I know. That title sounds like a big undertaking… and it is. This is a list of my favorite Austin Mexican Food Restaurants & what makes them so special. I truly hope you enjoy. These are not listed in any particular order (they’re all delicious:) Happy eating!
South Austin: 2004 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
Downtown: 360 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78701
What to Try: The Steak Fajitas (pictured above) are delicious but at Polvos, you can’t go wrong. They’re known for their Salsa bar which is an experience in itself! If you’re looking for an appetizer, I’d suggest the choriqueso or the . For dinner, I’d say the chile rellenos or carne guisada. And if you’re an enchilada fan, you won’t be let down here. As far as drinks go, you can’t go wrong with a Margarita!
Things to Know: The South Location *feels* more authentic so I personally enjoy it more! They are known for their Salsa bar but it has been closed (COVID.) Finally, they don’t split checks so come prepared if you’re in a big group.
2. Matt’s El Rancho
Location: 2613 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
What to Try: A local staple for scratch-made Tex-Mex since 1952, Matt’s El Rancho has served generations of Austin locals and visitors for over 60 years. No matter what you do… You. have. to. try. the Bob Armstrong dip! For dinner I would suggest the Asadero Beef (tenderloin) Tacos or the Grilled Fish Tacos. They both come with a guacamole salad which is always a nice touch. The staff is so attentive and very helpful if you can’t decide what to try. When it comes to drinks here, I’d suggest the Knockout Mexican Martinis.
Things to Know: Matt’s is usually a packed house. And I mean a line out of the door, 2 hour wait packed. And no, they don’t take reservations. It is WELL worth your wait so do not fret but be prepared if you’re trying to go to dinner at 6 pm on a Thursday night.
3. Pueblo Viejo
Location: 641 Tillery St Austin, TX 78702
What to Try: My favorite tacos are the Taco Nes, the Quesadilla Taco, and the Al Pastor (my all-time favorite.) The creamy green serrano salsa is excellent and always hits the spot. For me, it takes 2 tacos to fill me up (see size in the photo above) so it is very reasonable for a quick and yummy dinner.
Things to Know: If you’re a vegetarian, look no further! This is one of my FAVORITE vegetarian taco finds in the city! If you’re interested, try the veggie gordita!
Location: 1800 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
What to Try: The best way to describe Suerte is Mexican meets Fine Dining. Every dish you get is plated beautifully and wows me every. single. time. I’d suggest tasting the Suadero Tacos, Fish Tacos, Gnocchi or the Goat Barbacoa. For drinks, I’d suggest the Spicy Marg!
Things to Know: It is more of a *fine dining* experience in comparison to other restaurants on this list. Therefore, it is more pricey. However, the staff, the ambiance, and the experience are well worth the price!
Downtown- 900 E. 7th St., Austin, TX 78702
South- 9600 S IH 35 Frontage Rd.
What to Get: First of all, let me just say the views and drinks are BEAUTIFUL. I personally have enjoyed the shrimp tacos and choriqueso but there’s not much to get disappointed about here! As far as drinks go, I hope you love them all (because I haven’t found one I don’t like… and I’ve tried… many.) I LOVE the Shrimp Aguachil Michelada and the Piña Para La Niña is a strawberry margarita… served from a Pineapple. If you wanted a drink for the ‘gram, this is the place. Lastly, I’d like to recommend Gabby’s Margarita. It’s not only delicious, but they add a chili powder rim and their house-made syrup that can’t be beat.
Things to Know: There are two locations (and for the price and experience, you’re better off spending your money downtown! The Southpark Meadows location is newer and is still working out some quirks. I, for one, prefer a good view of downtown and enjoy the ambiance more.) The patios are very dog friendly and welcome furry friends.
6. Granny’s Tacos
Location: 1401 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
What to Try: Yes, it is a taco truck. Yes, it is delicious. I have NEVER tried a Granny’s taco that I didn’t like. You cannot beat these breakfast tacos. My personal favorite lunch tacos are the Campechano Taco (steak, chorizo, pico & avocado) and the Abuela Taco. If you’re a quesadilla fan and haven’t been here yet, let me introduce you to Granny’s.
Things to Know: They have a great central location that’s close to multiple coffee shops – you can’t beat the breakfast taco coffee combo! The tacos are generously portioned, authentic, reasonably priced and are all-around a great meal. Parking is close and they’re usually really quick!
7. ATX Cocina
Location: 10 San Antonio St #170, Austin, TX 78701
What to Try: Amazing food and great service. It is a more upscale restaurant and I’d say this one is more pricey but hands down worth every penny. I cannot express how crazy good the flavors are. If you know, you know. Some of my favorite dishes are the: Hamachi, Brussels Sprouts, Chicken tacos, Queso Fundido and the Horchata Ice Cream.
Things to Know: This is one of my favorite Happy Hour spots in Austin! They only have dinner and you’ll need reservations (a couple days in advance!) Happy hour is Sun-Thur 5-6PM or 4-6PM Fri-Sat. They have $8 tacos of the day and $8 house margs.
8. Fonda San Miguel
Location: 2330 W N Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
What to Try: Fonda San Miguel is traditional Mexican food with the actual ambiance of Mexico! I love their Suzia Enchiladas and the Carne Asada A La Tampiquena. When it comes to drinks, their traditional margaritas are delicious.
Things to Know: You will need to make reservations in advance (or deal with bar seating and up to 2 hour wait times!) When you make your reservation, try to get a spot in the Atrium (pictured above) and you won’t be sorry!
9. El Naranjo
Location: 2717 S Lamar Blvd STE 1085, Austin, TX 78704
What to Try: The Filete De Res Al Chinextl and the Chile Pasilla are to die for. Somehow, the guacamole is incredible and the ahi tuna tostadas are too tasty. The flavors here are unmatched! This small restaurant can be summed up as fine-dining meets Mexican food.
Things to Know: It is small but the staff is very tight-knit and they will make sure you leave happy! This is also a great find for vegetarians- I’d suggest the Azteca. Everything is made fresh- you can’t go wrong here!
10. Veracruz All Natural
Location: TONS. They have 6 locations all over Austin!
What to Try: This taco truck has authentic Mexican food made with fresh ingredients and organic juices and smoothies. My favorite tacos are the Migas, La Reyna and the Chicken Mole. Nothing beats a homemade tortilla and fresh ingredients! If you’re a vegetarian, this is another great spot for ya’!
Things to Know: Order online in advance before you get there and you won’t be sorry! Popular taco times = very long wait times here!
11. La Condesa
Location: 400 W 2nd St A, Austin, TX 78701
What to Try: The Spicy Boca Negra, Guacamole Tasting and the Hongos Y Huitlacoche are worth giving a try! The Margaritas here are everything. When it comes to brunch, the Steak y Eggs for $42 will satisfy the cravings of 2 (it’s meant to be shared.) It comes with ribeye cut steak, beans, fried potato, salsa and tortillas to make your own taco. Add avocado and bacon if you want to spice it up!
Things to Know: The atmosphere of the restaurant is artsy, and contemporary- perfect for a date night or brunch! This is another one of my favorite happy hour spots. It’s 4-6PM Wednesday-Friday and they have 1/2 off all alcoholic beverages. If you’re down for a late Brunch, this happy hour is Sundays 11AM-3PM and offers 1/2 off Signature Cocktails. If the weather is nice, ask to sit out on the patio!
12. Mi Tradicíon Bakery
North: 8716 Research Blvd #290, Austin, TX 78758
South: 801 E William Cannon Dr Suite 125, Austin, TX 78745
What to Try: For a meal, I’d suggest trying the carnitas tacos and pollo tostadas. For dessert, their Strawberry Tres Leches will melt in your mouth. They sell individually packaged slices so it’s perfect to grab and eat on the go. Once you’re done eating, be sure to grab some bolillos to take home. These little sandwich rolls are crispy on the outside yet nice and chewy on the inside and are a little sweet- and made fresh daily!
Things to Know: This is a must-try. The prices are insanely cheap, the staff is friendly, and everything is made from scratch daily.
13. Habanero Mexican Cafe
Location: 501 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704
What to Try: I personally stick to the basics here: fajitas or the carne asada tacos (and if I’m feeling crazy I’ll get the green enchiladas.) Their breakfast tacos are one of the best in town! The potatoes are basically fries and I can’t get over it.
Things to Know: It is cash only. During COVID they are only offering food to-go so I would suggest ordering in advance!
14. El Taquito
Location: 1713 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741
What to Try: Sometimes you just want a quick (and cheap) taco run. This is the perfect place for that. You don’t go here for the ambiance but the reasonably priced tacos. I personally love their fundido and the barbacoa tacos.
Things to Know: I enjoy the take-out experience from here only. It’s a good grab-and go taco for your commute to work or quick lunch break!
15. El Alma
Location: 1025 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
What to Try: This is a great restaurant to enjoy the atmosphere, sit on the patio and enjoy a drinks and the beautifully plated food. My personal favorites are the Fundito, Tostidas and the Crab Relleno. I haven’t tried a dish here I haven’t enjoyed.
Things to Know: Come for the food and stay for the view. This is one of my favorite Happy Hour spots (3-6PM daily.) They have $5 Cervezas, $5 Jacked Sangria, $6 Classic Margs (and my two favorite dishes are on the Happy Hour Menu- the Tostidas and Fundito.)
16. La Fruta Feliz
Location: 3124 Manor Rd Austin, TX 78723
What to Try: This is a very casual and authentic Mexican food restaurant. It is very price-conscious with a full plated meal with drink for around $10. Try the barbacoa de chivos and huevos con nopales tacos on their homemade corn tortillas!
Things to Know: If you’re looking for affordable and authentic Mexican food, give this place a try.
17. Mi Madres Restaurant
Location: 2201 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722
What to Try: The salsas here make this restaurant! The staff is great and make it feel like a true, authentic Mexican restaurant with incredible service. I enjoy the crunchy fish tacos or the carne asada breakfast tacos. Be sure to take advantage of the salsas!
Things to Know: This is a great bite for the price! Nothing too fancy, just some great tacos and even better salsa.