Along with its reputation as a start-up and live music mecca, Austin TX is also known for its great food scene. Locals and visitors alike love sinking their teeth into Tex-Mex, traditional Mexican food fused with Texan flair. Whether you’re here on vacation or you’re a local looking for a new Tex-Mex joint, here are some of the best places in Austin to get your Tex-Mex fix:
Tamale House East
A family-run establishment, this great restaurant has family recipes that have been feeding East Austin locals for generations. If you’re looking for fantastic food, with the best bang for your buck, try out their well-known breakfast tacos. The migas, an egg and tortilla chip mixture, with added onions and peppers and drenched in queso sauce, is one of the local favorites. This long standing establishment has been featured in Thrillist’s “15 Best Meals Under $5“, and even got a visit from the world famous chef, Anthony Bourdain. If you’re looking for phenomenal, cheap food, this local hot spot is sure to impress.
Pueblo Viejo is a favorite food truck among East Austin’s residents, serving up lots of tasty Tex-Mex breakfast tacos.
This one of kind business gives the term “food truck” a whole new meaning. Locals line up to taste their famous breakfast tacos, al pastor and gorditas. The big favorite is the overwhelmingly delicious Taco Bueno, made of eggs, potatoes, chorizo and cheese. Established in 2010, this not-your-ordinary food truck offers authentic “antojitos”(“little cravings”) created by native Mexican siblings. Take a drive to East Austin to sample what locals have been raving about for years: their Taco don Chago (beans, cheese, bacon and avocado) or the very popular Pueblo Viejo (luscious steak with mushrooms, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and avocado).
Habanero Mexican Café
Take a trip down to Oltorf to sample some authentic Tex-Mex, at another family run business, established in 1999. They serve all day breakfast, have great lunch specials and locals describe their food as “flavorful” and “a comfort food”. This café was listed in Thrillist’s “9 Best Tex-Mex Joints in Austin” list and rated #2 on Yelp’s “10 Best Tex-Mex Restaurants in Austin.” Locals love the cozy atmosphere and true Mexican experience. You’re sure to fall in love when trying their fajitas, cooked on mesquite, or their specially made spicy habanero salsa.
Austin’s upscale Fonda San Miguel is a great place to sip happy hour margaritas or to celebrate a special occasion.
If you’re looking for something for an upscale take on your favorite Tex-Mex dishes, look no further than this swanky restaurant. It has a classy ambience, and even though it’s a little pricier than most, locals come back time and time again for their Cochinita Pibil, a Yucatan specialty of scrumptious pork baked in a banana leaf. You should also try your hand at the Ancho Relleno San Miguel, a chile ancho filled with chicken, olives, capers and almonds in a light cilantro cream sauce. And if you’re feeling wild, take a sip of their amazing mango margaritas. The delectable food will make you wonder why you’ve never tried it before!
Isalia’s Tex-Mex Restaurant
This trendy little spot is located in the heart of Austin, Texas close to the University of Texas and is a favorite of college students and locals alike. Established in 2015, it is already becoming a favorite for people looking for traditional food. Stop in and try their delightful enchiladas, fajitas, chile rellenos or their breakfast tacos. If it’s your first time, you have to sample their homemade salsas locals are raving about. This place has been voted #1 on Yelp’s “10 Best Tex-Mex Restaurants in Austin.“
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