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Dee Dee’s laab moo
Dee Dee's laab moo
Yara E./Yelp

Spicy Food in Austin: 10 Places to Light Your Mouth on Fire

Live on the fiery edge

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Dee Dee's laab moo
| Yara E./Yelp

Texas weather can get hot, but its food can get even hotter. The city’s restaurant scene thrives on peppers and spice and everything else that makes for delicious, flavorful food, but there are certain plates that stand out amongst the rest.

Here is your guide to Austin’s spiciest dishes, the ones that will make you break out in a sweat and light your mouth on fire. There’s an ample amount of Thai and Sichuan specialities like Dee Dee and Sichuan River, to hot chicken at Tumble 22, and oh-so-hot Indian dishes at Clay Pit. This update adds Tommy Want Wingy to the mix. Keep those glasses of milk handy.

For similar cuisines, check out Austin’s best Thai restaurants, spots with Southeast Asian fare, Chinese food, and South Asian places.

Is a favorite go-to spicy dish missing below? Shoot Eater a comment or email through the tipline.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ramen Tatsu-ya

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8557 Research Blvd, #126
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 834-8810
Visit Website

The one-two hit of the noodle shop’s Mi-So-Hot ramen with any of the spicier sauces, like the Fire in a Bowl made with Thai chilis and habanero paste or the whopping five-chili blend of the chili bomb will pack a fiery wallop. Add it to the porky Mi-So-Hot ramen for an extra kick.

The mi-so-hot ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya
The mi-so-hot ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya
Ramen Tatsu-ya/Facebook

2. Tumble 22

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7211 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 520-1998
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Austin’s dedicated Nashville hot chicken restaurant from the Salty Sow chef offers up four different heat levels for its fried poultry. Go all the way with the fire in the hole level, with a whooping 100,000 Scoville units. The food truck is no longer.

Hot chicken from Tumble 22
Hot chicken from Tumble 22
Ashlyn Allison

3. Clay Pit Contemporary Indian Cuisine

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1601 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 322-5131
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Challenge those taste buds by ordering one of Clay Pit's house specialities at the desi-hot level, which includes curries, Mughlai chicken, and Kothmir salmon.

A dish from Clay Pit
Clay Pit/Facebook

4. Texas Chili Parlor

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1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 472-2828
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Brave the XXX or the habanero chilis for very, very spicy kicks at the classic chili joint. The weak can opt for the single X version.

Chili from Texas Chili Parlor
Chili from Texas Chili Parlor
Texas Chili Parlor/Facebook

5. Licha's Cantina

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1306 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 480-5960
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The pambazo sandwiches from Licha's are soaked in a special guajillo pepper and peanut salsa, for major spiciness, which comes with your choice of meats from chorizo to chipotle chicken.

The pambazo sandwich at Licha’s
The pambazo sandwich at Licha’s
Licha's Cantina/Facebook

6. Tommy Want Wingy

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94 Rainey St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 662-8516
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The chicken wing truck’s spiciest level is dubbed the “holy schnikes,” described as “painfully hot” for good reason.

Chicken lollipops from Tommy Want Wingy
Chicken lollipops from Tommy Want Wingy
Tommy Want Wingy/Facebook

7. Sway Thai

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1417 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 326-1999
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For jungle curry, look to Sway, which uses wagyu beef, paired with peppercorns and coconut cream for the dish.

Sway’s jungle curry
Sway’s jungle curry
Sway/Facebook

8. Dee Dee

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4204 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78745

The Thai truck’s laab moo is made with spicy minced pork, accompanied with Thai garnishes and sticky rice. You’re encouraged to eat with your hands, but be sure to wash ‘em before touching those eyes.

9. Sap's Fine Thai Cuisine

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4514 West Gate Blvd
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 899-8525
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On Sap’s lengthy menu, only two dishes earn that five-pepper notation: the pad cha catfish is serviced with a hot and spicy sauce made with young peppercorn and Thai peppers; and another take on jungle curry. Plus the simple green beans are very good.

The pad cha catfish at Sap’s
The pad cha catfish at Sap’s
Nikki N./Yelp

10. Sichuan River

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4534 West Gate Blvd
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 892-6699
Visit Website

It’s the dry hot pot from the South Austin Sichuan restaurant that wins the spicy award, made with a mess of jalapenos and chilis.

Sichuan River’s dry hot pot
Sichuan River’s dry hot pot
Sandeep G./Yelp

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1. Ramen Tatsu-ya

8557 Research Blvd, #126, Austin, TX 78758
The mi-so-hot ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya
The mi-so-hot ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya
Ramen Tatsu-ya/Facebook

The one-two hit of the noodle shop’s Mi-So-Hot ramen with any of the spicier sauces, like the Fire in a Bowl made with Thai chilis and habanero paste or the whopping five-chili blend of the chili bomb will pack a fiery wallop. Add it to the porky Mi-So-Hot ramen for an extra kick.

8557 Research Blvd, #126
Austin, TX 78758

2. Tumble 22

7211 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
Hot chicken from Tumble 22
Hot chicken from Tumble 22
Ashlyn Allison

Austin’s dedicated Nashville hot chicken restaurant from the Salty Sow chef offers up four different heat levels for its fried poultry. Go all the way with the fire in the hole level, with a whooping 100,000 Scoville units. The food truck is no longer.

7211 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757

3. Clay Pit Contemporary Indian Cuisine

1601 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701
A dish from Clay Pit
Clay Pit/Facebook

Challenge those taste buds by ordering one of Clay Pit's house specialities at the desi-hot level, which includes curries, Mughlai chicken, and Kothmir salmon.

1601 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78701

4. Texas Chili Parlor

1409 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701
Chili from Texas Chili Parlor
Chili from Texas Chili Parlor
Texas Chili Parlor/Facebook

Brave the XXX or the habanero chilis for very, very spicy kicks at the classic chili joint. The weak can opt for the single X version.

1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

5. Licha's Cantina

1306 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
The pambazo sandwich at Licha’s
The pambazo sandwich at Licha’s
Licha's Cantina/Facebook

The pambazo sandwiches from Licha's are soaked in a special guajillo pepper and peanut salsa, for major spiciness, which comes with your choice of meats from chorizo to chipotle chicken.

1306 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702

6. Tommy Want Wingy

94 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
Chicken lollipops from Tommy Want Wingy
Chicken lollipops from Tommy Want Wingy
Tommy Want Wingy/Facebook

The chicken wing truck’s spiciest level is dubbed the “holy schnikes,” described as “painfully hot” for good reason.

94 Rainey St
Austin, TX 78701

7. Sway Thai

1417 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
Sway’s jungle curry
Sway’s jungle curry
Sway/Facebook

For jungle curry, look to Sway, which uses wagyu beef, paired with peppercorns and coconut cream for the dish.

1417 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704

8. Dee Dee

4204 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745

The Thai truck’s laab moo is made with spicy minced pork, accompanied with Thai garnishes and sticky rice. You’re encouraged to eat with your hands, but be sure to wash ‘em before touching those eyes.

4204 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78745

9. Sap's Fine Thai Cuisine

4514 West Gate Blvd, Austin, TX 78745
The pad cha catfish at Sap’s
The pad cha catfish at Sap’s
Nikki N./Yelp

On Sap’s lengthy menu, only two dishes earn that five-pepper notation: the pad cha catfish is serviced with a hot and spicy sauce made with young peppercorn and Thai peppers; and another take on jungle curry. Plus the simple green beans are very good.

4514 West Gate Blvd
Austin, TX 78745

10. Sichuan River

4534 West Gate Blvd, Austin, TX 78745
Sichuan River’s dry hot pot
Sichuan River’s dry hot pot
Sandeep G./Yelp

It’s the dry hot pot from the South Austin Sichuan restaurant that wins the spicy award, made with a mess of jalapenos and chilis.

4534 West Gate Blvd
Austin, TX 78745

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