Happy Hour Hound: Add Variety to Your Margs at Cha-Cha’s Mexican Cuisine 

click to enlarge The Spurs-a-Rita marg is half price during Spurs games - ORLANDO CANTU
  • Orlando Cantu
  • The Spurs-a-Rita marg is half price during Spurs games

With locations on Bandera Road and Babcock, Cha-Cha’s Mexican restaurants are readily accessible for most Northwest San Antonioans. With a focus on “premier food,” going to a Cha-Cha’s for an authentic Tex-Mex meal is a no brainer. But going for a great and varied happy hour? You might want to think twice.

Of the two locations, it’s fitting that the website for Cha-Cha’s on Bandera [each location is owned and operated by a different family member] makes nary a mention of their happy hour. Consisting of discounted margaritas by the glass or pitcher ($3 and $15, respectively) and little else, it’s nothing to write home about.

While neither location offers food specials during happy hour (WHAT!?), Cha-Cha’s II (2026 Babcock) at least gives you some more drinking options. With its classic setting (including a hacienda style, etched wood interior and worn tile table tops), boisterous crowd and fun atmosphere (like a manager who walks around and pours shots of Corralejo Tequila directly into patrons’ mouths), this location, which reopened in November, approaches something a little closer to the happy hours we know and love.

Running from 4-7 p.m. Sunday through Friday (and all day Saturday), happy hour hounds can enjoy the aforementioned margaritas for $2.50 (a nice discount), wells for $3, calls for $5, domestics for $2.50 and imports for $3. Beer-wise, all the usual suspects are accounted for: Bud Lite, Miller Lite, Dos XX, Corona, Negra Modelo, Shiner, etc…

But let’s get back to their margaritas. Refreshingly strong, these margaritas are amongst the best in San Antonio. Not too tart, not too sweet and, when served frozen, they’re just the right consistency to start pounding. These margs do not disappoint. And if you’re going to be enjoying Cha-Cha’s above average chips and salsa, skip the salted rims. You’ll get your sodium fix with each and every bite of that deep fried goodness.

Pro-tip: While the amazing-looking Spurs-a-Rita (consisting of the three old- school Spurs colors) is not part of the happy hour discount, it can be had for half-off during a Spurs game. So during the few games where the timing works out (mainly just Saturdays)–you’re golden!

If you’re looking to mix it up, you can also add one of more than 60 flavors to your drink for an extra buck. Running the gamut from apple, blackberry and “cactus” juice to kiwi, mango and wild berry, these infusions are a nice change of pace from the classic lime. The peach brandy and Southern Comfort were particularly good. If you want to go puro SA though, make sure to try the chamoy margarita. The vibrant red concoction delivers with its delightfully sweet taste, while the Lucas sprinkled around the rim throws out tart and tangy barbs. I’m getting heartburn just thinking about it.

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