As I head off to Athens, it couldn’t have been a better way to leave than attempting to find the best tacos right here in Austin, which is no easy feat.
Since it is impossible to choose just one truck, restaurant, or “shack” as the best tacos in all of Austin (and there are simply too many to try them all…), I’m picking the one I think is best based on categories. All the ones mentioned are placed I will not only go back to, but truly deem as delicious taco staples in ATX.
Best Breakfast Tacos
–It was pretty easy to choose this one. Taco Shack has perfected their breakfast tacos. While I also love several different types, the bacon, egg, cheese, and avocado taco on flour just can’t be beat. It’s such a classic (and there are plenty of different combos for everyone), and the proportion of each ingredient is perfect. The bacon is so crispy and adds such great texture to the creaminess of the avocado and egg. They also have a solid tortilla, so there really is no complaint with this taco and I genuinely think it couldn’t be better.
Notable mention: Taco Deli
–While I don’t think Taco Deli overall has the best breakfast tacos, their “Otto” taco is incredible when you add egg. It literally has every ingredient you would want in a breakfast taco: double bacon, egg, cheese, avocado, and bean on flour. This is definitely my personal favorite breakfast taco, but since their others aren’t nearly as good to me, Taco Shack takes the cake.
The “Crispy Taco”
The brisket taco on flour
–Tyson’s has so many solid and classic tacos, which are good at any time of day, but since they are a 24/7 joint, I had to give them this title. Tyson’s has truly perfected every classic taco you’ve had a dozen times before, making it a very notable taco joint. Their crispy taco, which is a hardshell taco with all your classic ingredients you would literally see at a school cafeteria (tomato, iceberg lettuce, ground beef, cheese) is somehow so much better than all the ones you’ve had before, so I can’t imagine how amazing it’d taste at midnight. Other classics such as the brisket are also such high quality and have far more flavor depth than other taco restaurants.
–I was really impressed with Dos Batos. Located in a strip mall right next to Walmart, I wasn’t expecting much, but their limited menu means they have to perfect each item–and they did. Their tacos aren’t like your typical ones and appear almost like a quesadilla with melted cheese incorporated into the meat, but that makes it so unique… and delicious. The tortilla is not only warm, but crisp, and the quesadilla/taco combo is truly delicious. Plus, it comes with chips and salsa, which is always a plus!
–This one was too easy to think of. Not only does Torchy’s offer amazing dishes such as “Lil Nookies” (fried cookie dough balls) and a “Taco of the Month,” which coordinates to the season (with summer always being a ‘heat fest’), the flavor pairings in each taco is so unique and delicious. It’s evident why Torchy’s is one of the most eclectic in Austin and why President Obama went there (lol), they not only go above and beyond on flavor, but their ideas for each plate are totally original and delicious.
(sorry, I don’t have a picture, but I think y’all know what queso looks like haha.)
–While Taco Deli falls a bit short on most of these categories, I have to state my opinion on a pretty controversial topic. While many find it too runny, I find Taco Deli’s queso to be so creamy and smooth in texture, and the perfect consistency for pouring on tacos. You get the perfect amount per chip, and the flavor is so light and unique when it’s very common to have queso taste like store-bought velvetta.
Best Bang for Your Buck
Las Trancas Taco Stand
–A small taco truck in East Austin, this place isn’t well-known to all Austinites, but once you find it there’s no way you’re not eating here again. Their smaller tacos are only $2 each, and the simple dishes are loaded with incredible flavor. Barbacoa, for example, is so tender and flavorful, and each taco is only served with cilantro and onion on your choice of tortilla, so the meat really stands out in each one. I will definitely be coming back especially when I want a delicious meal on a tight budget.
(another one without a picture… I actually feel bad about this one 😦 sorry y’all…)
-If you are willing to splurge and make a reservation well in advance, Suerte is the place to go. It is evident how much time and dedication goes into making their tacos. The corn tortillas are made fresh from scratch each morning, and their wagyu beef taco is one of the best tacos I’ve ever had. This restaurant has the best quality and flavor, by far. I couldn’t get enough of the dish, and that doesn’t even touch all the other incredible dishes they have to offer. This East-Austin restaurant is a must, and I will definitely be going back whenever I can.
Welp. I did it. Best ATX tacos, in my opinion! Let me know if y’all agree, or don’t, and maybe I’ll do one of these for Athens, Georgia 🙂