There’s nothing fancy or newfangled at this Manor Road locale, just breakfast tacos with all the fixin’s, stuffed to the brim. Go for the black bean, eggs and cheese, or hit up the housemade machacado, eggs and pico. The veggie migas and cheese option is always a vegetarian crowd-pleaser.
2201 Manor Rd., 512-480-8441
At first, the Don Juan will woo you with its piles of potatoes, eggs, bacon and cheese on top of flour tortillas, a ridiculous amount of food for $4.50. In fact, you’ll probably be enamored all the way through the meal. But come clean plates, your stomach may be suffering a bit for your new love. For that exact reason, we recommend sharing with a real-life loved one, or at least saving some for later.
2300 E. Cesar Chavez, 512-472-3872
No place epitomizes Austin’s trailer-to-brick-and-mortar story better than Torchy’s, which started as a tiny spot on South First and is now taking over the world (or at least Texas) with its loaded breakfast tacos. We like the Wrangler with scrambled eggs, potatoes, beef brisket, Jack cheese and tomatillo sauce, as well as the rest of the menu. Stick around long enough, and you’ll be hungry for the fried avocado taco for lunch too.
2809 S. First St., 512-444-0300
The tacos are fresh and the neighbors local, which make Joe’s one of Taco Journalism’s Mando Reyes’ favorite spots to chow down. Also, how can you say no to battered bacon on your breakfast taco?
2305 E. Seventh St., 512-472-0017
The handmade tortillas at this trailer are what make the meal. The thick corn tortillas provide the perfect casing for the rich ingredients inside, whether that’s eggs or al pastor pork. At weekend brunch, be sure to try the picadas de bistec with sweet plantains. And go for the aguas frescas every day of the week.
1704 E. Cesar Chavez, 512-981-1760
An Austinite’s schedule: Monday through Friday, hit up Tacodeli on the way to work to pick up a migas taco or the Popeye with sautéed spinach, scrambled egg and queso fresco. Saturday and Sunday, wake up late, then head to Tacodeli for a Frontera Fundido (sirloin with Monterey Jack cheese and sautéed poblanos and onion) and a couple of build-your-owns topped with doña sauce. That’s the life.
4200 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-419-1900
Since breakfast tacos are nature’s best hangover cure, Tamale House’s original location on Airport Boulevard holds an important place in many Austinite’s hearts. Plus the ultra cheap tacos (about $1.25, depending on how many ingredients you choose) make it a destination unto itself. Even Anthony Bourdain ate here when he was in town, escorted by none other than pitmaster Aaron Franklin.
5003 Airport Blvd., 512-453-9842
In the world of tacos, a slightly dingy strip-mall location gives a place more cred than a hip sign or spotless interior. For example, at this spot, the menu is in Spanish and so are the telenovelas on the TV. The tacos and fresh corn tortillas, though, don’t need any translation. If you’re brave, try the barbacoa de cabra (tender goat-head meat with cilantro and onion).
3124 Manor Rd., 512-473-0037
This spot isn’t nearly as hip as Torchy’s, but the tacos are authentic, cheap and tasty, and feature hand-rolled tortillas. We’re always a sucker for the suisas and gringas (cheese and al pastor grilled like a quesadilla) tacos, but if you don’t go for those, be sure to try the al pastor in any of its many forms on the menu. And don’t miss the spicy green sauce, which should be slathered onto every taco for good measure.
1911 E. Riverside Dr., 512-442-8402
The hippest drive-thru in town serves more than just chicken al carbon. Try the Margie, with Lambert’s brisket, eggs, charred onions and rajas on a flour tortilla, or go with one of the “classic gringo” tacos like bacon, egg and cheese. Also rest assured that they use all-natural ingredients like pasture-raised organic eggs.
915 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-428-5077
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Courtesy of Zagat Austin
By Megan Giller