by Brad Pauly
on Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 4:08pm.
Let's face it. If you've got a home in Austin, then you live in a pretty cool city. And if you’re a taco enthusiast, you’ve come to the right place. Austin is filled with awesome taco shops and food trucks. Since you’ll probably have a hard time narrowing down all your options, we at the Pauly Presley Realty team decided to do some research, and have compiled a list of our favorites for you. Here are our picks for the best tacos in Austin!
10. Habanero Mexican Cafe
(501 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704)
You’ll probably need to visit Habanero quite a few times to work through their extensive taco menu . You won’t find any crazy or “experimental” flavor combinations--Habanero is more about bringing you high quality classic tacos. For people who enjoy spicy dishes, order the beef or chicken fajita rancheras tacos. Customers can either dine-in or get their food to go, so you can stop in before work or on your lunch break. Another perk of Habanero: they have later hours on the weekends.
9. Mellizoz (Izzoz)
(1503 S. 1st St, Austin, TX 78704)
Fried avocado fans will love Mellizoz because now they can get their favorite food in taco form! Patrons of Mellizoz rave about the food truck’s fried avocado taco. Other hits include the shrimp tempura taco and the Slowrider, a tortilla filled with braised beef, caramelized onions, and crumbled cojita cheese. The ingredients are fresh and flavorful, and another bonus is that the truck is parked next to Gordough’s so you can follow up your tacos with doughnuts if you don’t fill up on the excellent food at Mellizoz.
8. Juan in a Million
(2300 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin TX 78702)
This East Austin restaurant has been serving quality Mexican food for over 30 years and has become a hit with locals and tourists alike. They’re famous for their legendary Don Juan Taco, a massive concoction of eggs, potatoes, and bacon in a flour tortilla that was featured on the Travel Channel show “Man Vs. Food.” For those who prefer more traditional portions, you won’t have a problem finding a menu item you like. Juan in a Million provides a good selection of classic tacos (like the amazing carne guisada) and of course, an impressive list of breakfast tacos.
(North, Central, and South locations)
Known for its award winning Salsa Doña, Tacodeli will not disappoint. They offer a wide variety of both specialty and breakfast tacos that range from simplistic with minimal ingredients to elaborate culinary creations. You’ll see everything on a taco here, from braised brisket to oven roasted sweet potatoes. Vegetarians and vegans are welcome too and will have several creative options to choose from, instead of being limited to rice and beans. The chain has several locations, so if you’re in Austin you’re probably not too far from a Tacodeli!
6. Papalote Taco House
(2803 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704)
Papalote’s cauliflower cake tacos were awarded the Best Vegetarian Taco title by the Austin Chronicle, but vegetarians and meat lovers alike rave about this place. At $3.25 apiece, the tacos here are a bit pricier than some of the food trucks around town, but they’re worth their price in size and quality. Fast, friendly service combined with fresh ingredients and an innovative menu solidify Papalote’s place in the best of Austin’s taco scene.
5. Taco Mex
(2611 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722)
Locals will be the first to tell you that Taco Mex serves up some of the best fish tacos in Austin. It’s nestled into a space so tiny you could almost walk right past it, but you won’t want to because this taco shop packs a big punch. With excellent prices and generous portions (you can basically get an entire filet of grilled fish on your taco), a filling meal won’t cost over $5.00 here. Taco Mex is located just east of UT, but it’s worth making the trek from any area of the city.
4. Taco More
(2015 E Riverside 3, Austin, TX 78741)
For true Mexican food in Austin, look no further than Taco More just south of the lake. There’s nothing snobby about this Riverside eatery; the atmosphere and the people who work here are friendly and casual. Their tacos are unbelievably affordable but still fresh, delicious, and authentic. Worth trying is their tacos al pastor; the pork is cooked with pineapple juice to give it the slightest hint of sweetness.
3. Tamale House
(1707 E 6th Street, Austin TX 78702)
Don’t let the name fool you--Tamale House does tacos and it does them well. You can get basic tacos for under a dollar here, and their more elaborate tacos won’t cost you very much either. Tamale House is a no-frills establishment, so just come to enjoy the solid food at a decent price. This is the perfect place to stop in before school or work for a filling breakfast taco that won’t drain your wallet.
2. Torchy's Tacos
(North, South, and Central Austin locations)
Torchy’s started out as one man with a food trailer in South Bouldin and has now grown into a famous taco chain with locations all over Austin, Houston, Waco, and Dallas. But don’t let its size fool you--Torchy’s success hasn’t caused them to sacrifice quality. With creative flavor combinations and clever names (like The Independent, a flour tortilla stuffed with fried portabella mushroom strips, refried black beans, and escabeche carrots drizzled with a creamy ancho aioli), you won’t feel like you’re at just any old taco shop. Definitely make a point to try their famous Green Chile Queso and since they do a special Taco of the Month, you’ll have a perfect excuse to go back every few weeks, if you can wait that long.
1. Veracruz All Natural
(1704 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin TX 78702)
This food trailer has been hailed by everyone from Rachael Ray to Rolling Stone, and with good reason. If you’re looking for a traditional, authentic taco, you can’t do much better than Veracruz. Their meats are always cooked and seasoned to perfection (there are vegetarian options on the menu as well) and they love to load their tacos with veggies. Portions here are generous so you’ll only need 2 or 3 tacos to satisfy your craving. But it’s not just the fillings that shine here. The ladies of Veracruz also make all the tortillas and chips in-house. Be sure to wake up for Veracruz’s highly regarded breakfast and migas tacos. And don’t forget to peruse the selection of amazing homemade salsas at their salsa bar.