Introducing the #4DaysOf4K at DrupalCon Austin! We are so excited DrupalCon is coming to Austin this year, that we want to be as helpful as possible for those coming to our wonderful town to visit. Each day during DrupalCon Austin, we will have something fun for you to do. Expect an announcement on what we’re planning very soon!
In the meantime, we will be publishing a weekly “Four Kitchens’ Guide to Austin” leading up to DrupalCon Austin. This week, we bring you our guide to Austin tacos. With so many great taco options, you can surely have a great taco every day while you’re here, if you wish to!
Voted the best queso in town, Torchy’s Tacos has become a staple of the local Austin food scene since its early beginnings as a small food trailer in South Austin. Since then, Torchy’s has expanded, and they have several locations around town. Whether you are staying in downtown Austin, or staying outside of the downtown area, I bet there will be a Torchy’s near you.
- What to get: Queso and chips are a must. The Trailer Park taco is one of their crown jewels. For vegetarians, the Fried Avocado taco is a great alternative.
- Like a local: Torchy’s revealed a “secret menu” last year, which you can find here for some hidden eats.
Welcome to the most heated food rivalry in Austin. Are you a Torchy’s or Taco Deli fan? It tends to define you ‘round these parts. Rivalry aside, Taco Deli offers great tacos for breakfast and lunch (they are closed for dinner). Taco Deli does offer more vegetarian and vegan-friendly options for those looking for veggie noms. You can even get some amazing salads there, for those sensitive to carb consumption. Taco Deli does have less locations, but you can find their breakfast tacos at several downtown coffee shops, like Cafe Medici, The Hideout and Royal Blue Grocery.
- What to get: we are a big fan of the Picosito (but you can only get it on Mondays!)
- Like a local: Their hot sauce, also known as “Dona Sauce” is legendary for its spicy deliciousness. Don’t get your taco without it!
Yes, Mellizoz Tacos also has a Fried Avocado taco, much like Torchy’s. However, the Mellizoz version features tempura fried avocado. For a while, they have been the best kept secret in the Austin taco scene, with some even saying they are better than Torchy’s. You decide! Mellizoz Tacos can be found on South First street, and are open for lunch on weekdays, and until 9:00pm on weekends, so plan ahead!
- What to get: Seriously, anything you have there will be great. But we recommend their Fried Avocado.
- Like a local: Save some room for dessert! Gourdough’s, located in the same food trailer park as Mellizoz, serves up delicious donuts that are not to be missed.
Juan in a Million
If you watch the show Man v. Food on the Travel Channel, you have probably heard of Juan in a Million. Juan in a Million is open daily for breakfast and lunch (they close at 3:00pm, so plan ahead!). Though they are open for lunch, what you really want to go there for is breakfast. Juan serves up some of the most famous breakfast tacos in Austin. Their Don Juan, also known as “El Taco Grande,” is a legendary taco that is really about 4 tacos in one.
- What to get: You must get the Don Juan, hands down.
- Like a local: Participate in the Don Juan challenge! If you can eat 4 Don Juan tacos, you will earn a spot in the Juan in a Million wall of fame!
Mi Madre’s has some of the best fresh salsa in town. They also have some pretty big breakfast tacos, which you can enjoy at their sit-in restaurant, or take to-go.
- What to get: If you are there on a Sunday, try their Mexican Eggs Benedict.
- Like a local: Grab your tacos to-go, then walk across the street to Thunderbird Coffee for a cup of Joe. Sit down and enjoy their patio!
It really does seem like very city now has their own Korean-fusion tacos, and Austin is no exception. Chilantro is by far the local favorite here, serving up delicious Korean BBQ tacos, which you can pair up with kimchi fries. Yes, you heard that right. Kimchi fries. Chilantro also offers vegetarian options, and their tofu tacos are a great option.
What to get: If you’re not in the mood for tacos, their pulled pork burger is a great alternative. Get it with a fried egg!
Like a local: We recommend you follow their Twitter page for their latest location, as they do move around a lot!
Tamale House East
With a name like Tamale House East, you may not be expecting this joint to also have great tacos, but they do! You can get any breakfast taco combination known to man, including some great vegan options with fresh spinach and mushrooms. If you are not in the mood for tacos, their tamales are quite legit. You can get them smothered with mole and cheese to round-up the meal.
- What to get: we highly recommend any of their breakfast tacos, but get them with a side of their delicious mole!
- Like a local: Try their Mexican Iced Coffee for a cold, sweet summer treat.
In Texas, there are two kinds of Mexican food: Tex-Mex, and authentic Mexican. Authentic Mexican food is harder to find than Tex-Mex around here, but Pueblo Viejo does not disappoint. Pueblo Viejo serves up authentic Mexican tacos for a great price! If you’re looking for a good taco around downtown or East Austin, the Pueblo Viejo trailer is not to be missed. (They also serve breakfast tacos all day!)
- What to get: We highly recommend you get their taco plate, which includes two tacos of your choice, plus a side of beans, guacamole, and chips.
- Like a local: Stop by the Brew and Brew just a block away, and get a coffee to-go before enjoying these delicious tacos.
Do you love breakfast tacos, but your state doesn’t recognize them as a valid first meal of the day? Don’t worry, the book Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day is here to enlighten you on the history of this magical and timeless culinary creation. It also includes recipes so you can impress your friends and family back home*.
*Granted you can find tortillas at your local grocery store.
This post is part of our #4Daysof4K Guide to Austin series. Be sure to check out the other guides:
Photo sources: Serious Eats, Austin Chronicle, Mellizoz Tacos, Shoestring Austin, cecycorrea’s Flickr, Food Truck Talk, Foodspotting, Yelp.