A friend duo hailing from Mexico had a vision to bring authentic tacos to Austin. Seven years ago, their vision came to life when they opened their first taco trailer called One Taco. You may remember their name from our Breakfast Taco Taste Off earlier this year where they took home 1st prize with the Jefe Taco. If there’s one arena in Austin that’s difficult to enter and come out on top, it’s the taco arena. But Tony Avila and Axel Beverido found a way to win over the taco loving appetites of Austin.
Recently, their dream of opening a Brick and Mortar became a reality. And trust us, it’s a place where taco dreams really do come true. They kill it all day long serving breakfast, lunch and dinner tacos. From the “Big Kahuna” to the Gowalla Taco to the 5 de Pastor, you can’t go wrong. Our most recent visit even included the Pancake Taco. Yes, the Pancake Taco.
Whether you’re looking for a quick pick-up order, for a place to eat tacos and drink a few beers with your buddies, or a family-friendly hang out, do yourself this one favor. Check out One Taco.
Brick and Mortar
12200 Research Blvd. #400
One Taco – Container
6th & Nueces
Austin, Texas 78701
Around these parts, melted cheese is serious business. Any great meal in Austin can and should begin with a velvety bowl of queso— locally, it’s one of our main food groups. A great queso recipe can not only put a new restaurant on the map, it can make it an institution.
Luckily Favor, your personal delivery assistant, understands that queso is the lifeblood of our fair city, and they are standing by to bring your favorite blend of queso straight to your door. With that in mind, here is a list of the quesos we can’t live without.
Use code ‘365Things’ to get your first Favor free!
Their green chile queso may be even better than their tacos. That’s a major statement, but we stand behind it!
Save this one for a late night craving as this is queso is one you can enjoy 24 hours a day!
This classic Austin joint makes nearly every “best of” list for good reason. Bob Armstrong Dip is a truly heavenly version of queso. Just make sure you don’t go on Tuesday (they’re closed)!
Many moons ago, on a past Cinco de Mayo, we judged a blind queso tasting contest and this guy was the winner.
El Alma gets bonus points for the homemade chips that come with its queso. It’s a stellar combo!
Photo Credit: Gabriel Campbell Photography
This bowl of melted goodness has a distinctive flavor that keeps the queso connoisseurs coming back. Is it butter? Garlic? It’s AMAZING is what it is.
Another place where you can snag queso 24 hours a day, this one known as “Magnolia Mud” is dangerously addicting.
This white and peppery queso is rich and savory. It’s the perfect thing to distract you during those five looooong minutes you have to wait for their incredible tacos.
Don’t be fooled by its humble (and dark) appearance. This queso is worth the stop.
Melted cheese with hatch green chiles. Need we say more?
The Vidal family’s food truck is famous for brisket, but their chips y queso are to die for as well.
This bowl is old-fashioned and devoid of trendy nonsense. You can’t go wrong.
Down and dirty bar food is one of life’s simple pleasures, and this queso is pure bliss.
Photo Credit: Meredith V. Yelp.
Queso with a view? You don’t have to ask us twice!
This is all you need to know: Land O’Lakes extra melt with whole black beans, guacamole and pico.
Photo Credit: Christi K. Yelp
This queso comes standard with bonus ingredients. You’ll love every bit of melted American cheese topped with guacamole, ground beef, and pico de gallo.
Photo Credit: adi7anand instagam
Cream cheese is the secret ingredient that sets them apart from the rest!
Get any (or all) of the quesos above, delivered right to your door with the Favor Delivery app.
Once a novelty in Austin, food trailers have exploded onto the scene, cropping up in parking lots and behind bars all over town. With the plethora of new trailers opening every week, it’s often hard to keep up with it all. We’ve run down a list of our favorites to visit.
What was once a desert for really great brisket and sides—save for Franklin and a few scattered, older restaurants—Austin proper has now become a barbecue haven, largely in part of two food trailers known as Micklethwait Craft Meats and La barbecue.
1. Micklethwait Craft Meats
At 1309 Rosewood in the heart of East Austin, Micklethwait is notable for—beyond its juicy brisket—twists on classics (brisket frito pie with escabeche) and unusual smoked meats (pulled goat, available some Saturdays).
2. la Barbecue
Now settled in its fourth spot in town at Aztec Food Park on Cesar Chavez, la Barbecue is also serving some of the best barbecue in Central Texas. Meat plates are an obvious favorite, but I also recommend some of the sandwiches, including La Frito Loco, featuring a medley of pulled pork, chopped beef, jalapeños, cheese, chipotle slaw, and black beans.
All the meats from la Barbecue
3. Via 313
Austin isn’t known for its pizza, but some of the tastiest pies I’ve ever had are made at VIA 313, a growing, Detroit-style pizza parlor with multiple locations in the city. It got its start as a food trailer in front of The Violet Crown bar on East Sixth Street, and is still the primo place to grab a pie or a couple of slices. Try the Detroiter, featuring two different kinds of pepperoni, and wash it down with an ice-cold Vernor’s, a classic Detroit ginger ale.
Detroit Style Pizza from VIA 313
4. Veracruz All Natural
Whether you stop by the original location on Cesar Chavez, the one at Radio Coffee & Beer in South Austin, or the one in Round Rock, Veracruz All Natural is one of the best taco trucks in town. Opened by two sisters from Veracruz, Mexico, the food is some of the freshest you’ll find, and the tortillas and chips are handmade. The al pastor is my favorite offering, with just a touch of the fresh green salsa on top. It’s spicy, but delicious.
Breakfast Tacos from Veracruz
5. Violet Taco
More of a hybrid but still delicious taco experience is Violet Taco, a trailer at 600 West Sixth Street downtown. Featuring barbecue from its sister restaurant, the East Side’s Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, huevos rancheros tacos and the like are the vibe here, with tons of ingredients for hungry eaters. The Ultimate Bean and Cheese Taco is a twist on the simple classic, except this one has bacon and a choice of smoked brisket or pulled pork—three items that make any food order markedly tastier.
A plethora of tacos from Violet Taco
6. Burro Cheese Kitchen
Grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food: It’s hearty, easy, and reminds us of a time when we were younger. At Burro Cheese Kitchen at 1221 South Congress Avenue, it’s that formula except on steroids. First you pick your bread, and we’re not talking wimpy Wonderbread here. You can choose from sourdough made at Easy Tiger, a Hawaiian bun, or a gluten-free option. Next, of course, is the cheese, and while an aged cheddar is on the menu, more adventurous eaters will find Danish Havarti, manchego, and aged blue cheese from Oregon. Then you get a sauce, with offerings like spicy maple bacon and balsamic apricot fig, plus veggies, smoked meats, and even a fried egg.
The Mac n’ Cheese Grilled Cheese from Burro
7. Hey! You Gonna Eat or What?
Similarly, Hey!…You Gonna Eat or What? subverts the classic sandwich into something even better. The Lonestar BLT features thick-cut applewood bacon, fried green tomatoes, and homemade poblano aioli on a ciabatta baguette. And their version of the monte cristo is beer-battered in Shiner Bock and comes with homemade cherry and fig jelly.
The Monte Cristo from Hey You Gonna Eat Or What? Photo by Nick Bianco
Mother’s Day, which is Sunday May 8, requires a few things: flowers, a nice card, and most importantly, brunch. Fortunately, there’s a ton of different ways to do the latter in Austin. Show her the love by making a reservation at one of these fabulous restaurants. From omelet stations to pancakes and free-flowing mimosas, this day is basically the Olympics of brunching. Here is a list of places where you can really do it right:
The always amazing and over-the-top Jeffrey’s is kicking it up a notch on Mother’s Day, with truffle deviled eggs, lobster and caviar blinis, a carving station with wood-grilled tenderloin, and, the main attraction: a roving mimosa cart. Enjoy a relaxing meal with mom accompanied by Margaret Wright on piano in the lounge. Call 512-477-5583 for reservations. Price is $80 per person.
Of course, right next door to Jeffrey’s is the beautiful little cottage restaurant known as Josephine House, and it’s a fantastic place to take your mom. Seriously, all moms love this place. The decadent brunch here will include options like lemon ricotta pancakes with berries, maple syrup, and housemade cultured butter; and steak and eggs with a sunny side up egg, roasted fingerling potatoes, and avocado chimichurri. We’re drooling! Complimentary mimosas are also available upon request. $45 per person. Call 512-477-5584.
Goodall’s Kitchen is offering a three-course prix fixe brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., with a choice of an appetizer, main, and dessert. A quick scan of the menu, and the perfect order looks like: warm sugar and Nutella donuts, shrimp and grits, and strawberry cobbler with ice cream to finish. Get it all for $44. Call 512-628-4400 for reservations.
While not technically brunch, we still had to put this one on the list. If you want to treat the mother in your life to a classy affair, make a reservation for Mother’s Day Victorian Tea at The Driskill. Each afternoon from 3-5 p.m. starting on Thursday, May 5 until Mother’s Day, enjoy traditional tea service, including tea sandwiches, petite fours, French pastries, and champagne. Make a reservation by calling 512-391-7227. Prices are $46 for adults and $26 for children ages 12 and under on May 5 and May 6, and $56 for adults and $33 for children ages 12 and under on May 7 and 8.
For a delicious, buffet-style brunch for the entire family, try Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa’s Mother’s Day brunch, featuring everything from an omelet bar and shrimp bisque to coq au vin and braised short ribs. As a bonus, there will be chocolate-dipped strawberries for mom, and a buffet just for the little ones. Call 512- 329-7906 to make reservations. Prices are $66.95 for adults and $24.95 for children 6-12; children under 5 eat free.
Another great family friendly option is The Carillon between 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Featuring breakfast favorites like eggs benedict and berry pancakes, plus a cold seafood bar, a carving station with wagyu beef, and a children’s buffet. Adults pay $65, kids ages 6-12 are $25, and kids 5 and under eat free. To make a reservation, call 512-404-3655.
Lonesome Dove on Colorado, is the second location of Chef Tim Love’s famous western restaurant. They’ll be serving up a three-course brunch with highlights like Elk-Pork Feting Benedict with Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise. The meal will kick off with freshly squeezed orange juice, a screwdriver, or a mimosa for Mom. Price is $56 and brunch runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 512-271-2474 to reserve a table.
Last, but certainly not least, Central Standard Kitchen & Bar is doing their classic American thing with favorites like bacon fat cheddar biscuits, gulf shrimp cocktail, eggs benedict, and prime rib roast. Price is $45 per person with complimentary valet at South Congress Hotel. Reserve a table online or call 512-942-0823.
Above, from top: Central Standard Kitchen & Bar; Josephine House, photo by Casey Dunn
Just west of downtown Austin lies Clarksville, one of the most unique neighborhoods in the entire state of Texas. The area’s rich history began in 1871, when Charles Clark settled here after being freed from slavery. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Now almost frozen in time, Clarksville harkens back to the days of an older Austin, filled with historic homes, quirky restaurants, and mom-and-pop shopping. If you’re looking for the quintessential Austin experience, spend a day exploring this truly walkable neighborhood.
Start your day at Sweetish Hill Bakery, an Austin institution since 1975. Grab a Texas Coffee Traders espresso to enjoy with a cinnamon roll or a schnecken, a traditional German sticky bun. Then take a fresh-baked baguette and a chocolate croissant (or two) to go.
One of Austin’s oldest gallery spaces Artworks, features original paintings, sculptures, glassworks, and more. Head over to the 5,000-square-foot space to take it all in.
Next, stop at Nau’s Enfield Drug, a no-frills soda pop shop that will transport you all the way back to the days when you could grab a flat-top cheeseburger and a chocolate malt in the back of a pharmacy. The prices are a bit higher than they were in 1951, when Nau’s opened, but not by that much.
Walk down to 6th and Lamar to Waterloo Records, open since 1982, when vinyl was still king. This megastore still carries new and special release vinyl records, used classic albums, and a large variety of films, books, shirts, and even toys and trinkets. Whoever said that the record store was dead surely hasn’t been here.
End your day at Jeffrey’s, opened in 1975 and revamped in 2013. It’s been named one of the top 10 Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appétit magazine. Get there early and sit at the bar for some crispy fried oysters and a Hokkaido Highball, a Japanese twist on the classic cocktail. Stay for dinner, and try one of four cuts of Wagyu beef topped with one of eight different classic toppings, including the ultra-decadent foie gras butter—an amazing way to cap of the day.
Here is one of our favorite Real Estate listings in the neighborhood.
For more information on Austin real estate contact Greg Walling of Moreland Properties
To Austinites, the act of sipping margaritas on a porch is serious business. It’s our way of life. With so much sunshine and dependably non-wintry weather, outdoor dining is one of the city’s biggest selling points. That we can happily say, “table for two on the patio please” in mid-February is probably the reason you moved here—or never moved away. April is the prime month for outdoor dining, so here are the five best outdoor spots to enjoy a cold beverage and a warm meal in Austin right now.
Designed after the owner’s family ranch in South Texas, the space at Contigo was designed to exist almost entirely outdoors, and features an upscale bar-food menu. Think ox tongue sliders instead of boring, soggy White Castle knockoffs, and a fancy twist on classics, like pigs in a blanket, chicken wings, and white bean dip with duck fat.
Located in the heart of SoCo, Perla’s is a wonderful spot for date night or a top-notch brunch. It’s also one of the best outdoor happy hour places in town. Stop by after work for deals on oysters and signature cocktails, like Perla’s Frozen Delight. If you can snag a table on the front porch, there’s also some incredible people-watching to be done.
Part bakery, part beer garden, Easy Tiger is easily Sixth Street’s most interesting outdoor bar. If you want breakfast and coffee with the morning sun, try pairing a café au lait with a pan au chocolat. It’s also perfect for a late lunch on a Sunday afternoon. Start with a snack board, featuring two large soft pretzels, beer cheese, house mustard, beef jerky, and Chex mix, before moving on to a corned beef sandwich on a delicious house-baked baguette.
Don’t let the name fool you, Radio Coffee & Beer’s biggest draw might be the Veracruz food trailer parked right out front. Featuring an expansive beer list and an enormous, comfortable patio, head over for breakfast or lunch at the trailer for the freshest, tastiest tacos in town. Plus, every Monday night is bluegrass night, with live country music.
For a late night drink and meal under the stars, East Austin’s Justine’s is the best game in town. Also a magnificent date spot, this is where you go when the weather is nice and you feel like getting a little fancy. A bottle of champagne to split and some steak frites in the cool Austin breeze—it doesn’t get much better than that.
Above, from top: Contigo, courtesy M40 Photography; The porch at Perla’s, photo by Casey Dunn; Easy Tiger, photo courtesy Vanessa Escobedo Barba.
Only two short years ago, one could count pizza delivery options in Austin on two hands. The choices were those inedible national chains, or Gatti’s/Austin’s Pizza, and a few others (we still love you Conan’s).
Oh, how the times have changed. With Favor Delivery, pizza is a few clicks away from anywhere that offers take-out. In fact, a large pie from my favorite shop for thin-crust, East Side Pies, was the first Favor order I completed.
I included a few newcomers on the list, so hopefully there are a few places you haven’t tried. Take into consideration that your favorite spot might not be on the list purely because it’s not in the Favor delivery zone. Or it could be that we haven’t tried it! Feel free to hit us up on Facebook with your recommendations.
In no particular order:
When it first opened, one could expect to wait hours to get a table. They’ve recently (and quietly) begun to allow takeout orders. Take advantage. It’s the best neapolitan pie in the city.
The trailer-turned-brick and-mortar on East 6th is open until 3am on weekends. Skip that Whataburger line and order from the safety of your own living room.
Known for his puccias (authentic wood fired Italian sandwiches), Lucky recently opened a brick and mortar on West 5th. The pizzas are as crave-able as his signature sandwiches.
Parkside’s sister restaurant serves up really great wood-fired pies. Pro-tip: Whatever you order, be sure to “put an egg on it.”
This South First Street newcomer has quickly climbed into our top ten. Try the Hot Honey if you’re into eating things that taste good.
As mentioned above, if you’re a fan of thin-crust, look no further. ESP sources local ingredients whenever possible, and that extra level of care is reflected in the quality of their cracker-thin pies. (Why is this pizza on rocks? I don’t know either)
This Crestview neighborhood gem gets very little press considering it makes one of the best New York style pies in the city.
Loved by tourists and locals alike, no list would be complete without a nod to Homeslice. They also take the cake (pie?) for the most often Favor-ed pizza joint in Austin.
Before you say, “but I don’t like deep-dish pizza,” let me comment that I didn’t either until I tried Via 313. Furthermore, I haven’t met a person who has tried it that hasn’t fallen in love.
Want to find out if you’re in Favor’s delivery zone? Check out the map.
With so many new food trucks popping up, it’s hard to know which are worthy of your appetite. Our friends at Austin Passbook are food truck experts, and they’ve gone out and tried many of the new trucks (there are so many!) and created a quick list of 5 you must try. If they’ve missed some great ones, let us know your new favorites in the comments below.
1. 40 North – The pizzas here are neapolitan style. With their handmade mozzarella, wood fired brick oven, and the perfect balance of chew, crunch, and airiness to their crust, you’re going to love these pies.
2. Uncle Bob’s BBQ – Thomas Claybar and Shawn Jackson are one of the newest BBQ trucks in town, and they’re doing it right. They’ve got a lot of BBQ options with Pork, Beef Brisket and Sausages smoked daily.
3. Boteco ATX – Brazilian born owner Fernando Marri brings some authentic flavors to their new truck. Some of the ingredients can’t even be found in Austin. Grab some authentic food here and watch a soccer game on their truck mounted TV.
4. Bistro Vonish – Owner and Chef Craig Vanis has created a new experience with this truck offering high-end vegan delights. Whether you’re vegan or not, you’ll find something to love on the ever changing menu.
5. TLocs Sonora Hot Dogs – Simply calling these creations hot dogs don’t do them justice. These Sonora Dogs, artfully crafted by owner Miguel Kaiser, are a guilty pleasure.
If you’d like to try these food trucks as well as 23 others, check out the Austin Passbook. It offers 2-for-1 deals on some of the best items at 28 of Austin’s best trucks. If you’re lucky, you can pick one up for only $15 during the pre-sale on the Summer edition until May 15th. Check it out here.
It’s no secret that we’ve been in love with Favor Delivery since day one. Now 18 months and hundreds (thousands?) of personal deliveries to our offices/homes later, we asked one of the Favor co-founders, Zach Maurais, what people in Austin Favor the most.
We’re guessing that Favor extending their delivery hours until 3am might have skewed these results towards the more munchies-worthy restaurants, but who are we to judge?
We’re proud to report that an overwhelming majority of these restaurants are local, so keep up the good work:
- Homeslice Pizza– Love it or hate it, it’s one of the top-rated pizza joints in Austin. A major drawback for years has been their lack of delivery. Favor changed that and the orders came flying in.
- Torchy’s Tacos– Suitable for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we weren’t surprised to see Austin’s original taco-truck empire show up on the list.
- P Terry’s– Nobody likes a cold hamburger. With 10 locations in Austin, your burger and fries won’t have to travel very far, ensuring hot fries and cold milkshakes.
- Chipotle– Not so local, but we’re guilty of it too. And yes, we know the guacamole is extra.
- Kerbey Lane Café– Kerbey Queso rules. Breakfast delivered on a hung-over Sunday doesn’t sound so bad either.
- Fat Sal’s Deli– The Fat Sal Original is a hero sub packed with roast beef, mozzarella sticks and onion rings, INSIDE the sandwich. Being located on the drag isn’t hurting them.
- Whataburger– The King of Texas fast-food joints. No surprises here.
- East Side King– If you live in Austin and haven’t had ESK, stop reading this and Favor some poor qui buns with an order of chicken karaage.
- Gourdough’s Donuts– Refer back to the previous munchies comment. It doesn’t get much better than this.
- Elizabeth Street Café– The classiest bahn mi in the city.
- JuiceLand– Tastes good, and is good for you too. A win/win.
- Fresa’s– Tacos with organic eggs, and coffee from Stumptown for breakfast. Wood-grilled chicken with a side of Mexican street-corn for lunch or dinner. Trust me on this one.
If this list made your PB&J look less than appetizing, use the code 365THINGS to get your first Favor free.
Ah, the great Austin breakfast taco debate. The subject creates heated arguments amongst best friends and loved ones, not to mention internet commenters! So, don’t think of this as a ‘Top 10’ list, take it as a list of 14 of the taco places we currently love the most. If we missed one of your top picks, feel free to share it in the comments below.
Happy National Taco Day y’all!
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