photo credit: Raphael Brion
Veracruz All Natural
There aren’t a ton of things that almost everyone in the city universally agrees on, but if any statement were to cross all party lines and gain universal support, it’s that Veracruz All-Natural makes the best damn migas tacos in town.
The migas taco here set 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. The result is a masterpiece in both flavor and texture, in which the chips manage to stay crunchy while soaking up the flavors of the egg and pico.
But while Veracruz could probably sustain a business on migas tacos alone, they’ve instead branched out with a full menu of breakfast and lunch offerings, with varying degrees of success. Grilled chicken, steak, and al pastor all make their obligatory appearances on the taco menu, but take a moment to shine in the quesadilla, where they’re entombed in a generous coating of Monterey Jack cheese.
There’s also a drink menu with smoothies, fresh-squeezed juices, and, most importantly, plenty of agua frescas . All of them are refreshing enough to cool you down on a warm Austin morning—a few of them are even healthy enough to revive you after a long Friday night.
Whether you show up at this location or one of their many other locations across Austin, expect a bit of a wait. Because continuing to call Veracruz an Austin secret is like referring to Spoon as just some local indie band or calling Whole Foods a neighborhood grocery store.
This is the reason you’re here (and it’s a good one). It comes packed full of eggs and, most importantly, crispy homemade tortilla chips that add some incredible texture, flavor, and crunch to every bite. There’s also a version that comes with black beans and poblano peppers if you want some variety, but with a taco this good we’re okay with a little repetition.
We generally prefer our al pastor cooked on a trompo, but for both space and other practical reasons, that’s not possible at every taco joint in Austin. Here, the al pastor is seasoned well and very tender, we just wish it was a little crispier. It’s also one of the few places in town where you can get a pretty good fish taco.
It’s big, it’s cheesy, and it’s stuffed full of meat (or veggies). We like it with al pastor—because very few things aren’t better with pork—but we’re also big fans of the grilled chicken version. It’s also served with sour cream, pico, and shredded lettuce, so you can tell yourself you had a salad for lunch.
We have a simple rule—we see cantaloupe agua frescas on a menu, we order it. Here, it comes in a Big Gulp-sized cup, leading to a seemingly-endless experience of sweet, refreshing drink. And if you need a little post-weekend health injection, the smoothies will bring you back to life, just a little.