I tried this low-cost deal that unlocks cheap Margaritas from the bar at Neon Cactus in Leeds city centre

If you’re in a flashy bar with a colourful interior, reasonably priced booze and blaring music, you can bet there’s a Margarita on the menu.
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They’re everywhere now. But the ubiquity of the classic cocktail fosters a wariness that what you’re actually ordering is a pre-mixed, sugary fruit juice bearing no resemblance to the Mexican classic.

At Neon Cactus, in Call Lane, they’re worth every penny. And in this case, it’s very few pennies. The trendy cantina serves a zingy and strong Margarita for just £6 if you order them in a particular way, which almost feels secret.

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If you go for the “tacoverload” – a platter of well-filled tacos – you unlock the £6 Margaritas.

The Margaritas at Neon Cactus are just £6 each when ordered with the "tacoverload" platter. Photo: Steve Riding.The Margaritas at Neon Cactus are just £6 each when ordered with the "tacoverload" platter. Photo: Steve Riding.
The Margaritas at Neon Cactus are just £6 each when ordered with the "tacoverload" platter. Photo: Steve Riding.

We picked up a platter of tacos for £20 which had been filled with crispy aubergine. There were 10 and they were incredibly moreish and filling. We also went for the soy nachos, which were £9.50 and equally delicious.

Then the drinks arrived. Served in a stylish coupe with a generously salted rim, the pale green beverage was a visual treat – and it tasted even better. The drink evidently used a high-quality tequila that was both smooth and smoky.

When mixed with what was unmistakeably fresh lime juice, it gave an acerbic kick to enforce the strength of the zesty and sweet orange liqueur. In short, it was the perfect blend of ingredients. Complex but easily drinkable – dangerously easily. It was lovely, reminding me of exactly why it’s my favourite cocktail. And although it’s a drink more closely associated with lazy summer afternoons, our Margaritas spiced up what was one of the first wintery nights of the year.

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The rim of the glass was well salted, which contrasted sharply with the citrusy notes in the drink.

Neon Cactus itself is a gem in the heart of the city’s party street, embodying the Mexican spirit with its vibrant colours illuminating the dark nights. It’s lively too, but not too intense at dinnertime so you can still chat to mates.

Inside, the enticing aromas of Mexican cuisine are difficult to resist. The vibe is young and trendy, with an eclectic crowd enjoying excellent drinks and food. We had a great night thanks to the engaging staff and vibrant atmosphere.

I’ll find it difficult to go back to Call Lane without picking up a Margarita at Neon Cactus.


Address: 35 Call Ln, Leeds, LS1 7BT

Telephone: 0113 245 8400

Opening hours: Tue-Sat, 12pm-4am; Sun, 12pm-2am; Mon, 5pm-4am

Website: neoncactus.co.uk


Drinks: 10/10

Value: 10/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Service: 10/10

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