Updated: Jan 20
Tacos originated in pre-Spanish Mexico. The folded food was an innovative culinary invention and we are thankful for it. Outside of Mexico, Austin certainly embraces tacos more than most. Because of their versatility, it is nearly impossible to get tired of tacos. Luckily, you can eat them at any hour of the day or night. Here are a few friendly tips for traversing Austin's taco landscape.
Try a Breakfast Taco
If you’ve never had one, it may seem strange at first. Eggs or beans on a taco? California has breakfast burritos, but you’ll be eating well into lunchtime, they are so big. Breakfast tacos are pocket-sized and travel easily wrapped in tin foil. These tacos are ubiquitous in Austin. You can grab them at the gas station, boutique markets or even your hotel! Like the bagels of New York City, there are different varieties of the breakfast taco. For your money, the best breakfast taco in Austin hails from Tacodeli. With multiple locations in and around Austin, including the airport, you really can’t go wrong here. Their newest location just opened in downtown Austin on 3rd and Congress.
Seriously, go to Tacodeli
They offer the freshest ingredients, the most options, and a mix of traditional tacos and the more experimental variety. Their daily specials, including a divine scallop taco on Thursday, and tacos of the moment are worth the commute. Sample the ceviche or pozole on the weekend. Start with the elegantly simple masterpiece: potato, egg, and cheese (made surprisingly with a potato puree). There are so many favorites on the lunch menu, but you can’t go wrong with the Mojo Fish Taco. Plus, they have the best hot sauce in Austin: the Doña Sauce. Sorry, but these are daytime tacos only, folks! All locations close at 3pm.
Flour or Corn?
Whichever you like the most! Both are amazing when made in-house. Veracruz All Natural and Taco Flats both make theirs from scratch. Rolling Stone magazine calls Veracruz’s fish taco a “minimalist masterpiece” and their Migas Taco was featured on the Food Network. But, don’t sleep on the pastor. There are multiple locations, but we like the truck at Radio Coffee where you can grab some coffee and some music. Order a frozen mezcal from sister cantina La Holly on Pedernales to accompany your Taco Flats order. We love the Pirata with a side of homemade chips and queso.
Yes, the taco trucks are awesome
There are many to choose from, one of our favorites beyond Taco Flats and Veracruz is El Primo on South First Street. Come for the traditional tacos, including migas, carne asada, pastor, and barbacoa. Stay for the coffee at Once Over at the same location. They roast their own beans known as Wild Gift.
While El Primo offers more traditional tacos, you can get a more radical variety at Torchy’s Damn Good Tacos. Starting as an Austin food truck in 2006, Torchy’s now boasts about 60 restaurants all over Texas.
Our favorite is the blazing hot Brushfire with Jerk Chicken, mango and Diablo Sauce, a creamy, spicy habanero sauce, but get crazy with the Trailer Park. That’s fried chicken, green chiles, poblano salsa and queso, if you’re trashy. If you want things to get messy, order The Matador off the secret menu.
Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays!
Back in 2016, our mayor, Steve Adler, declared every day Taco Tuesday in a written decree. Have one with a Margarita or Paloma at Licha’s Cantina on E. 6th St. So, no more excuses. Tacos are perfect for any day or time! Enjoy your taco tourism!