If there’s one thing Austin has plenty of, it’s tacos. And while a good taco is the perfect combination of heat and happiness, there’s nothing sadder than being served a pile of mystery meat on a soggy tortilla. To avoid this taco tragedy, you need information, and ATX Guides is here to help. Below you’ll find 11 places that serve up the best tacos Austin has ever seen.
From fresh fish tacos to flame-grilled carne asada, these taco places offer your favorite Mexican food classics alongside a few inventive flavor combinations that’ll make you want to elbow your way to the front of the line. (Don’t do that, though. You don’t want to be at the center of the next, great taco riot.)
Make it your mission to try every taqueria, taco truck, and Mexican restaurant on this list. Their food is a guaranteed flavor fiesta in your mouth.
11 Places Where You Can Find the Best Tacos Austin Has Ever Seen
Here are 11 of the best taco spots around. Why 11? Because every one of them deserves to be here. And because 11 is more than 10 — and when it comes to tacos, more is always better.
1. Pueblo Viejo
502 Brushy St.
Nestor and Margarita, the owners of Pueblo Viejo, bring the flavors and hospitality of their hometown in Mexico to this little taqueria located inside the North Door on the east side of Austin. They use fresh ingredients and serve up a menu of Mexican classics that includes tacos, quesadillas, gorditas, and guacamole.
If you want to eat tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Pueblo Viejo is the perfect place to start your day. An entire section of their menu is dedicated to breakfast tacos and includes seven different options. Their Taco Viejo features chorizo, potatoes, eggs, and beans. And for vegans looking for a breakfast fix, the Tico Taco is made with beans, potatoes, and avocado.
Pueblo Viejo also makes a variety of fresh salsas, including salsa roja, tomatillo, orange habanero, and black.
2. Torchy’s Tacos
110 San Antonio St., Unit 120
Yes, Torchy’s is a taco chain. They have more than a dozen locations in and around Austin, which may have some of you rolling your eyes. But before you open your mouth in protest, put some of Torchy’s queso in it. You, too, may end up raving about this freakin’ delicious franchise.
Their tacos feature creative flavor combos like the Brushfire with Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapeños, mango, sour cream, cilantro, and Diablo hot sauce served on a flour tortilla, or the Mr. Orange fish taco with blackened salmon, corn and black bean relish, queso fresco, cilantro, and avocado salsa served on a corn tortilla.
Study up before you head over. Torchy’s has too many specialty tacos to count, including a rotating Taco of the Month. They also have a wide selection of salsas, but be careful — their Diablo hot sauce is dangerously spicy.
3. Vaquero Taquero
This former taco truck has traded in their driver’s license for a restaurant license. You can now find them in their permanent location in Central Austin.
Vaquero Taquero is run by two brothers who were born and raised in Mexico. They base their recipes off the Mexican food from their childhood, and put that authenticity into everything they do — right down to their handmade tortillas.
Their Al Pastor tacos are made on a traditional trompo and feature flame-seared pork with cilantro, onions, roasted salsa roja or verde, and fresh avocado cream, topped with a slice of pineapple. They also have an exceptional veggie taco, featuring chopped cactus at the center of the tortilla.
And with one of the best breakfast menus on the list, you can roll up to Vaquero Taquero morning, noon, or night — just not on Sundays or Mondays. Like many family-owned restaurants, Vaquero Taquero is closed on those days.
4. Papalote Taco House
2803 S Lamar Blvd.
Papalote has three locations in Austin. You can find them in South Lamar, St. Edwards, or Anderson Mill. Every location offers two dozen different taco recipes, including breakfast tacos, veggie tacos, and fish tacos.
Their classic Lengua taco is made with marinated beef tongue that’s cooked until it’s perfectly tender. Then it’s topped with Papalote’s homemade red sauce, onions, and cilantro. For a house specialty taco, try their Pollo a la Parilla. It features achiote rubbed grilled chicken topped with poblano peppers, cabbage, queso fresco, and a slice of fresh avocado.
You can enjoy your taco with one of their refreshing aguas frescas, a Mexican beer, or one of Austin’s best margaritas on the rocks.
5. Tyson’s Tacos
4905 Airport Blvd.
Tyson Blankemeyer, the owner of Tyson’s Tacos, ran a successful restaurant in Monterey, Mexico, before the city became too dangerous for him and his family. They packed up, moved to Austin, TX, and set out to create a taco restaurant that was authentically Austin. Every recipe features an inventive flavor combination inspired by the weird city itself.
If you’re there for brunch, try their King George taco, made with migas, fried avocado, bacon, and creamy Sriracha. For dinner, their crispy duck with cucumber, green onion, and hoisin or their Pork Belly taco with chicharron de serrano, fried parsley, and Mandarin orange pico offer Asian-fusion flavors.
6. Rosita’s Al Pastor
1911 E Riverside Dr.
When you go for the tacos, you can choose between a taco dinner or tacos à la carte. The à la carte menu will allow you to try a wider variety of flavors and to keep ordering tacos upon tacos.
Of course, their namesake Pastor taco has earned its headline, but the lamb Barbacoa is also a star of the menu. It’s topped with onions and cilantro, and you can round out the flavor with a side of jalapeños, and pico de gallo, salsa arbol, or salsa chipotle.
7. Veracruz All Natural Food Truck
Veracruz All Natural was founded by two sisters who named the taco truck after their hometown in Mexico. The business started as a fruit juice and smoothie truck and has since expanded to serve food out of five trucks located in and around Austin, with one in Mueller, East Austin, North Austin, South Austin, and Round Rock.
The sisters were featured by the Food Network for serving not just some of the best tacos Austin has to offer, but some of the best tacos America has to offer. Try one of their migas tacos for breakfast. And for lunch, get a taste of their Fajita Steak taco with cilantro, onion, and queso fresco.
Of course, Veracruz started as a smoothie truck, and that heritage is still with them. As you chow down on your tacos, you can sip on one of Veracruz’s homemade aguas frescas, or their no-sugar-added fruit juices and smoothies.
Tacodeli is a casual taqueria with six locations around Austin. They blend the flavors of Mexico City with the flavors of Austin‘s own weird and wonderful food scene. This taco joint is committed to quality and prepares their menu items by hand everyday, using only fresh ingredients.
With chicken, beef, pork, seafood, and vegetarian tacos, Tacodeli’s menu has options for even your pickiest friends. Try the Jamon El Suavecito with tender belly smoked ham, gruyere and jack cheese, scrambled eggs, and green onion for breakfast, and the Tacoloco with adobo-braised brisket, caramelized onions, mushrooms, guacamole, cilantro, and queso fresco for an amazing Austin lunch.
They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, so go early and eat tacos until they kick you out.
9. El Primo
2101 S 1st St.
Get ready to get messy. El Primo’s tacos are stuffed with as much as one tortilla can handle. This food truck serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And if you’ve had enough tacos for one day (as if that’s possible), you can head over to sister restaurant Burrito Factory for another Mexican classic. Both spots are family owned and operated by the three Perez siblings.
For tacos, El Primo offers flour or corn tortillas filled with asada, al pastor, chicken, barbacoa, tripas, or lengua. The Super Torta is also a standout menu item, filled with asada, pastor, and ham, and topped with cilantro, onion, avocado, mayo, cheese, and beans.
10. Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
11500 Manchaca Rd.
This taco truck features family recipes inspired by the cookouts of Miguel Vidal’s childhood. The recipes use locally sourced, Texas beef and pork products, grilled up and put into sandwiches and tacos.
To fully experience Valentina’s commitment to fresh, local ingredients, try their Cerveza Beef Fajita Taco. The meat is marinated in beer, grilled to perfection, and topped with sea salt lime guacamole, and tomato serrano salsa. The Smoked Carnitas Taco is also exceptional with caramelized onions, cilantro, and tomatillo habanero salsa.
11. Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop
2305 E 7th St.
It sounds like this place belongs on a list of the best coffee shops in Austin, not the best tacos. But Joe’s is no ordinary coffee shop. This little Mexican bakery serves up some of the best tacos Austin has. It’s a family-owned business that’s been operating in East Austin for over 75 years.
Their menu is made up of simple classics. Taco options include carne asada, barbacoa, picadillo, chicharrones, chorizo, beans, and more. Joe’s breakfast and breakfast tacos are served all day. Their chorizo and egg, and potato and egg tacos are some of the best breakfast menu items.
Life Isn’t Complete Till You’ve Tried the Best Tacos Austin Has to Offer
Sure, there are some things in life that are more important than tacos — things like queso, guacamole, and salsa. But where are you going to put those things if not inside a warm tortilla? These 11 taco spots will ensure you can enjoy the best tacos with the best fillings, topped with the best sauces.
Texas in general is no slouch when it comes to tacos, but Austin‘s unbeatable food scene brings you elevated versions of this foodie favorite. Challenge yourself to try every taco truck and taqueria on this list. You’re sure to find your new favorite taco in Austin, TX.