Sauza Hornitos, Sauza Tres Generaciones. and more.
Location: 546 Valencia Street
In addition to Loló’s margarita, which may be enjoyed with tequila or mezcal, you’ve got to consider trying the House Mimosa made with Aperol and grapefruit, the Mezcal Negroni, or their refreshing sangria. Loló showcases some of the finest mezcals and agave-based selections in the City, so you really can’t go wrong.
Location: 974 Valencia Street
5. Gracias Madre
Gracias Madre makes an impressive Margarita de la Casa with tequila reposado, lime, orange bitters and agave nectar. While you’re at it, consider trying their delicious sangria, a refreshing mezcal mule, and the “Bloody Maria.” Happy hour is on weekdays from 2-6pm, and they’ll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with fantastic food specials including chile relleno and coconut ceviche.
Location: 2211 Mission Street
6. Underdogs Tres
Underdogs Tres offers a great house margarita made with Exótico Blanco, but you can also step it up and get a “Cadillac Margarita” featuring Exótico Reposado with a Grand Marnier float, or a “Top Shelf Margarita” with Exótico Reposado and Cointreau. Take a look through the rest of their cocktails while you’re at it – you may just decide to go for a “La Roja Wedding,” “Horchata White Russian,” or a “Mezcal Older Fashioned.”
Location: 1224 9th Avenue
7. Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant
Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant has the most impressive tequila menu we’ve ever seen. With a whopping 311 tequilas listed on their website, all of which are 100% agave, you really can’t go wrong with a high-quality margarita pitcher. Enjoy alongside a fantastic meal such as chiles rellenos or enchiladas.
Location: 5929 Geary Boulevard
This margarita has an extra kick from a haji chile salt rim and El Jimador tequila. While you’re at it, consider trying their “Duende” with absinthe and rosemary salt or their “Margarita Exclusiva” with Don Julio Blanco, Grand Marnier, and Aji chile salt.
Location: 75 Yerba Buena Lane
Tacolicious boasts a “San Francisco point of view” on Mexican food, which comes out in their drink menu with cocktails like the “Papi Hemingway,” featuring mezcal, rum, grapefruit bitters and lime. Margarita options include “De la Casa,” which features Pueblo Viejo Blanco, lime and agave, and other variations such as “Margarita Picante” with red chile shrub and “Margarita Fresca” with strawberry.
Locations: 2250 Chestnut St (Marina) and 741 Valencia St (Mission)