AUSTIN’S TACOS

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You’re not eat­ing right if you’re not eat­ing tacos while in Austin. From taque­rias to taco trucks, there’s no shortage of spots to in­dulge in one of Austin’s fa­vorite foods.

And you can dine on them all day, from break­fast to late night. Here’s a roundup of some of our town’s top tacos.

BREAK­FAST

Ta­codeli lo­ca­tions can be found all over Austin, but the orig­i­nal be­gan as a lit­tle taque­ria tucked away near the Bar­ton Springs Green­belt. Start your day with The Otto, a house fa­vorite that wraps or­ganic re­fried black beans, dou­ble ba­con, av­o­cado and jack cheese in a corn tor­tilla laced with Ta­codeli’s award-win­ning salsa.

At Maria’s Taco Xpress, come for the break­fast spe­cials (like the fa­jita beef taco) and stay for the free live mu­sic. Maria’s is known for its fun events held in the spirit of keep­ing Austin weird, from the Sun­day af­ter­noon Hip­pie Church with its rous­ing gospel mu­sic, to games of Big Boo­bie

Bingo, held the first Tues­day of the month.

Stop by the El Primo food truck on South First Street and get your fill of a good, ba­sic egg, cheese and meat break­fast taco. Meat choices in­clude ba­con, mi­gas ham, sausage and spicy chorizo. Add in ex­tras like beans and av­o­cado and make it a morn­ing feast.

Open since 1962, Joe’s Bak­ery & Cof­fee Shop serves break­fast all day in the time­honored tra­di­tion of an old-school diner. Load up on the Miga Taco Con Todo, stuffed with eggs, corn chips, to­ma­toes, onions, cheese and jalapeños.

The fam­ily-run Marcelino’sdraws a faith­ful break­fast taco crowd with its widerang­ing menu choices. A pop­u­lar op­tion is the papa ranchera folded with Marcelino’s spicy pota­toes, eggs, cheese and crum­bled ba­con.

LUNCH

Torchy’s Tacos was a pioneer in Austin’s food truck craze. To­day, you can find brick-and-mor­tar lo­ca­tions all over the state. Cre­ative taco cre­ations in­clude the bat­tered and fried por­to­bello mush­room strips nes­tled in a flour tor­tilla with re­fried black beans, roasted corn, cotija cheese, fresh av­o­cado and an­cho aioli. Or ask for a cus­tom taco from the se­cret menu.

Step right up to Tyson’s Tacos stand and pick from a tempt­ing ar­ray of tacos dreamed up by the hus­band-and-wife team of Tyson and Cherry Blanke­meyer. For lunch, the Prince taco is a rich com­bi­na­tion of pecan-crusted tilapia with rasp­berry pico de gallo and a kiss of goat cheese.

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ com­bines the foods that Aus­tinites love most: tacos and bar­be­cue. Seek out this road­side trailer and belly up to the counter, where you can choose from tempt­ing taco fill­ings like smoked brisket topped with gua­camole, tomato ser­rano salsa and sea salt, all rolled up in a freshly made flour tor­tilla.

Ver­acruz All Nat­u­ral was founded as a taco truck by sis­ters Reyna and Mar­itza, who honed their cook­ing skills work­ing in their mother’s restau­rant in Ver­acruz, Mex­ico. Fresh, or­ganic in­gre­di­ents are key to their tacos, which in­clude the al pas­tor: pork (mar­i­nated in pineap­ple juice and chile gua­jillo), av­o­cado, queso fresco, onions and cilantro nes­tled in a home­made corn tor­tilla.

DIN­NER

El Chilito has gained a fol­low­ing for its fla­vor­ful veg­etable tacos. The ve­gan Vege­tal wraps sea­soned zuc­chini, yel­low squash, corn, pep­pers, to­ma­toes, onions and ser­rano pep­pers in your choice of a flour, corn or whole wheat tor­tilla. El Chilito tacos are best en­joyed on the col­or­ful out­door pa­tio with an es­presso from the cof­fee bar.

At El Alma, Chef Alma Al­co­cer draws from her clas­sic culi­nary train­ing and Mex­ico City roots to cre­ate unique tacos like the Pato: roasted duck, al­monds and pepi­tas. Pair it with a frozen mar­garita and dine on the rooftop deck with a sweep­ing sky­line view.

The James Beard-nom­i­nated La Con­desa of­fers mod­ern dishes like the grid­dled

Gulf snap­per taco with green cab­bage, chipo­tle mayo and pico de gallo. Add sides like the elotes (Mex­i­can-style street corn) or a tast­ing of La Con­desa’s com­plete gua­camole and salsa selec­tions.

Fresa’s Chicken Al Car­bon prides it­self on its house-made in­gre­di­ents, from the flour tor­tillas to fresh sal­sas. Lo­cal pas­tur­eraised chick­ens are key to dishes like the La Fresa taco, filled with achiote chicken, av­o­cado, cotija cheese, white onions, cab­bage and Fresa’s green salsa.

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