You’ve probably heard about the amazing barbeque in Austin, but their second most-famous food is also more common and cheaper. Yep, I’m talkin’ about TACOS!
Below we break down the 6 best taco shops in Austin that you’ll regret not visiting. We left off the well-known taco shops like Torchy’s Tacos to focus on the local favorites. If you think we missed anything, let us know in the comments below or @DallasAndAimee
Just a note that while I typically prefer flour tortillas, most taco shops in Austin make their own corn. For this reason, always get the corn tortillas!
Formerly on the University of Texas campus, El Primo is family-owned since 2004, by 3 siblings. These tacos are filled to the brim but note that it’s cash-only here. If you want a drink just skip on over to the convenience store next door. Not a lot of parking, but worth hunting for a spot to try their authentic Mexican cuisine.
Taco price range: $2.25-$2.50
What to order: The Al Pastor and Barbacoa tacos stole our hearts and filled out bellies!
Location: 1 at 2101 S 1st St
Owner Sergio Varela offers up a large variety of tacos, based on his mother’s recipes from Southern Mexico. The interiors of the restaurant are pretty basic so it’s the complex flavors that will keep you coming back.
Taco price range: $3-$4.50 but we recommend the rotating lunch/dinner specials which are around $9.
What to order: The Tinga de Res is a pulled beef stewed in chipotle, topped with plantains, cabbage, queso fresco, and a slice of fresh avocado. It has a little bit of spice and a lot of flavors. Also, try the Alambres, full of grilled steak and bacon topped with poblano peppers, onions, provolone cheese, and a slice of fresh avocado.
Locations: 3 – South Austin, East Austin, and North Austin.
This unassuming taco stand is in the parking lot of a gas station, but don’t let that put you off. The tacos are made fresh, fast, and delicious.
Taco price range: $2-$4
What to order: We recommend The Trippy Taco if you’re hungry. It’s bacon-wrapped, piled with fried chicken, then cooled down with mango salad, lettuce, and cheese. Also, try the Chilaquiles for a burst of textures and flavors including tortilla strips, guajillo sauce, and queso fresco.
Locations: 1 at 4205 Menchaca Road
Owned by two sisters and started in 2006, this shop has been recognized by the Food Network as serving one of the five best tacos in America.
Taco price range: $2.50-$4.00
What to order: We loved the Migas Originales breakfast taco – there’s no meat in it but the eggs inside will fill you up and the tortilla chips give it a nice crunch. Also, try the Al Pastor taco which has pork marinated with pineapple and spices, cilantro, onion, and sweet sweet grilled pineapple.
Locations: 5, with #6 opening in Spring 2020. You can find them in Round Rock, South Austin, North Austin, Mueller, and East Austin.
If you don’t visit Las Trancas taco stand, you’re missing out on authentic Mexican flavors cooked up next to the road. Sit down with your lunch at one of their picnic benches and prepare for your taste buds to be amazed, especially at this price point.
Taco price range: All tacos are $2
What to order: The Chicharron taco offers the perfect amount of spice, while the Asada is perfectly tender.
Locations: 1 at 1210 Caesar Chavez Street.
This is an actual hole-in-the-wall restaurant rather than just a stand, so it’s a great respite from the heat outside. Cooked up on a flat-top from a tronca, you know the meat is going to be good. Their tacos are surprisingly big, so bring your appetite.
Taco price range: $3-$4
What to order: We recommend trying the Al Pastor, which is flame-seared marinated pork dressed in cilantro, onion, roasted salsa roja or verde, fresh avocado cream and topped off with a sweet pineapple slice. If you’re there around breakfast time, check out their Chorizo sausage taco which is scrambled with eggs.
Locations: 1 at 104 E 31st Street.
Tell us in the comments – what’s your favorite taco on this list? Did we miss any of your favorite tacos?