Where to Drink Frozen Margaritas in Houston - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Where to Drink Frozen Margaritas in Houston

It’s strange to position the fourth-largest city in America as an underdog. And yet I find that Houston’s extraordinary, kaleidoscopic culinary scene is often overlooked by those beyond its borders. Truthfully, it’s their loss. The bayou, Beltway, and serpentine freeways of this sprawling city traverse cutting-edge cocktail bars, lively patios, stalwart ice houses, generations-old family restaurants, tiny kitchens serving genre-defying multicultural cuisines, and so much more. No matter where you go, you’re rarely far from a frozen Margarita

“We love our Tex-Mex, it’s so important to the culture. It goes beyond food, it’s how people share experiences,” says Bao Ong, the restaurant columnist at Houston Chronicle. “Frozen Margaritas are a big part of that.” When I go to Houston to visit family, I usually hit a Tex-Mex restaurant or patio bar for a frozen Marg immediately on arrival. Here are nine of my favorite places for this iconic cocktail in one of America’s best cities for food and drinks.


Margaritas crowd the bar and dot most tables at this 1978 River Oaks landmark famous for Tex-Mex staples like flour-tortilla-wrapped queso flameado and tacos al carbon, not to mention its raucous Thursday night parties. The bar serves traditional or mango frozen Margaritas as well as frozen Palomas. Customize your frozen Marg with a salt or Tajín rim. Or add a $3 tequila floater and sail into the sunset.

Eight Row Flint

If you’re craving creative cocktails in a buzzy space or breezy patio, stop by Eight Row Flint’s two locations in the Heights and East End neighborhoods. The frozen drinks list includes slushy Gin and Tonics, Painkillers, Palomas, and classic Margaritas. Can’t choose? Order a flight of three for $18 and feel the Gulf humidity dissipate. 


In Grant Cooper’s sceney, glass-walled restaurant, stylish Houstonians sip Big Vibe Frozen Margaritas beneath 40-plus glittering chandeliers. Made with blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar, the Big Vibe is garnished with dehydrated lime wheels and can be ordered with a salt, Tajín, or cricket salt rim.

Dish Society 

I have no doubt that including this Austin export on this list will rankle some Houstonians. (RIP my inbox.) Still, I would be remiss not to mention Dish Society’s vibrantly hued prickly pear frozen Margarita, which is available in small or large glasses or a $28 carafe. Pro tip: Come between 4-7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, when standard-size house cocktails are $7.

Los Tios

“If someone wants a classic Tex-Mex experience in Houston, I might point them to Los Tios,” says Ong. A 1970 institution with six locations citywide, Los Tios’ bartenders believe they introduced the frozen Margarita to Houstonians circa 1975. Whether that claim to fame is true or not, Los Tios does “a really good job,” Ong says. “That frozen Margarita is iconic in Houston.”

Ninfa's frozen margaritas
Ninfa’s Frozen Margarita. | Photo by Becca Wright

Monkey’s Tail 

One of the specialties of this Lindale Park cocktail bar is its frozen Tommy’s Margarita, the Margarita riff made without orange liqueur to showcase the quality of its tequila. Monkey’s Tail’s frosty version comes in two sizes—neither of which I can truthfully describe as small—and is made with Cazadores blanco tequila, agave nectar, and fresh lime juice. 

The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation

One of the elder statesmen of Houston’s Tex-Mex scene, The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation has a selection of Margaritas with hibiscus, tamarind, spicy mango, and more. Still, it’s hard to deny the frothy, frosty appeal of its traditional frozen Margarita, made with fresh lime juice and available by the glass or pitcher.


Served in oversized goblets, the frozen Margs at this family-run Tex-Mex institution with four locations citywide are large enough to be a meal—though you should save room for the kitchen’s flautas, fajitas, and other Tex-Mex favorites. In addition to the lime-hued classic, Teotihuacan offers frozen watermelon, peach, banana, and mango Margaritas. 

Truck Yard

There’s an awful lot going on at this expansive patio bar in East Downtown, where the expansive digs include a rotating cast of food trucks, karaoke room, daily live music, and full-sized Ferris wheel. Take it all in with a salted watermelon frozen margarita, a fruity riff on the original with a pleasant dash of salinity.

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