Margaritas at Papatzul


By Dane Feldman

Hibiscus Margarita. Photos by Dane Feldman.

Normally, I don’t run reviews on Thursdays, but Papatzul is home to some of the best margaritas I’ve had, so it seems only necessary that this run as a special edition of Thirsty Thursday.

Papatzul is located on Grand Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York. The restaurant boasts separate lunch, dinner, brunch, and dessert menus, but my first trip to Papatzul was just for happy hour.

The restaurant’s happy hour special includes three different $5 Mexican beers on tap: Corona, Negra Modelo, Pacifico, and, right now, Estrella Damm as well. It’s not that I don’t love a good Modelo (I’ve actually never had the chance to drink it on tap), but this place had me at its margarita menu. Papatzul offers four different $6 margaritas: tamarind, hibiscus, watermelon, and lime.

I was a bit on the fence about ordering the hibiscus margarita, but as I watched the bartender make it for a group at the other end of the bar I figured it looked too beautiful to pass up. This margarita comes on the rocks with no salt, but you can have a salted rim if you ask for one. I didn’t and for once, it didn’t seem necessary. The hibiscus margarita is tart, faintly floral, and fully delicious.

Watermelon Margarita.

After the hibiscus, I toyed with the idea of trying the tamarind, but had the watermelon margarita instead. What a great choice this was. The watermelon margarita is exactly what you’d want and expect out of one and more. The drink itself is fruity and light and tastes unmistakably like watermelon, but this margarita comes with a chili-salted rim that can’t be beat.

My group and I also ordered a few sides as quick tapas: rice, refried beans, and yucca fries. Everything was delicious, particularly the yucca fries, which were thick cut and lightly salted.

I’ll definitely be returning to Papatzul for a larger meal and more of those original margaritas.