photo credit: Raphael Brion

El Mercado image

El Mercado


AllandaleCentral Austin

$$$$Perfect For:Happy HourOutdoor/Patio SituationQuick Eats
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

Included In

El Mercado uses the slogan “World peace through Tex-Mex,” and we regularly do our part by stopping in. Over the years different locations of the mini Tex-Mex chain have come and gone—the original on South 1st opened in 1985 and is still kickin—and we like the one on Burnet Road in Allandale. Looking like something out of The Simpsons, the interior design is a trip, a flamboyant blend of 1980s bright colors and murals, with both neon parrots and clouds. Service is straight and to the point, and the clientele mainly consists of regulars who know what they want and never need a menu.

The food is solid, with textbook renditions of classics like queso, crispy tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas that come out blazing hot. While you should probably skip the smoked brisket which sometimes come out a little dry, definitely get the Pastor Poncho Nachos—they’re composed nachos that are topped with beans, al pastor pork, pineapple, and cheese. It’s al pastor, but make it nachos, and it really works.

El Mercado image

photo credit: Raphael Brion

Included In

Suggested Reading

The Best Tacos In Austin image

The Best Tacos In Austin

Austin is a taco town. Consider this your checklist of the city's best.

Tex Mex Joe’s image

Tex Mex Joe’s on North Lamar serves an enormous menu of all the Tex-Mex hits and combo plates.

The Best Patios & Backyards In Austin image

Where to eat and drink outside.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store