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The East Side Taco Crawl

You can’t eat tacos all day if you don’t start with breakfast.
The East Side Taco Crawl image

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Some say Austin is a live music city, while others call it a tech one. But to us, Austin is above all else a taco city. And while you can get great tacos anywhere in Austin, the East Side has one of the highest TPC (tacos per capita) around town. So, we propose a taco crawl. 

While you can visit the places on this guide in any order you want, we’ve organized them so that you can start with breakfast tacos a little farther east, and slowly make your way back towards Downtown for some more evening-friendly versions. A car is recommended, but with a total distance of just under four miles, you could probably do this itinerary by bicycle, scooter, rideshare, or even on foot if you want to work up an appetite. 

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Mexican

East Austin

$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastLunch

Tacos Guerrero is a one-woman trailer behind an auto insurance shop, and it’s the best way to start our taco crawl. We like the chorizo breakfast tacos here—with eggs that have turned red from cooking in chorizo oil, handmade corn tortillas, and molcajete salsa. While there are a few picnic tables, you should get the tacos to go, and walk a few short blocks to the trail around Town Lake for a slightly more scenic view. 

What to get: Chorizo and egg breakfast taco


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastLunch

Marcelino’s is every bit as fast as your local drive-thru, but a lot more satisfying. Tacos here are scoop-and-serve, made on an assembly line right in front of you. But despite whatever connotations that might come with, Marcelino’s is so consistently busy that nothing in the long rows of hotel pans ever has a chance to sit for more than a few minutes. You can get fries stuffed into a taco here, and if you ask for cheese, they’ll just pull a slice off a huge stack of orange singles and slap it onto a warm tortilla, where it immediately melts. 

What to get: Bacon, egg, cheese, and potato breakfast taco


Eating a breakfast taco from Veracruz is up there with waiting in line for barbecue as an essential food experience in Austin. And with over half a dozen locations across the city, it’s not too difficult to cross it off your bucket list. This location on Webberville Road is right in the heart of East Austin—in a large, enclosed food trailer park next to Desnudo Coffee and a few other great food trailers. You’ll want to order a migas taco, filled with crispy, house-made tortilla chips, eggs, tomato, onion, cilantro, and plenty of cheese. There’s usually a wait, but it moves fast. 

What to get: Migas originales


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Granny’s has a pretty standard menu of well-executed morning and afternoon tacos, but we’re here for the chilaquil taco with mole that functions as an excellent transition between the breakfast and lunch worlds. Unlike its more popular migas cousin, this is eggless, with crispy corn chips tossed in an earthy housemade mole and topped with cotija cheese, onion, and pickled jalapeno. It’s rich, savory, unique, and should help you switch over to midday tacos pretty well. 

What to get: Chilaquil taco with mole


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

$$$$Perfect For:Cheap EatsQuick Eats

Decisions are difficult. Corn or flour? Red or green salsa? Bacon or chorizo with your eggs? It can all be too much (especially after already eating four tacos). Conveniently, Discada only offers one kind of taco, which blends beef, pork, and veggies that have been cooked on a large wok-like apparatus called a discada and served exclusively on a corn tortilla. The tacos come topped with onion, cilantro, and pineapple, and they’re delicious. Here, the only choice you’ll have to make is if you’ll be ordering three, five, or eight—followed by whether or not to order one more. 

What to get: Discada taco


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

There’s no better way to wrap up an East Side taco crawl than at Cuantos Tacos at Arbor Food Park, home to some of the best tacos in the entire city. The specialty here is Mexico City-style tacos, consisting of a double layer of tiny corn tortillas filled with a few different meat options (plus a mushroom one). Ask five friends what their favorite is and you’ll end up with five different answers, but we like the suadero and cachete varieties, along with the weekly lengua special. They’re also pretty tiny, so you can just order one of each and treat yourself to a taco flight. 

What To Get: Suadero taco

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