We tried three famous Milwaukee margaritas: we had one runaway favorite

For this  “Take Three Tuesday” we tried three margaritas suggested by our page members . Every three weeks we ask our members to name the best place to get a particular food or drink.   We pick three, check them out, and give you our thoughts.  A year and a half ago we tried margaritas in Racine and Kenosha; this time we focused on Milwaukee.

All of the places we visited are Mexican restaurants that sell high volumes of margaritas and use a mix – no problem.

Coming in at No. 3:

Conejito’s Place – 539 W. Virginia Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Conejitos exterior

Conejito’s first opened Milwaukee in 1972 and is consistently voted as “best cheap eats” in various local publications.   Many people glowingly talk about this place as having great food and drinks.  Unfortunately,  I don’t get it.   Yes, the prices are  cheap — but the margaritas were not as drinkable as the other two places, the chips were hard,  and salsa had an unusual taste of seasoning salt.

conejito interior

The day we were there, twenty-somethings dominated the crowd and it probably had something to do with the $3.50 margaritas and food.  The great thing about Mexican food is that  at most places it is quite affordable.

conejito menu

We ordered the $3.50 margarita and it was certainly better than one you would get at a corner bar where the weekend bartender has to ask the owner if they can make margaritas before searching out of forgotten bottle of mix under the bar, but it wasn’t anything to make us return.   The margaritas were poured out of jug of “Evonne’s” mix which was on the sour side.   The place is dumpy, which sometimes I enjoy, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t feeling it that day, I liked the more festive atmosphere of the other two places.

Conejito Margaritas

Coming in at No. 2:

La Perla, 734 S. 5th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This is a larger Mexican restaurant in Walker’s Point,  that throughout the years has marketed itself with clever ad campaigns and billboards.  The day we walked in unfortunately it was 90 degrees and the air conditioning was “caput.”

la perla exterior

The inside is cheerful with multiple patios and two interior seating areas.

la perla margarita

We ordered the traditional margarita on the rocks for $7.25 which was the priciest of the three margaritas that we sampled.   It was a very drinkable margarita — just a tad on the sweet side.  The glass could have used more salt.   Also, no chips were offered to us as it was apparent we were there for the drinks.   There was not much wrong with this margarita except the price.

Coming in at No. 1 (WE LOVE THIS PLACE)

El Fuego, 909 W. Layton Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

El Fuego Exterior

This is a huge restaurant with a wonderfully festive decor.   It was too hot to sit outside but the patio seating is an oasis on Layton Avenue, which has more chain restaurants than anything in that area.  Expect a wait on Saturday night but don’t let that keep you away; this is one of the few Mexican restaurants to celebrate a special occasion – it has that atmosphere.

el fuego interior

We ordered the traditional margarita on the rocks, which was $6.00 individual or $12.00 for a small pitcher which seemed to equal three margaritas.

el fuego pouring margaritas

The margaritas were not too sweet or too sour, the salt was generous and glass size was adequate.  I haven’t even told you about the best deal in Milwaukee: between 2:30 and 6pm every day these margaritas are only $3.00 each!   I can’t end this without mentioning that the chips that they served with the margaritas were the most fresh, crispiest, hottest, chips I have had in my entire life.

Suggestion, head out to El Fuego right around 2:30 on a summer Saturday or Sunday.  Make sure you have a designated driver though because these drinks packed a punch.  Eat the glorious chips and salsa, sit on the patio, enjoy these few weeks of sunny warm weather we have in Wisconsin.  These are the days.

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