Veracruz All Natural, one of Austin’s best taco restaurants, is opening its first-ever location outside of Texas, as reported by the New York Times. The new truck — called Hot Tacos — will be found in Los Angeles at the Line Hotel in Koreatown starting this September.
Co-founders and co-owners Maritza and Reyna Vazquez are also opening their seventh Austin location in Mueller. This will take over former fried chicken restaurant J.T. Youngblood’s space at 1905 Aldrich Street starting sometime in the spring of 2022.
Hot Tacos’s menu will be somewhat different from its Texas counterpart but still rooted in tacos. Expect a “new special L.A. version of their migas,” they tell Eater, which will be vegan. There will also be taco bowls, nachos, and quesadillas.
Opening in this particular Los Angeles location makes sense for the Vazquez sisters since they already operate a restaurant within the Line Austin Hotel, which opened last summer. The L.A. truck will be parked in two locations depending on the day and hour. different days and hours. This includes right on Wilshire Boulevard in front of the hotel coffee shop Alfred, and then in the valet area. This way, customers will be able to get coffee at the former and cocktails at the lobby bar from the latter.
At this point, Hot Tacos will run for six months, and then the Vazquezes want to turn the truck into a physical restaurant eventually. As a way to test out potential locations, the truck will serve in various Los Angeles neighborhoods during off-hours during that time.
The Vazquezes have always been fond of Los Angeles’s food scene and saw an opportunity to bring their breakfast tacos to the city. Martiza and Reyna will make sure one of them is in Los Angeles overseeing the new team, while the other is in Austin during these first six months.
Opening the new venture under a different name was an intentional move by the sisters, as a way to differentiate the two businesses, keep the Veracruz name local to Austin, and give them room to figure out the business in Los Angeles.
Back in Austin, the company in charge of leasing spaces in Mueller reached out to the Vazquezes about taking over the old Youngblood’s space. Veracruz isn’t new to the neighborhood either, there is a truck parked at the Mueller Eats food court.
The Mueller menu will remain mostly the same as the now-closed North Burnet restaurant, including tamales veracruzanos and cochinita pibil, as mentioned in New York Times. The location will also make use of the full bar, working with Driftwood distillery Desert Door Sotol. When this restaurant opens, they will close down the Mueller truck.
J.T. Youngblood’s — where this new Veracruz will be located — had been the somewhat recent revitalization of the old-school Texas chain restaurant with an emphasis on fried chicken and Southern fare that closed in the 1970s. It had opened in April 2017 and closed in December 2018.
Maritza and Reyna Vazquez began Veracruz as a food truck on East Cesar Chavez in 2008. Their business soon grew with a total of four trucks and two restaurants across Austin plus Round Rock. They’re still working on their physical restaurant up in Webberville, which they promise will make use of the ample outdoor space with a small building. In the meantime, two of their trucks — one taco, one juice — are operating at the location.
- The Shy Sisters Behind Austin’s Breakout Breakfast Tacos [New York Times]
- Hot Tacos [Instagram]
- All Coverage of Veracruz All Natural [EATX]
- All Coverage of the Line Hotel [ELA]