Houston’s Original Jumbo Margarita

The Jumbo Margarita has become a staple in Houston, as many recent Super Bowl visitors quickly found out! But did you know this gargantuan refreshment originated right here at Cyclone Anaya’s? We’ve been serving this colossal cocktail since we invented it in 1978! Since then, the craze has grown even bigger than the jumbo glass it resides in. This is how it all got started.

Cyclone Anaya’s has, and always will be, a family owned and operated restaurant. Back in the 1970’s, the whole family was intimately involved in day-to-day operations and service. Grandparents, children, including current owners Rico and Vienna, and cousins helped out anywhere they were needed. Vienna and her Grandfather, known as “CP” or “Chop-Chop” because of his vegetable chopping duties, worked behind the bar.

At that time, and since they opened in 1966, Cyclone Anaya’s was a beer bar. With 18 different beers on tap, an incredible selection at the time, customers were happy and regular. Many of those beers were served in large Coors goblets. While business was booming, Cyclone knew the addition of liquor drinks would grow the customer base even more, so he decided to send Vienna to bartending school.

Upon her graduation, she returned and began to concoct the first Cyclone Anaya’s margarita. The whole family was involved, trying and sampling all kinds of ingredients and portions to find just the right mix, and eventually, they did.

Cyclone Anaya was larger-than-life, not surprising for a world champion wrestling superstar, so it was only natural for the first margarita served to be larger-than-life, too! One problem: no one made margarita glasses that big! They would instead use the huge Coors goblets to serve their jumbo margaritas.

Cyclone Anaya’s began selling the first jumbo margaritas in Houston in 1978 for just five dollars, and they were an immediate hit! Local politicians, football players, visiting wrestlers, and the community at-large flocked to the restaurant for the mighty drink (as anyone who’s tried them knows, mighty in more ways than one!). From that moment on, the jumbo margarita became a staple in Houston and our signature cocktail.

For almost 40 years now we’ve used the same time-tested recipe for our margaritas, and they’re as popular as ever. We’re so lucky to have so many loyal guests and employees who have helped us continue this tradition our family started so long ago. We hope you can stop by again soon for Houston’s Original Jumbo Margarita!


Cyclone’s & Houston: 50 Years Later

This year, we are extremely proud to celebrate our 50th Anniversary! In 1966, Cyclone, our namesake, or “Papa” as he’s called by our family, retired after a prolific wrestling career and started this restaurant. Believe it or not, Cyclone Anaya’s started out as an icehouse and didn’t even serve food! Shortly after opening, however, his wife, or “Mama,” thought it would be a good idea to have food around, and began cooking for our guests.

We’ve come a long way since Mama and Papa opened our first restaurant and so has our hometown. Here’s a look at what some of Houston’s most famous landmarks looked like back in 1966:

Original Sign
This is a copy of the original sign that was outside our first location in 1966, at 1201 N. Shepherd. At the time, Tommie Vaughn Ford was next door, but when we moved, they took over our lot as well. They are still in that location today!
Reagan High School
Reagan High School
The Heights State Bank Building has served several purposes since then, but has kept the same great look.
The Heights State Bank Building has served several purposes since then, but has kept the same great look.
This is a newspaper advertisement from Cyclone’s early days.
This is a newspaper advertisement from Cyclone’s early days.
The Yale Theater was not too far from our original location at 1201 N Shepherd.
The Yale Theater was not too far from our original location at 1201 N Shepherd.
Views of Downtown Houston in 1966.
Views of Downtown Houston in 1966.
The Astrodome, opened only a year earlier, added its famous astroturf in 1966 because the original grass didn’t survive.
The Astrodome, opened only a year earlier, added its famous astroturf in 1966 because the original grass didn’t survive.
Rodeo 1966
In that same year, the Astrodome began hosting the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, which continued until 2002.
Muhammad Ali fights Cleveland Williams in the Astrodome in what many think was the best performance of his career.
Muhammad Ali fights Cleveland Williams in the Astrodome in what many think was the best performance of his career.
NASA launched five separate Gemini space missions in 1966.
NASA launched five separate Gemini space missions in 1966.
US 59 through Downtown was under construction.
US 59 through Downtown was under construction.
CITYCENTRE was an empty field (see Phase II on the photo) in what would become Town & Country Village.
CITYCENTRE was an empty field (see Phase II on the photo) in what would become Town & Country Village.
A view of the Port of Houston in 1966.
A view of the Port of Houston in 1966.
1966 Map of Houston.
1966 Map of Houston.