Austin is indubitably one of the best food cities in the country, boasting amazing culinary experiences from all over the world. From Italian and Indian to Japanese and Korean, Austin has it all. Although the city is best known for being a Tex-Mex heaven, sometimes there’s nothing like savoring original recipes and authentic food from Mexico. Whether you’re yearning for appetizing tacos, craving succulent carne asada or fancy a filling burrito bowl, savor the very best of Mexican cuisine at these authentic Mexican restaurants across Austin.
1. El Taquito
Inspired by Matamoros, a city in Northern Mexico that since the 80s has been adding a slice of avocado and queso fresco to its tacos, El Taquito brought this tradition in 1995 to the City of the Violet Crown. It started out as a street taco cart and today, with two locations in Riverside and Pflugerville, El Taquito offers “innovative, authentic” and most importantly, original food, including tortas, enchiladas, salads, soups and queso fundido.
Their tacos are without a doubt their specialty, with a wide range of options from Al Pastor to Carnitas, Bistek to Pollo Asado. What’s more, they also serve breakfast everyday until 12am, so it’s perfect after a night-out or when you want to grab an early brunch.
🌮 1713 E Riverside Drive, Austin
🌮 20007 Farm to Market 685, Pflugerville
2. El Alma
Another local favorite, El Alma showcases the complex and bursting flavors of Mexican cuisine featuring local products like lamb, redfish and Texas quail. The cantina’s chef Alma Alcocer-Thomas has prepared well balanced menus for 12 years, regarding the customers as her private guests. Whether you want to grab a cocktail after work or you’re looking to recharge after a swim in Barton Springs, El Alma is definitely a must-visit.
The extensive menu includes finger-licking tacos, like Lamb Barbacoa, Pastor and Pato, mouth-watering enchiladas, such as Tinga de Pollo and the Braised Shredded Duck, tostadas, tortas, and a number of delectable and refreshing desserts. Don’t miss happy hour at El Alma, everyday from 3pm to 6pm, and try the Don Quixote Martini prepared with serrano-cilantro-infused El Jimador tequila for some hot fun.
🌮 1025 Barton Springs Road
3. Taco Pegaso
Located at Austin’s first food hall, Taco Pegaso is a gathering place of food and culture and a sought-after restaurant serving Mexican street food at its finest. The chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval, who was also nominated for a James Beard Award—no biggy!—prepares flavor-packed dishes, from tacos and empanadas to burritos and burrito bowls and everything in between. Sample the Shrimp or Carne Asada burrito bowls, if you don’t want to miss out on two flavor bombs. Follow it up with a nice order of churros and wash it all down with agua fresca in hibiscus or pineapple.
🌮 111 Congress Avenue, Fareground Austin
4. Habanero Mexican Cafe
Open from 11pm to 3pm, this pleasant café in South Austin is the ideal place to start your day. The breakfast menu features favorites like El Patron, over easy eggs topped with salsa Ranchera and beef fajita, and Chori-migas, a migas plate mixed with chorizo. All breakfast plates come with beans, potatoes and tortillas. Other popular dishes include the chicken fajitas and grilled veggie enchiladas. On the weekends, try the Caldo de Res, a flavorful beef soup with veggies, served with rice, lime, and tortillas, to get reenergized after a long week of hard work.
🌮 501 W. Oltorf Street
5. Masa y Mas
You can’t miss Masa y Mas if you walk past it, because it features a 14-foot-tall mural of Chef Roberto Campos’ mother, Maria Concepcion, also known as “Conchita”. At Masa y Mas, you can feel the chef’s grandmother’s and mother’s love in all the dishes he prepares, inspired by the flavors of Central Mexico.
The tacos are so good, you’ll probably want to order the whole menu! Nevertheless, other items are also worth a try, like the Elote Callejero, papas rellenas, with a choice of Pastor, Suadero, Carnitas, Barbacoa, Adobado, or Birria. Wash it all down with a cold cerveza or an invigorating cocktail, such as the Spicy Margarita or a Traditional Carajillo on the rocks.
🌮 1817 S Lamar Boulevard
Situated in the heart of East Austin, Suerte is a modern and vibrant Mexican restaurant offering familiar yet innovative flavors. Chef Fermin Nunez curates seasonal menus combining local Texas produce with traditional Mexican techniques and ingredients. From Frijoles Envenenados, an exciting mixture of chorizo and bacon, quesillo, dominguitos lager and guajillo chile, to flavor-bursting Quesabirria, braised beef cheeks in consomme, quesillo and salsa piloncillo, Suerte has elevated crowd-pleasers to a whole new level.
Their drinks menu is also pretty impressive, offering some of Mexico’s most unique succulent spirits, tequila and mezcal. As if that wasn’t enough, Suerte also serves brunch every weekend from 11am to 3pm. The menu features sweet pastries, savory tostadas and tacos and more!
🌮 1800 E 6th Street
7. Veracruz All Natural
Home of the famous Migas Taco, Veracruz All Natural might very well be the most well-known Mexican restaurant and taqueria chain in Austin. What first started as a modest food truck ten years ago and kept together by the love and passion for food of the two Latina sisters, Maritza and Reyna, has now become an incredibly successful business, boasting five locations across Austin and Round Rock.
You can’t really beat the Migas Taco, prepared with egg, tortilla chips, tomato, onion, cilantro, Monterey Jack cheese and avocado. However, a worthy mention is the Doña Reyna Taco, made with mole negro grilled chicken and queso fresco, or the Quesadilla prepared with a protein of your choice like grilled steak or chicken, al pastor, topped with guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo. Whether you want to check out the food trailer in East Austin, the restaurant in the Line Hotel or the food truck in Tarrytown, whichever location you visit, one thing is certain—you’ll be in for a wild culinary ride.
🌮 Five locations in Austin and Round Rock
8. Hecho en Mexico
With South Central Mexico roots, Hecho en Mexico brings a mixture of street food and home-cooked meals like tacos, fajitas, sopa Azteca and ceviche. The restaurant has a large variety of vegetarian dishes, from Buñuelos de Coliflor, lightly breaded cauliflower and purple cabbage, cream aoili and four flour tortillas, to Par de Huaraches, two oval-shaped mini blue corn tortillas with refried beans, fresh cactus salad and queso fresco. At Hecho en Mexico, you will not be disappointed with the fabulous offerings, serving up your favorite eats and many new dishes to discover.
🌮 6001 W William Cannon Dr, 301 in Legend Oaks Plaza
🌮 2101 Montopolis Dr, Unit 23, Montopolis