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Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is my Cheers

By Kate Hudson | Food Porn | November 1, 2018 |

By Kate Hudson | Food Porn | November 1, 2018 |


Friends, what if I told you there was a restaurant/bar, which when you went you’d be welcomed into the warm glow of friendship and solidarity just like at Cheers? Because you know when you go there that it’s 5 o’clock somewhere? Intrigued? Let me sweeten the pot for you. What if this same place had people dressed as pirates walking around on stilts making adults balloon hats?

“Tell me more” you say.

What if I told you they had decent-to-good margaritas available on the ready, and a pretty solid plate of nachos to warm your belly; and some sweet Jimmy Buffett tunes to feed your soul?!

“But Kate,” you’ll say. “How could such a place exist in such troubled times? Surely 2018 would have crushed the goodness out of his mystical, magical place. Is it in Narnia? Oz? Cleveland?”

No friend, it’s not in a mythical land—it’s the glorious restaurant chain known as Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.

Did you just hear that stock sound of a record scratch, too?

The Cheeseburger in Paradise guy has a chain of restaurants?! Yes, and guess what? It’s far superior to Kenny Roger’s Roasters.

So, what can you expect when you go to Margaritaville?

A good time.

To elaborate, you’ll be greeted warmly and almost immediately be enveloped into a beach-like atmosphere, indoors. One of Jimmy’s (many) hits will be playing, or if you’re lucky, there will be a live band on the stage. You’ll be whisked away to your table, or you can grab a seat at the bar. It doesn’t matter, everything is chill at Margaritaville!

Then the fun begins. You can order a drink, have some food, and most importantly, track down the balloon hat artist. Their repertoire is vast, but if you want the unicorn hat, like I was once surprised with, I suggest you come early, and not sit next to a table full of children, because the unicorn takes about 5 minutes to make, and they tend to not want to do it next to a table of children because they’ll be there for an hour. In addition to the fabled unicorn, you can get a heart, a parrot, a butterfly. There really is no limitation. If you can dream it (and it can be made into a balloon hat) then you can get it.


So how are the food and drinks? Does it matter? There’s balloon hats to be had, friend! I mean, they’re pretty good. I like the margaritas on the rocks, salted rim, just fine. It tastes better with a balloon hat on.

Is there any drawback to Margaritaville? Yes—two.

1)There’s not one on every corner of the world. I’m not sure if that’s in the business plan, but it should be.

2)At my particular Margaritavilla in L.A., every time I go, I suggest to the manager that they need to have an alter to our patron saint of good times, Jimmy Buffett himself. They always laugh and think I’m joking. I’m not. I really feel like a mini-shrine in every location would drive home the point that this is a special place, and that we need to give thanks to its creator. My suggestion of a drink, puka shells, and a few lighted candles falls on deaf ears every time. Maybe one day…

Ok, I’m sure at this point you’re rolling your eyes, because Jimmy Buffett is what you (or your parents, or god forbid you’re young enough to think grandparents) put on when you’ve had one too many Bartles & Jaymes, and just want to relax and have a good time.

Jimmy Buffett is actually a pretty good dude. He’s had the same back up singers for like, 40 years; he campaigns for Democratic candidates (like Trumpers know how to chill out and roll with it, man); and he has a philanthropic organization that helps families, children, and the environment.

If that doesn’t cinch it for you, I don’t know what will. All I can tell you is that Margaritaville is by far my favorite (chain) restaurant, and I hope that the good times can roll there forever. If you’re having a bad day, or hell, having a good one—I recommend you go there post haste, get a balloon hat, and have a drink. You’ll be glad you did.

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Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.

Image sources (in order of posting): Kate Hudson, Kate Hudson