Frozen or on the rocks? Shaker or glass? Salt or no salt? Marg our words, this list of the best margaritas in Greater Des Moines is a recipe for a fiesta. These places were voted by locals, so if you don’t see your favorite, take it with a grain of salt. Or a whole rim of salt. Either way, these are all worth a shot!

*All of our Des Best lists are crowdsourced and voted by locals.*
Coa Cantina Photo Credit: Andrew Pei /@johnnyplastic

Mi Mexico
This local favorite in Clive was the runaway winner of the popular vote, thanks to its beloved margarita shakers, which give you about three margaritas worth for under ten dollars. Add a killer day drinking patio, a life changing carne asada platter, and great service and it’s no wonder that this is the place to be on a summer evening.
Pair with: Pollo Poblano

When you go to Malo downtown, you’re getting a great margarita, but you’re also getting a great vibe in this fire station-turned-restaurant, with commissioned artwork at nearly every touchpoint. Sip in style with options like the El Padre, El Rey, and El Jefe, all served in a tableside shaker. Or try the El Jefe with raspberry, blueberry, mango, strawberry, tamarind, guava or jalapeño. Head there for Margarita Wednesdays, with half-price select margaritas all day long!
Pair with: Malo Burrito (stuffed with crispy tots!) 

Tacos La Familia
This quaint space on the northside serves up arguably the best Mexican food in the area, highlighted by their birria stew and tacos ahogados, which are the perfect refute to people who say you can’t find good Mexican food in Iowa. Their margaritas, original or strawberry, are the way to wash it down; or try their cantros – tequila, squirt, and lime juice garnished with tajin and salt with a side of orange, grapefruit or pineapple, served in an Instagram worthy mug.
Pair with: Tacos Ahogados (with birria)

Call us basic, but we love a laminated menu with photos of the different dishes. That’s what you’ll get at this popular Drake spot, where the atmosphere is warm and festive, and the margaritas are ice cold. Try the flavored margarita flight and take advantage of their margarita specials Tuesday – Thursday.
Pair with: Shrimp Chimichanga 

El Fogon
This West Des Moines stalwart’s claim to fame is their handmade tortillas that you can watch them make up front, but their margaritas go above and beyond as well. They’re served just the way we like them: in a glass as big as your head. With spicy watermelon and jalapeno options available as well, your eyes may soon pass over the “trainer approved” portion of their huge menu and go straight to the deep fried chimichangas.
Pair with: Mole Poblano

Coa Cantina
This tequila bar in the East Village is the place to go if you like to pair your margaritas with dancing, where DJ’s spin on the weekends in a cozy, fun space. The Coa Margarita is a fan fave, but you can spice things up with a smoky mezcal margarita or keep it sweet with strawberry, passionfruit, mango or blackberry. All the flavors are house made, so frozen or on the rocks, it’s always margarita o’clock. Check out their popular Trivia Thursdays, from 7 – 9 p.m.
Pair with: Street corn nachos

Rita’s Cantina
The only thing better than a margarita flight is a queso flight to go with it. Home to one of the best patios in the metro, you can order your margarita with champagne (Margmosa) if you’re feeling fancy or Coronoa (Corona Rita) if you’re basic. You can also add flavors like blueberry, raspberry, peach, and habanero for only a dollar more. Sitting on the patio on a sunny day, shades down, a margarita in hand, queso drenched chip in the other, you’re clearly living your best life. Note: they are closed during the winter months.
Pair with: Lobster Tacos

Bartender’s Handshake
Craft cocktails are the name of the game at this Brooklyn-esque bar with the astroturf patio that everyone is talking about. Everyone is also talking about “Tommy’s Margarita”, with Exotico blanco tequila, lime, and agave. We don’t know who Tommy is, but we do know he has great taste.
Pair with: Sweet potato chips and party dip 

Fiesta Jalapeños
A favorite among Simpson College students in Indianola, IA, Fiesta Jalapeños offers a wide range of options for margaritas. With over 15 flavors and combinations, Fiesta Jalapeños is sure to please. Count us in.  
Pair with: Fajita Caribe

Pueblo Viejo
This hidden gem on the northside of Des Moines serves up hearty portions of enchiladas and burritos that would be criminal not to pair with their sugary-sweet margaritas. Pro tip: When deciding between a glass or a pitcher, always go for the pitcher. Save the wait staff the back and forth. Sometimes we order the Cadillac Margarita just because it sounds cool.
Pair with: Trio Fajitas  

You know how you can always tell how good a Mexican restaurant is going to be by how good the chips and salsa are? Fiesta starts the party off right with always warm chips and perfectly pureed salsa that are a harbinger for things to come. With an elevated ambience, some of the best food in the metro (regardless of cuisine), and of course ice cold margaritas that hit that perfect sweet spot, Fiesta is a place to celebrate. With locations in West Des Moines, Adel, and Pleasant Hill.  
Pair with: Mahi mahi tacos 

You don’t always need unlimited chips and salsa to enjoy a good margarita (although it helps). This swank tiki bar in the East Village has a “poolside classic” on their menu mixed with Exotico blanco tequila, Gran Gala, lime, and agave, with a half-salted rim that will have you planning your next tropical vacation before you’re even finished.

With locations in both Urbandale and Ankeny, there are a couple of ways to get your margarita fix at Hidalgo. We love the square chalice, sugar coating the rim ever so delicately, filled to the brim with a bright blue margarita. Pair it with a patio and a sunny day to validate all of your life choices.
Pair with: Choripollo  

Hacienda Vieja
Like the old Outkast jam “So Fresh, So Clean”, this family run joint in Grimes serves up tasty licks in a fun, clean space that begs for a second margarita and third basket of chips. Reviews for their margs frequently contain the phrases “best in town”, “to die for”, and “best kept secret around”. Oh shoot, SPOILER ALERT. And they come in shakers, too. Shake it like a Polaroid pitcher, indeed.
Pair with: Seafood Hacienda Vieja

Casa Oaxca
Even if it takes recruiting a designated driver, you’re gonna want to make the drive out to Minburn to try their legendary margaritas. And that’s to say nothing of their food, which just might be the best Mexican food in the state. This is the kind of place that makes you feel you just discovered something special, and that’s not just the second margarita talking.
Pair with: Mole enchiladas  

Toro Loco
Margaritas are always memorable (until you’ve had too many) and you won’t soon forget the margaritas at Toro Loco in Clive. That’s because you’re drinking it straight from a Don Julio bottle covered with tajin and an orange slice. Come for the Instagram worthy marg, stay for the carnitas and fresh tortillas.
Pair with: Chimichangas

Bar Nico
We’re suckers for trendy tacos and craft cocktails and Bar Nico in the East Village hits the sweet spot with both. Try the mushroom queso fundido (add pork belly for extra opulence) and pair it with the house Nico’s Margarita or one of their seasonal concoctions like pineapple infused tequila, triple sec, agave, and lime with a Caribbean jerk rim. Everything is made from scratch and made for repeat visits.
Pair with: Smoked duck enchiladas