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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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Ramen Tatsu-ya

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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

Tumble 22

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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.

Two white cardboard containers with fried chicken pieces, and one with a saucer of beans and the other of a white sauce, both on a red tray.
Hot chicken from Tumble 22
Ashlyn Allison

Clay Pit Contemporary Indian Cuisine

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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

Texas Chili Parlor

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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

Licha's Cantina

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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

Tommy Want Wingy

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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

Sway Thai

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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

Dee Dee

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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.

Sap's Fine Thai Cuisine

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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

Sichuan River

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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

Ramen Tatsu-ya

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

Tumble 22

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.

Two white cardboard containers with fried chicken pieces, and one with a saucer of beans and the other of a white sauce, both on a red tray.
Hot chicken from Tumble 22
Ashlyn Allison

Clay Pit Contemporary Indian Cuisine

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

Texas Chili Parlor

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

Licha's Cantina

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

Tommy Want Wingy

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

Sway Thai

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

Dee Dee

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.

Sap's Fine Thai Cuisine

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

Sichuan River

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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