As the weather warms, seek out the best mixes of triple sec, limes and tequila that the city has to offer.
The impending warmer weather signals a change around Philadelphia, as people on Main Campus and elsewhere around the city become friendlier. It also means that it’s more appropriate to try out all of the places in Philadelphia to slurp down margaritas.
Margaritas can normally be a bit pricey, however many restaurants and bars discount their drinks during happy hour. While not a complete guide to margarita happy hours in Philadelphia, this is a good starting point to find delicious and inexpensive margaritas in the city.
148 South St.
Monday-Friday: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Las Bugambilias is not a typical South Street bar. In fact, despite having a small bar near the entrance, Las Bugambilias is much more a restaurant than anything else. Too small to gather with a large group of friends, this place is definitely better for a happy hour with a few people or even a nice place for a date. The décor makes it cozy and server was fantastic and attentive without being overbearing. But the margarita is the real selling point – the perfect combination of tequila, lime and triple sec. Not only do they taste fantastic, but they’re also definitely some of the stronger happy hour margaritas that can be found in Philadelphia.
El Camino Real
1040 N. 2nd St.
Monday-Friday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
$14 for fruit-of-the-day pitchers
El Camino Real is a great place in Northern Liberties. In addition to traditional margaritas they generally offer two fruit-of-the-day options. Inside is nice, though many of their booths have bench seating, which can get uncomfortable. But the best thing El Camino has going for it is the outdoor seating when the weather gets nicer. On a warm day, it is easy to settle down at a picnic table outside with a few friends and a few pitchers. Most of these tables also offer perfect opportunities for people-watching on Second Street, and the arrangement allows for some gawking at the fancy meals consumed at the restaurant across the walkway. There are also all- you-can-eat chips and salsa for a mere $1 per person, and their chips are hard to beat.
Cantina Dos Segundos
931 N. 2nd St.
Monday-Friday 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Cantina Dos Segundos is the Northern Liberties sister restaurant to Cantina Los Caballitos in South Philadelphia. They offer a whopping 10 flavors in addition to their traditional margarita, and they’re all available on the rocks, up and frozen. Needless to say it is likely that there will be something there to please everyone. The blood orange margarita is a favorite, and during happy hour almost every table seems to have a pitcher of it. There is some outdoor seating, but be sure to arrive early if interested, as there’s sometimes a long wait.
263 s. 15th St.
Monday-Friday 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Jose Pistolas is a small restaurant in an old, narrow building on 15th Street in Center City. It may be easy to miss while walking down the street, but the location is convenient to access from the Broad Street Line–just keep looking up for the bull skull sign. Jose Pistolas has two floors, each with its own bar and both floors tend to be dark. Come happy hour and into the evening it can get mighty loud in there, so it definitely is not a place for intimate conversations, unless you like shouting across the table. As a warning, the television on the first floor is generally playing FEARnet, which could be a perk for anyone who is into horror though some in your party may choose to face away from the gore while drinking or eating.
Meghan White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.