By Jacqueline Runice
Since its discovery in the 16th century, tequila has been both the bane and boon of drinkers across the globe. A fermented beverage derived from the Blue Agave plant, country crooners wax rhapsodic about it while frat guys guzzle it with abandon. Although everyone is jumping on the mezcal bandwagon and on-the-rocks Margaritas are all over menus, summer and frozen ‘ritas are OTP. All the new boozy slushies out there are merely derivatives of the brain freeze inducing cocktail and you can’t miss at any of these Chicago spots.
5403 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
No matter what your favorite fruit, Cescas Margarita Bar and Grill probably has your frozen Margarita jones tackled. Pineapple, strawberry-banana, pina colada, coconut, banana and peach are available frozen only. You can, however, order any of the “rocks” style beverages frozen expanding your tequila horizons to the requisite lime, strawberry and raspberry but also more exotic numbers like tamarind, mango, pomegranate, guava and Blue Curaçao. The drinks are big, beautiful affairs with boozy slush but also sport nice chunks of fresh fruit.
Tuco And Blondie
3358 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
You’ll have no doubt about the cuisine of Tuco and Blondie, a “Mexifun” concept in Lakeview. Among the Frida Kahlo and Day of the Dead imagery plus grande platters of gringo favorite, sizzling fajitas, you find icy Margaritas in classic, mezcal, Cadillac or various fruit flavors. The drinks are strong enough to drown out the protestations of nearby tables of families with ninos of which there are more than a few if you’re there between 4:30 and 6 p.m. when kids eat for free. The outdoor patio, which is pet friendly, is a sweet summer place to enjoy your passionfruit or black cherry Margarita.
D.S. Tequila Company
3352 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60657
D.S. Tequila Company narrows down the food and drink concept with the postscript “Burgers+Tacos+Tequila.” Since a great Margarita begins with top-notch tequila, the bar and restaurant touts its 100% Blue Agave Tequila, grown and produced in Amatitan, Mexico. The Weber Blue Agave plants are nurtured for eight years without artificial accelerants to speed production so the sugars develop naturally producing an inordinately smooth liquor. Try the “Tropical Toro” with a swirl of Strawberry Margarita (Sauza Reposado tequila, Red Bull Yellow, mango purée, pineapple and a swirl of strawberry margarita for $10 for a 16 ounce mug.
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Cesar’s Killer Margaritas
2924 N. Broadway St.
Chicago, IL 60657
If you can’t get the gist of this Boys Town bar and grill, you need eyeglasses because it’s right there in the name, for cryin’ out loud. Cesar’s might have the largest variety of frozen Margaritas in the city: in addition to the usual renditions, you can sample banana, Chamoy-Rita, orange passion, peach, guava, tamarind and blue. GrubHub delivers the Killer Margaritas right to your door and Cesar’s is party central during the Pride parade, Cinco de Mayo and other holidays.
2133 South Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60608
When you want Mexican food and Margaritas and want to get out of River North, Bucktown, Wrigleyville and other annoyingly congested neighborhoods, go south! The Pilsen spot offers ultra and premium tequilas, craft beer, well crafted Mexican bites and signature Margaritas featuring the house tequila, Los 3 Garcias. There are 15 and four seasonal Margaritas including the intriguing hibiscus, berry jalapeno, melon, tangerine and platano (banana).