In less than a decade, Torchy’s Tacos has not only become the flagship of the Austin food truck movement, but also built an empire. How? By brilliantly capturing the spirit of Austin’s culture. From the tacos to the smiling pitchfork-wielding devil mascot, Torchy’s simultaneously feels familiar, rebellious, and damn delicious. You could say it’s the Matthew McConaughey playing bongos of taco joints. Not that we would.
Breakfast is served all day here, offering the typical egg-and-whatever combos you’ll find at most Austin taco establishments. But it’s their lunch tacos (also served all day) that put Torchy’s on its own level. They recklessly (yet skillfully) toss gourmet ingredients and flavor combinations together to reinvent the possibilities of the taco’s existence. First-timers: expect to need some extra time to deal with the inevitable “wait, did I really just read that?” which will come to mind while taking in the extensive menu. And for non-first-timers, Torchy’s always-rotating taco of the month ensures there’s always something new to try.
While Torchy’s has many highs, there are a couple of lows. A few Torchy’s locations have bars that serve over-sugared double-wide margaritas with floating beer cans that feel more at home in a Carlos N Charlie’s than here. While we commend them for attempting to create a drinking experience, all you really need is a Pacifico or Topo Chico to wash down the magic they make in their kitchen. Our other complaint with Torchy’s is that their breakfast tacos are very inconsistent, especially when compared with their always on-point lunch offerings - it’s not rare for the eggs to be overcooked.
With locations all over Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and now in Denver, the Torchy’s global domination is real. Each location has something a little different to offer in its aesthetics. But if you want to experience the epicenter of Torchy’s culture, checkout the flagship location on South Congress.
Oh, and ignore the three or four people in town saying this place is overrated. They’re simply afraid of change.
It’s fried chicken in a tortilla, so of course it’s amazing. Ask for it “trashy” in which queso replaces lettuce. It comes with poblano ranch, which is very mild - we go for the diablo sauce instead.
Proof that “vegetarian” doesn’t mean “light,” this is the best non-meat lunch taco on the menu.
A kind of healthy-ish fish taco simply consisting of fresh ahi and slaw. Reliable.
It’s the best in town. Bar none. This is not a drill.
If you like spice, ask for extra cups of these with your meal. You might even be inclined to buy a bottle of it to take home and make better eggs than everyone you know.
Ridiculously good brownies. Try the peanut butter or mint. (Disclaimer: my brother makes these brownies.)