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The Best Margaritas in Portland and Where to Find Them

by Alexander Frane on Feb 13, 2015 in Roundups
The Best Margaritas in Portland and Where to Find Them

Portland may be well known for its beer and innovative cocktail bars, and we don’t boast the sunny skies year round like Southern California or border states, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t excellent margaritas to be found here. More than a few bartenders in the city know how to mix up a perfect standard recipe of tequila, triple sec and lime. Others have developed creative variations on the beloved cocktail, infusing it with all manners of fruits and spices. There’s no need to wait for Cinco de Mayo for these delicious concoctions—head to one of our favorite destinations to grab a margarita and dream of blue skies and sun.

While many bartenders can make a great margarita, these are a few of our favorite spots that specialize in it. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter.

Conquistador
Our favorite spot for a date night margarita, we’ve featured Conquistador a few times in recent articles, as both a great happy hour spot and one of the few entirely vegetarian bars in town. The margaritas here are delicious and strong, and the comfortable, cozy atmosphere makes it a great place to split one with your date. (2045 SE Belmont St.; 503-232-3227)

Por Que No?
In the last few years, Por Que No? has established itself as one of the premiere taco houses in Portland. Appropriately, the two locations serve up excellent margaritas. While the agua fresca variations are delicious, our favorite is the standard, which is a perfectly executed margarita. Go for happy hour, and you can score a dollar off. Tuesday is happy hour all day. If you can brave the lines, it’s a great time to go for tacos and drinks. (3524 N Mississippi Ave.; 503-467-4149 & 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd.; 503-954-3138)

Nuestra Cocina
A classic for years now, Nuestra Cocina is generally packed, but patrons can usually make it to the bar for one of bartender Adam’s signature drinks while they wait for their table. An expert in the craft, Adam has created an entire menu of variations on the classic drink. Our favorite: the Cocina Especial, with chile arbol infused tequilal, citrus juices and muddled fruit. All together, it’s a delicious melange of sweet, salty, tangy and spicy. (2135 SE Division St.; 503-232-2135)

Taqueria Nueve
Beaker and Flask, the collaborative cocktail bar effort in the industrial district, closed its doors a number of years ago, but luckily the space has been taken over by  Taqueria Nueve, which moved from its previous spot in NE Portland. The tacos at this industrial-chic restaurant rival those at Por Que No?, and the rice and beans are outstanding for such a simple dish. But of course, the margaritas are the reason to visit the bar here, especially the standard house margarita. (727 SE Washington St.; 503-954-1987)

Stella Taco
Another great taco joint, Stella Taco has a minimalist vibe, speedy counter service and a large range of options for tacos, including vegetarian choices, like their fried avocado and breakfast tacos. And while frozen margaritas may not be traditional, they’re still delicious, and we’d be remiss to not include a place that serves them. The fact that tacos are all $3 or less, and the margaritas are only $5 (frozen are $5.50) make Stella Taco a neighborhood favorite. (2940 NE Alberta St.; 971-407-3705)

Top Photo: A pair of drinks at Taqueria Nueve. Bottom photo: The Cocina Especial at Nuestra Cocina. Photos by Alex Frane

 

 


Tags: Cocktails, Spirits, Tequila
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