In Austin, tacos are a full-on food group. Everyone has their own go-to’s, but a select few taco spots are objectively in a class of their own. Whether you’re into looking for traditional Mexican tacos, breakfast tacos, or gourmet duck breast tacos, we’ve pulled together a guide to the very best tortilla-wrapped foods in Austin. Each place on this list offers its own unique contribution to the taco category, and all of them are more than worth a trip. It’s about time you found a new favorite.
the taco spots
We’re not sure how this immaculate trailer has stayed as under-the-radar as it has. Las Trancas is easily serving out some of the best tacos in town from its spot on Cesar Chavez (without the crazy lines you’ll find at places like Veracruz). They don’t do breakfast here, but they are open late and they have a covered deck with a good amount of seating.
What To Get: Al pastor, carne asada
The taco titan of Austin. Our ideal Torchy’s menu order: bowl of queso with chips, a Trailer Park taco (get it trashy, with queso instead of lettuce), a Mr. Pink taco, and a peanut butter LovePuppies brownie for dessert. Come here enough and you too will develop your own Torchy’s-fueled path to enlightenment.
What To Get: Focus on lunch/dinner tacos over breakfast - the Trailer Park and Mr. Pink
The second-best Austin taco chain (after Torchy’s) serving lunch tacos with outside-the-box ingredients (like scallops on Thursdays) and some of our favorite breakfast tacos in town. Just get there before the breakfast taco cut-off time at 11am. And beware crazy lines on weekend mornings.
What To Get: Breakfast tacos: sirloin, egg, and cheese or the Jess Special
Many argue that Veracruz All-Natural makes the best tacos in town. They don’t get our top spot, but we will say that their tortillas are our favorites and their migas taco is unbelievably good. Do expect ridiculously long lines unless you catch one of their trailers in a rare slow moment, which is usually during weekdays.
What To Get: Migas tacos
At Fresa’s, can get a healthy-ish bowl, you can get a salad, you can get queso and churros and roasted cauliflower - and you can also get some absolutely killer tacos. Our go-to is always the La Fresa, a beautiful mess of their signature achiote chicken, avocado, cheese, onion, cabbage, and cilantro - but their shrimp, brisket, and pastor are also great. And breakfast tacos here are never a bad move either. If you’re looking for a sit-down experience, head for their South First location.
What To Get: La Fresa
A hidden secret trailer parked just east of the interstate, serving more traditional taco options. Great for a quick snack between bar-hopping on Dirty or East 6th since they're open until midnight on weekends.
What To Get: Breakfast is best here: Taco Bueno (chorizo, egg, potato, cheese) and Don Chago (bacon, cheese, beans, avocado)
This little trailer on East Riverside arguably makes the best traditional street tacos in town. Their al pastor tacos are out of this world and are priced like you’re actually in Mexico.
What To Get: Al pastor
Tyson’s is the only place in the world you can play a ukulele for a free taco that could include crispy duck breast or deep fried egg yolks. The atmosphere is way more charming than it needs to be - the last time we were there they gave out free beer to everyone waiting in line. And with around 30 options here - and you can’t go wrong.
What To Get: The breakfast tacos are top-tier, but if you’re in the mood for something different, get the crispy duck.
Juan In A Million gets a place on this list for one thing and one thing only: the Don Juan. And that’s because this is one of the most legendary foods in the entire city. This monstrosity of truly tasty eggs, bacon, potatoes, and cheese on top of tortillas is easily the equivalent of at least five or six breakfast tacos, yet somehow costs $5. Use it for a Saturday morning when all you need is something to make all the pain go away before you go back to your bed.
What To Get: The Don Juan
Some taco places you go to for the tacos alone. Paco’s is a place you go to because it’s the full package. Order some breakfast tacos (they’re the best thing here), get a Bloody Mary, hit the salsa bar with feeling, and take your bounty out on to the patio. Paco’s Tacos is that kind-of-weird, awesome spot you only find in Austin.
What To Get: Build-your-own breakfast tacos
This taco stand offers a diverse array of plates, tacos, and burritos that are loaded with high-quality ingredients. It’s one of the more modern spots on this list - with a colorful, nicely-kept patio and an espresso machine - but it's still super casual. Also, their cold brew coffee can wake the dead.
What To Get: Puffy tacos, Cherrywood breakfast taco
Simple, traditional tacos made fast. They also serve breakfast all day. Often a great option when lines are long elsewhere.
What to get: Guajalote en mole (turkey in mole with avocado)
An old South Austin establishment that may embody “Keep Austin Weird” better than just about anyone else. It’s one of the weirdest looking buildings you’ll see in town, and is also home to Austin’s shrine to tacos, the Taco Goddess statue.
What To Get: Chorizo, egg, cheese, and cactus, or the al pastor
Despite predominantly serving barbecue, this family-owned and operated trailer makes some damn good tacos. Their smoked brisket taco may be one of the only BBQ tacos in town and getting it with a fried egg on top should be illegal, instead of standard breakfast practice here.
What To Get: Brisket tacos