America might run on Dunkin, but Austin sure as sh*t runs on breakfast tacos. They’re what sustains us. They’re this city’s lifeblood. Nothing would ever get done in Austin without them. Portable, convenient, and filling, breakfast tacos are in many ways the perfect food. And Austin does them better than anyone.
When you’re desperately hungry (or hungover), the best breakfast tacos are the ones closest to your house. But we set out to find the actual best breakfast tacos in the city - the ones worth driving across town to eat. The project involved elaborate spreadsheets, many gallons of gas, serious debates about the merits of red versus green salsa, and some very close encounters with hungry grackles. And now, after eating hundreds of tacos, we can confidently tell you about 15 spots in a class all their own. These are the best breakfast tacos in Austin.
the breakfast taco spots
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ is a fusion of Austin’s greatest cuisines: Tex-Mex and barbecue. There’s nothing else quite like this food - especially their breakfast tacos. The foundation is the phenomenal flour tortillas that you’ll beg and plead and offer to trade in your car for a stack to take home (until you learn you can buy them by the dozen). Those get topped with exceptional barbecue (brisket or pulled pork), scrambled or fried eggs, and tomato serrano salsa, to make some of the greatest breakfast tacos in the entire known universe. Just know you have to get your order in by 11am - and there’s usually a line.
What to get: Potato, egg, and cheese (add pulled pork); Real Deal Holyfield (with brisket)
Dai Due Taqueria – an offshoot of the East Austin butcher shop/restaurant Dai Due located in the downtown food hall Fareground – might be best known for its wood-fired trompo and al pastor, but it’s the tremendous breakfast tacos that you should be coming here to eat. The first time we tried them, we sat there for a while, stunned, admiring them like the glowing briefcase in Pulp Fiction. The flour tortillas are made with lard, which definitely has something to do with it - and even the basic bacon, egg, potato, and cheese is anything but basic when the bacon’s from Dai Due. These tacos are only available on weekends from 9am to 3pm (which makes them special and rare, sort of like a meteor or a McRib).
What to get: Migas; Wild boar chorizo and egg
The migas taco at Veracruz All-Natural sets the bar for all other migas tacos. Like Super Mario Bros. 3 or the brisket at Franklin Barbecue, they’re best-in-class - a legend. What makes these migas tacos so much better than all the other ones out there? The ingredients (they make their own tortilla chips), the execution, and the attention to detail (they take their time cooking things). Veracruz has three trucks and two brick-and-mortar locations, and you’re probably going to have to wait in line no matter which one you go to. But just know these tacos are always worth it.
What to get: Migas Originales (add the molcajete salsa); Migas Poblanas
The barbecue at Franklin Barbecue is the best in Austin, the best in Texas, the best in America, and the best in the universe. So when the meat whisperers opened a breakfast taco trailer in their parking lot, our expectations were high. Are these the very best breakfast tacos in Austin? No - but they’re close. Especially the ones made with the legendary Franklin brisket, where it gets crisped up and caramelized on a griddle and paired with fluffy eggs and guacamole, all on a warmed flour tortilla. And unlike Franklin Barbecue, there’s often no line at all. (Bonus: they serve good espresso.)
What to get: Brisket, egg, and guacamole taco
Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop is an East Side staple that’s been around since 1962. Is there always a wait? Yes. But that’s because of the exceptional Tex-Mex/Mexican diner food (and the pan dulce, too), especially the breakfast tacos made with fluffy house-made flour tortillas. Get the miga taco con todo, with still-crispy tortilla chips, as well as the super-crispy bacon that defies the laws of pork belly physics. Either order a side of it or add it to your breakfast taco, where it’ll hang out of the sides like the tortilla is a hammock that’s too small.
What to get: Miga taco con todo; Bacon, egg, and cheese taco; Carne guisada taco
Sometimes you just know. The first time we went to Tacos Guerrero, we opened the foil and had one of those holy sh*t moments. The breakfast tacos coming out of this tiny, orange, one-woman trailer on the East Side are spectacular - like the migas, with still-crispy tortilla strips, that by default come with refried beans (which is not typical at all). There’s a standard red and green salsa, but make sure to get the molcajete salsa made from roasted tomatoes and chiles.
What to get: Migas; Chorizo and egg
Tamale House is an Austin institution that’s existed in various forms and locations since 1958. The soul of this place is the breakfast menu, filled with dishes like chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, and breakfast tacos made with outstanding homemade flour tortillas. The real standout is the phenomenal chipotle migas taco, with scrambled eggs and crispy corn tortilla chips that get tossed in queso with a smoky chipotle salsa. It’s a rare chilaquiles-adjacent evolution of migas, and something that should belong in the Museum of Breakfast Tacos.
What to get: Chipotle migas and queso; Potato, egg, black bean, and avocado
At Pueblo Viejo, you have options. You can order a simple, excellent breakfast taco like a bacon, egg, and cheese - or if you’re paralyzed by choice, there’s a set menu of more elaborate options. And while most breakfast taco places have two salsas (red and green), Pueblo Viejo has five: pico, tomatillo, creamy jalapeno, roasted habanero, and habanero and ghost chili. So when you’re ordering, just stay calm, follow your heart, and know you really can’t go wrong. There are a few locations of Pueblo Viejo around town, but our favorite is the trailer down south at Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden (where you can get coffee, beer, and cocktails).
What to get: Migas taco; Taco Viejo
The UT students who have clearly just rolled out of bed and stumbled over to Vaquero Taquero’s brick-and mortar have no idea how good they have it. The al pastor tacos on handmade corn tortillas and the quesadillas are what put this place on the map. But it’s the insanely good breakfast tacos - especially the bacon, egg, and cheese (with the cheese crisped up on the griddle first) - that make us consider going back to school. We’d study for a PhD just to get that machacado.
What to get: Machacado and egg; Bacon, egg, and cheese.
Rosita’s specializes in al pastor - but the breakfast tacos are where this place really shines. What makes them stand out is the incredible, pillowy house-made flour tortillas, the perfect foundation for the tremendous breakfast tacos, filled with eggs briskly scrambled on a flattop. Order a chorizo, egg, and cheese, and it all turns a fiery bright red.
What to get: Bacon, egg, and potato; Chorizo and egg
Waiting in lines for food is basically a sport in Austin. There’s often a very good reason for the line - and at El Primo’s it’s the fantastic breakfast tacos. Like moths to a light, people are powerless to the migas tacos (the default version is made with deli ham, which is pretty unique to this place) and the homemade chorizo and egg. You’ll see crowds waiting patiently for their orders while traffic whizzes by on South First.
What to get: Migas (with ham); Chorizo and egg
Taco-Mex hits that sweet spot in the breakfast taco Venn diagram of cheap, fast, and good. It’s commonly known as “Taco Window,” because that’s what Taco-Mex is: A window in a strip mall where you ring a bell and order tacos. There is no door, no interior, no picnic table outside - just a bench out front. But from the literal hole in the wall emerge excellent breakfast tacos. From what we can tell, the price for a breakfast taco here ($1.75) has not gone up in at least a decade. The minimum credit card order is “2 tacos” - but really what are you doing only ordering a single taco?
What to get: Migas and egg; Bacon, egg, and cheese
In a gas station’s parking lot over in Windsor Park, the trailer Taqueria Mi Trailita makes consistently outstanding breakfast tacos, filled with things like their herby breakfast sausage, all with a generous shower of cheese. While Taqueria Mi Trailita’s very good corn tortillas are handmade in the trailer, the flour tortillas are store-bought - but they spend the right amount of time on the griddle. During peak hours there can be a wait, so it’s best to call ahead or you might end up sitting at the covered picnic tables a bit.
What to get: Sausage, egg, and cheese; Migas and cheese
At Marcelino’s on the East Side, the tacos are scoop-and-serve - made assembly-line right in front of you. But Marcelino’s is so consistently busy that they’re hustling and preparing food non-stop. You can get a basic bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast taco, and it’ll be far superior to most you can get around town - but Marcellino’s system allows them to have many more options that you don’t see often, like repollo asado (grilled cabbage), calabacitas (squash), rajas (poblanos in cream), smoked Elgin sausage, and the incredible papa ranchera (French fries tossed in salsas). We think about the papa ranchera a lot. Also, at Marcelino’s, the cheese isn’t grated - they peel a slice off of a huge stack and slap it onto a warmed tortilla, where it immediately melts.
What to get: Papa ranchera and egg; Rajas and egg
Bouldin Creek Cafe serves glorious breakfast tacos so enormous that you’ll need to use a fork before even trying to pick one up. The vegetable chorizo is homemade and delicious, and you can get it with free-range eggs and cheese, or go vegan with the chorizo-tofu scramble that’s tender and spicy, almost like a mapo tofu. You can’t say you’ve really experienced this city’s breadth of talents in the world of Breakfast Tacos until you’ve tried these at Bouldin.
What to get: Egg, veggie chorizo, and cheese; Tofu veggie chorizo