Austin is a town built on Tex Mex. Taco Journalism's Mando Rayo compiles the essential ten dishes to understand a cuisine that's been essential "since vaqueros and cowboys shared their first breakfast taco." Read on for his picks on where to re-acquaint yourself with crispy tacos, cabrito, and more.Read More
Where to Find Ten Classic Tex Mex Dishes in Austin
Mando Rayo shares his top picks.
1. Habanero Mexican Cafe
Rayo's Take: Prepared al mesquite style, add plenty of spices and jalapeños and you got one of the best fajitas in town.
2. Matt's Famous El Rancho
Rayo's take on one of Austin's most iconic dishes.: If you wanna have some Velveeta dreams then I suggest the Bob Armstrong Dip topped with guac and ground beef or if you wanna double down, add the smoked brisket.
3. Amaya's Taco Village
Rayo's Take: A staple in Tex-Mex, the crispy taco doesn't get better than ground beef, pico and cheese. These are crispy tacos that haven't lost their crispy edge.
4. El Azteca
Rayo's Take: Where do Tejanos eat cabrito? In McAllen and East Austin. It's a crispy like carnitas and tender like beef and with a hint of rancho flavor. For you city slickers, just dip it in the warm red salsa that it comes with to ease off the rancho.
5. Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop
Rayo's Take: One of my favorite spots in Austin. The carne guisada is sweet, tender, gravy-licous. Be warned, this carne's sweetness comes from pork rather than the more traditional beef.
6. Cisco's Restaurant & Bakery
Austin, TX 78702
Rayo's Take: One of the last East Austin icons left standing. They've been dodging ghosts, developers and hipsters over the last few years. I'm glad I can still go and get myself a Migas taco with buttery biscuits of course.
7. Enchiladas y Mas
Rayo's Take: Nothing says says Tex-Mex like "hot plate - hot plate!" Let's just cook the whole plate in the oven and hope you don't get burned while you're eating the cheesy, beefy enchiladas. All you gotta do is let it simmer down and don't forget the raw onions!
8. La Fuente's
Rayo's Take: I'm more of a let's pile the tortilla chips on the plate and add the fixin's type of guy. La Fuente's follows up the messy with crispy fajita and layers and layers of guac, pico and all the lettuce in the world.
9. Mi Madre's Restaurant
Rayo's Take: The migas plate keeps the Mexican in Tex-Mex with a kick. Nothing like fresh jalapenos and onions and still crispy tortilla chips in your huevos.