There’s a lot of great food in Austin — zero doubts about that. Besides some of the best barbecue in the country, our town also has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to tacos. From breakfast tacos to Mexican street tacos, and everything in between, there are enough amazing taco joints and food trucks to keep everyone full of tacos all day long.
That’s why Eater Austin put together this comprehensive guide on eating through some of the city’s best tacos within 24 hours (and then some). While geographically this list is very doable (sticking to the East Austin and Riverside areas), remember to pace yourself and order wisely. Good luck.
6 a.m. at Joe’s Bakery
2305 East Seventh Street, Holly
The early bird catches the worm, which is why it’s best to start your taco day off early. Luckily, this 60-year institution opens at 6 a.m. six days a week (keep in mind it’s closed on Mondays). This no-frills diner offers breakfast and lunch faves, but the breakfast tacos are where it’s at. Enveloped in thick, fresh flour tortillas that are almost as fluffy as pancakes, the fillings are stuffed to the gills, especially the very large bacon strips.
Must order: the bacon, egg, and cheese taco
8 a.m. at Veracruz All Natural
2505 Webberville Road, East Austin
Yes, Veracruz lives up to all of its hype, so go earlier than you want in order to beat the rush. The iconic blue truck churns out probably the best migas taco in town. There are several locations, but for this trip, you’re heading to its food truck park on Webberville. Order a cold brew or a horchata to sip on while you wait — as the restaurant team likes to say, it’s not “fast food” here — before munching down on freshly fried corn tortilla chips nestled into organic eggs, tomatoes, onions, avocado, and Monterey jack cheese.
Must order: the migas taco
10 a.m. at the Vegan Nom
2324 East Cesar Chavez Street, Holly
With a 100 percent vegan menu, those looking to not eat meat can rest assured at one of Austin’s first all-vegan food trucks. Scrambled tofu takes the place of eggs, queso is made from cashew cheese, and chorizo and breakfast sausage are meat-free. However, you wouldn’t even know it because these ingredients don’t have that usual “other” quality most vegan substances have. The house-made chorizo is especially tasty.
Must order: the Gracias Madre (house-made vegan chorizo, scrambled tofu, pepper jack cheese)
12 p.m. at Discada
1319 Rosewood Avenue, Central East Austin
When you do something well, why complicate things? This small food truck offers only one type of taco, the namesake one, which is comprised of juicy blended pork and beef grilled on a discada (sort of like a wok), topped with onions, cilantro, and pineapple, and served on a tiny corn tortilla. Your only decision is whether you want three, five, or eight tacos to eat on their picnic tables.
Must order: the discada taco
2 p.m. at Nixta Taqueria
2512 East 12th Street, Chestnut
With a recent James Beard Award under its belt, Nixta is Austin’s current reigning taco hotspot that is actually worth all of the attention it gets. Known for its nixtamalized blue corn tortillas, it’s hard not to order every tasty-sounding thing on the patio restaurant’s menu. But for the purposes of eating tacos all day, set yourself for success by sticking to one, but the only problem is deciding which one.
Must order: the duck carnitas taco
5 p.m. at Licha’s Cantina
1306 East Sixth Street, East Cesar Chavez
If you’re itching to hit up a happy hour during your day of tacos, Licha’s is the place to be. With an excellent happy hour menu full of discounted cocktails (don’t skip the paloma), as well as huaraches (corn flatbread), sopecitos (black bean layered corn cups), and quesadillas, the restaurant’s patio is perfect for people-watching along the busy street. But remember, you’re here for tacos, which unfortunately aren’t on the happy hour menu, but are still available at full price. There are six options to choose from, which are served on a skillet so you can build your own tacos.
Must order: the Verduras (sweet potato, mushrooms, corn, squash, napa cabbage, and pepitas)
7 p.m. at Suerte
1800 East Sixth Street, East Cesar Chavez
Much like Nixta, Suerte is also known for paying very close attention to its house-made nixtamalized corn tortillas and inventive flavors. And the suadero tacos are truly a standout on the restaurant’s already impressive menu. The confit wagyu brisket comes covered in “black magic oil,” an extraordinary condiment that is the best embodiment of umami. And finish your taco meal with the restaurant’s fancy take on the Choco Taco for dessert, because, hey, you can no longer get them anywhere else now.
Must order: the suadero tacos
9 p.m. at Cuantos Tacos
1108 East 12th Street, Central East Austin
The double-corn tortilla Mexico City-style tacos at the food truck are two to three bites each, making them the perfect size for sampling. Your best bet is to go with friends and order one of each to enjoy every type of filling, including carnitas, suadero, buche (pork stomach), cacheta (barbacoa), longaniza (chorizo), and champiñones (mushroom).
Must order: the champiñones taco
11 p.m. at El Tacorrido
1701 East Riverside Drive, Riverside
With several locations around town and quick drive-thrus, El Tacorrido is a popular late morning spot for lazy breakfast seekers, especially with that half-horchata, half-espresso Equinox drink. But, late-night diners can also enjoy breakfast — which is thankfully served all day — along with other great tacos via car or dine-in services before midnight.
Must order: the taco de hongos
2 a.m. at Rosita’s Al Pastor
1801 East Riverside Drive, River
If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to celebrate even though the day is technically already over. Late nights at Rosita’s food truck are fun taco parties, especially since it stays open until 3:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (which, actually are Saturdays and Sundays, right?). Rosita’s has been slinging al pastor since 1985, so it’s logical to order the namesake 24-hour marinated pork tacos that are bright red and greasy in the best possible way.
Must order: the al pastor tacos