Last month I spent 8 days in Austin at SXSW and had some amazing food. Everyone kept asking me “where can I get the best BBQ in this town?” and I told everyone, “I think you might be asking the wrong question?”
The BBQ grail used to be THE mission quest for many carnivores visiting Texas’ state capitol. By now everyone should know that Austin and the surrounding greater metro area has some superb BBQ, arguably the best in the country (Franklin, Black’s, Interstellar, Stiles & Switch, Sam’s, Terry Black’s, La Barbecue, Leroy & Lewis and more…).
But, and it’s a BIG BUT, I would argue that Austin is now a taco town.
And below is a long list of GREAT taco places to keep in your back pocket for the next time you spend a few days in one of the best small food cities in America.
If you aren’t heading to Austin soon, and like me, celebrate taco Tuesdays at home, remember that next week is Cinco de Mayo!
What better time to check out some of these amazing salsas to plus up your own tacos at home? Link at bottom of list.
In no particular order… here are some great places to get your taco itch scratched. And I had another 2 dozen places on my list to check out and never got to them…I ate at these places over my last 3 trips to Austin, so just check their websites or give them a call to makes sure they are open.
Incredible tortillas, superb meats for fillings and right next door to a gas station which checks almost all the boxes for me. I loved this place.
Late night was when I went and apparently that’s when everyone goes! I hammered the beef tacos that my host ordered. Superb.
A cool new food truck that gets it’s name from tacos con todo, the ones served with cilantro, onions, salsa and I fell in love with the calabaza asada. Beer on hand at the brewery where the truck parks.
As the name implies, you get the carnitas that comes in piles with tortillas. A nice unique approach.
Another truck, superb beef tacos and several vegetarian options with nopalitos that pleased my friends who were trying to eat less meat.
I doubled up here and had 2 tacos al pastor at this restaurant since that was what was suggested and they didn’t disappoint. Maybe the best al pastor I ate all week
This is the kind of place that gives me great joy because I was convinced I would dislike the ‘house’ taco because I saw that it featured bacon-wrapped fried chicken with mangoes. I was so so so wrong.
Famous for their duck carnitas which are truly out of this world. I ate several, and finished with their paletas, a frozen Mexican popsicle which always makes me happy
They have 3 locations serving superb tacos, all attached to bars. I tried their brisket with chile morita. Smoky and pitch perfect. I tried the location at Las Perlas Bar and it was a blast.
The locals favorite it would seem based on what everyone was telling me before I went over there. And I can see why, everything was excellent. Homemade tortillas, great fruity drinks, superb fillings and some of the best ‘hang out’ vibes I experienced. People have fun here.
They confit brisket for their suedero tacos at one of my fave Austin restaurants. The lime-y, black garlic sauce that comes on them is elegant and cuts through the fattiness of the Waygu beef. I love these.
I had never been and EVERYONE loves Val’s. They specialize in tacos loaded with real BBQ. And there is always a line of flans flocking for the carnitas, BBQ chicken, and brisket tacos all kissed with the smoke of the gods. Definitely lived up to the hype
Tongue tacos were what I had after a show, late at night, when all I wanted was more tacos….Las Trancas delivered big time.
Friends told me to get the carne guisada tacos here and they were out of control good, braised beef in a superb tomato-onion ‘sauce’, but everything else, including the gorditas stuffed with your choice of meat was delicious too. And we never left the Uber. True story. Drive through for the win.
I wanted birria tacos so my friends sent me here, and they were superb, I ordered them with cheese and broth… and had three. Mic drop.
No plans to visit Austin any time soon? Up your taco game at home with these salsa recipes.
What are your favorite places in Austin? Share in the comments!
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