7 Tasty Tacos from Austin Restaurants

By Megan Giller  |  April 8, 2014

Austin is a taco town, with a great place on every corner. We’ve already covered the best breakfast tacos, so now it’s time to talk about lunch and dinner. Many of our favorite taco spots are unassuming trailers or hole-in-the-wall locales, but that’s a different story (one that you’ll see from us soon). Today is all about the restaurant tacos, from traditional barbacoa and cochinita pibil to newfangled octopus and venison.

  • Odd Duck

    The Tacos: Chef Bryce Gilmore’s small-plates restaurant changes it up for lunch, with dishes that are more like entrees. Check out the tacos with redfish collar and soy-and-citrus cabbage.

    Why They’re Amazing: The fresh red cabbage and cilantro add a bright note to the rich fish collar and buttery homemade tortillas.

    Hit It Up: 1201 S. Lamar Blvd.; 512-433-6521

  • Credit: Nicolai McCrary

    East Side King, South Lamar

    The Tacos: Chef Paul Qui includes fusion tacos on the menu at his sit-down location, including mocha, chasu pork and our favorite, the tako taco, with butter-poached octopus, crispy moo shu wrap, vegetable ceviche and tobiko.

    Why They’re Amazing: The spin on a normal taco makes them a delightful surprise and a departure from most of the other tacos in this town.

    Hit It Up: 2310 S. Lamar; 512-383-8382

  • La Condesa

    The Tacos: Of all the taquitos on the menu, we can’t get enough of the Arábicos, with seared venison, pickled cucumber, chipotle harissa, fennel-pollen yogurt and fresh cilantro on a bacon-fat tortilla.

    Why They’re Amazing: This is fusion food at its best, with Mediterranean meeting Mexican. The thick bacon-fat tortilla is more like a pita, and the venison and yogurt act like lamb and tzatziki.

    Hit It Up: 400 W. Second St.; 512-499-0300

  • Tacodeli  

    The Tacos: We know you come here for breakfast a couple of times a week, but branch out and try their lunch too. Akaushi picadillo beef, adobo-marinated chicken, straight-up al pastor and even vegan varieties are waiting for you.

    Why They’re Amazing: Special organic tortillas, scratch-made mole, addictive doña sauce and a pretty patio make Austin happy campers.

    Hit It Up: 1500 Spyglass Dr.; 512-732-0303

  • El Chilito

    The Tacos: This casual outpost of El Chile serves some of the hippest tacos in town, though they’re mainly traditional offerings like barbacoa, achiote chicken and black bean.

    Why They’re Amazing: Always fresh, always open and always quick.

    Hit It Up: 2219 Manor Rd.; 512-382-3797

  • Torchy’s Tacos

    The Tacos: Huge tacos like the Trailer Park with fried chicken, Crossroads with smoked brisket and Baja shrimp with cabbage slaw decorate the menu.

    Why They’re Amazing: Ingredients like fried avocado, jerk chicken, jalapeño sausage and more keep things consistently over the top.

    Hit It Up: 5119 Burnet Rd.; 512-382-0823

  • Jack Allen’s Kitchen

    The Tacos: Chef Jack Gilmore sticks to his Texas roots with South Texas taco platters like green-chile pork, steak, chicken tinga and fresh veggies, as well as grilled fish tacos.

    Why They’re Amazing: Gilmore’s commitment to fresh, local produce makes these comfort-food staples a standout.

    Hit It up: 7720 Texas 71; 512-852-8558