Cactus is as local as it gets in locavore-crazy Austin. The drought-resistant vegetable’s many parts go by different names on menus, including prickly pear, nopales, nopalitos, and more. Here are the best cactus dishes Austin has to offer, from Licha’s nopal salad, Veracruz’s nopal tacos, to boozy drink of Odd Duck’s margarita. If your favorite cactus-based dish is missing from the list, let us know on the tipline or in the comments.Read More
Get Your Cactus On: Where to Find Nopal & Prickly Pear Dishes in Austin
Embrace the savory and sweet delights of the prickly pear cactus in everything from sorbet to tacos.
1. Licha's Cantina
Eater reader lagorda opts for either the ensalada de nopal or the tlacoyo de nopal here.
2. El Alma Cafe y Cantina
The Nopalito Salad at El Ama, is just plain “amaze,” according to Eater reader happymercado, which comes with cactus, pico, queso panela, and hemp seeds.
3. El Naranjo
The nopales clasicos is served a la Mexicana, which means it’s in a delicious mess of tomatoes, serrano and chile peppers, white onions, and cilantro.
4. Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club
Luck out and catch the delicious prickly pear sorbet on Dai Due’s ever-changing menu.
5. Papalote Taco House
The adobada comes with pork (marinated in huajillo sauce), topped with queso fresco, avocado, and of course, a mess of cactus. [Photo: Patrick O./Yelp]
6. Contigo Austin
For a real cactus brunch, get the nopales at Contigo, a plateful of sourdough bread, refried white beans, fermented jalapenos, and a sunny side-up egg.
7. Twisted X Brewing Co.
Head down to Twisted X’s tasting room for a sip of their Siesta Prickly Pear Lager, made with prickly pears and red corn for a slightly pink brew.
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8. Maria's Taco Xpress
The very Austin vibe of Maria’s is the perfect place to devour a nopal taco.
9. Odd Duck
New to Odd Duck’s cocktail menu, the bright pink prickly pear margarita will make it easier to down all of those nopales tacos.
10. La Flor
Fresh-made tortillas makes the La Flor’s tacos just that much better for nopalitos and whatever else you’d want to add. [Photo: Jay J./Yelp]
11. Amy's Ice Creams
Another sweet dessert made with prickly pear can be found at Amy’s Ice Cream, where sweet cream is mixed with vegetable and corn syrup.
12. La Fruta Feliz
Austin, TX 78723
Bump up your breakfast taco game with la Fruta Feliz’s nopalitos tacos.
Cactus goes well with everything, so order a side of nopales to go with whatever entree you get.
14. Veracruz All Natural
Austin, TX 78702
Another great bet for breakfast tacos with nopales can be found at the Veracruz Taco Truck. Add both salsas, you won’t regret it. [Photo: Emily C./Yelp]
15. El Azteca
The nopalito enchiladas come covered in ranchero sauce and jack cheese for a vegetarian-friendly meal. [Photo: Rebekah L./Yelp]
For a go-to prickly pear margarita, Chuy’s has your drink.