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Best Spots to Sip Margaritas in North County

best margarita north county san diego

Take some tequila, a little Cointreau, squeeze in some lime, and you’ve got a tasty concoction known as The Margarita. There are many legends of how the original Margarita was created, but since then, bartenders and restaurant owners have done their best to create their freshest versions of the Mexican cocktail.

It isn’t just about the Margarita so much as it’s the experience when sipping this refreshing Mexican cocktail. A Margarita is a festive drink to be enjoyed with friends and with delicious food. This list takes into consideration the restaurant’s menu, vibe, and overall popularity with locals.

Here are The Best Spots to Sip Margaritas in North County:

Casa de Bandini 

With Mariachis strolling through the restaurant, homemade chips, salsa and guacamole, Casa de Bandini is quite possibly the best place in all of San Diego to enjoy a delicious margarita. Casa de Bandini offers about 15 margaritas on their menu, including a “skinny” option.

But if you’re going to go to the best place for margaritas, you should at some point try the best of their extensive list: The Rolls Royce Margarita. The foundation is Clase Azule, an ultra-premium, 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, Reposado Tequila (aged in small oak barrels for a minimum of eight months).

The Clase Azule is combined with Triple Sec, sweet and sour, and a shot of La Pinta — pomegranate infused tequila — served on the side, which you can sip, or pour into your drink.

  • Address: 1901 Calle Barcelona Carlsbad, CA 92009
  • Website: Casa de Bandini

En Fuego Cantina & Grill

Before we get to the margaritas, can we just stop to admire the fact that En Fuego has been around since the 1930’s? That’s a long time, amigos! While you can get an array of tasty ‘ritas, we recommend you take a sip of the owners’ namesake: Bubba’s Margarita. Made with Hornitos, Sweet & Sour, a splash of orange juice, and a Grand Marnier float. It’s a favorite at this historical hot spot


Two of the ten margaritas at Miguel’s are served in shakers, and you can’t go wrong with either. The Ultimate Margarita and the Pomegranate Shaker are quite popular with diners… almost as popular as their white jalapeño cheese dip. And for those that want to indulge without risking the bulge, Miguel’s serves up a “refined” margarita at only 135 calories. For something a little different, try the Prickly Pear Margarita, or spice things up with their Habanero-Lime Margarita.

  • Address: 5980 Av. Encinas Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • Website: Miguel’s

Tony’s Jacal

Ask any long time local where to go for a good, strong Margarita, and they’ll tell you to go to Tony’s. Another long timer, this Solana Beach favorite has been owned and operated by the Gonzales family since 1946.  There’s something extra special about this place. With an aviary full of colorful canaries chirping just outside of the main dining room and a festive patio that invites you to linger, you’ll have plenty of sweet spots to sip that salt-rimmed drink. Don’t forget the queso fundido!

  • Address: 621 Valley Ave., Solana Beach, CA 92075
  • Website: Tony’s Jacal

Puesto La Jolla

What makes the perfect margarita? Good ingredients that highlight and support the tequila. That’s what you’ll find at Puesto. Using a balanced blend of tequila reposado, fresh squeezed lime juice, and agave nectar, the aptly named Perfect Margaritas are just that: Perfect. Add in the great menu, the disappearing walls that open the dining rooms up to the ocean air, and the brightly colored murals on the walls, this is a really fun place to sip the day away.

Brigantine Seafood: Oyster Bar & Lounge —

Spectacular views of the Del Mar Racetrack and the San Dieguito River Valley Lagoon, Brigantine Seafood: Oyster Bar & Lounge is the ideal location to relax and sip a margarita. It’s definitely more of a scene, however, during race season when the restaurant is filled with betters and beautiful hats. It’s the happenin’ place to hang out and talk ponies over a delicious margarita and oysters on the half shell.

Las Olas 

A North County Locals’ favorite, Las Olas offers the most casual vibe on our Best Spots to Sip Margaritas list. It’s a very laid back “Baja surfer” kind of place, and people tend to walk in straight off the beach, so you may see some bare feet on the patio. We couldn’t pick between the two locations, as each has its pluses. Both locations (Cardiff and Carlsbad) are on Coast Hwy, but only Cardiff has a view of the water. However, Carlsbad tends to have better service.

Las Olas has a great happy hour. More like Happy Days. Monday through Friday, all day ’til 6:00pm and on Tuesdays, well… it’s just Happy Hour all day. Try the Jalapeño Bean Dip and some Fish Tacos with one of their pitchers (House, Mango, and Strawberry Margaritas) or Pineapple Chile Margaritas by the glass.

  • Address: 2939 Carlsbad Blvd. Carlsbad, CA 92009
  • Address: 2655 S. Coast Hwy 101 Cardiff, CA 92007
  • Website: Las Olas


Sugar Jones Sugar Jones has been blogging about life since 2008. She has contributed to various local news stations for lifestyle segments, speaking about tech, social media, travel, food, and family. She most enjoys sharing her favorite places and things to do around her adopted home of North County. You can follow Sugar's adventures on her blog, Live the Sweet Life, Facebook, and Google+.