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The Best Mexican Food In Austin | 17 Must-Try Mexican Restaurants In Austin, TX, Updated March 2024

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When it comes to comfort food in Austin, it’s usually Tex-Mex. Nothing else will do once that particular craving hits. It’s impossible to beat the taste of sizzling fajitas or chopping into a cheesy enchilada when it’s hot and spicy.

Combining Mexican fare with Texas tradition has brought Austin to the promised land of flavors—full of bowls of Aztec soup, Carne guisada, and of course tacos!

Mexican food in Austin ranges from food trucks to fine dining, from ceviche and mole to broiled fish and goat soup. You’ll also find an array of specialty dishes you probably haven’t tried yet, such as duck enmoladas and goat soup. 

Instead of wasting time searching for the best Mexican restaurants in Austin, I have compiled this list for you. Enjoy!

Hey, we’re the Foodie Flashpackers, experts at reviewing restaurants in the USA, and committed to trying out the best foods available to us! In this article, we’ll review the Mexican food scene in Austin, TX.

The 17 Must-Try Mexican Restaurants In Austin, Texas

Suerte

1800 E 6th St, Austin // +15129530092

There has long been talk about this East Austin institution as the premier purveyor of authentic Mexican food, and it does not disappoint. 

Their delicious tortillas arrive stuffed with an array of flavor-packed seasonal offerings and are made with local heirloom corn from Central Texas.

With seasonal ingredients such as local heirloom corn and goat rib barbecue, chef Fermin Nunez prepares dishes like tetela al carbon. 

Mexican Restaurants In Austin

They have a wide selection of mezcal and tequila, and you’ll find both on the cocktail menu. The Nada Paloma’s refreshing drink is made with mezcal, white tequila and grapefruit soda.

Fonda San Miguel

2330 W N Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756, United States // +15124594121

Fonda San Miguel offers sophisticated takes on traditional Mexican cuisine, setting itself apart from the typical Tex-Mex fare that’s more commonly found in the area.

The moment you step into this colorful, hacienda-style space, you’re transported into a world where every meal feels like a celebration of Mexico’s rich culinary heritage.

The restaurant’s architecture is a feast for the eyes, seamlessly blending modern aesthetics with rustic charm. 

Its interior design is thoughtfully composed, featuring exposed brick walls, wooden accents, and giant chandeliers that cast a warm, inviting glow over the dining space.

 It’s clear that Fonda San Miguel values atmosphere just as much as it does flavor, creating an ambiance that’s both elegant and welcoming.

Fonda San Miguel blows away any preconceived notions of Mexican cuisine with its attention to detail and dedication to authenticity. 

Each dish on the menu is a testament to the creativity and passion of its chefs, who go to great lengths to honor the origins of their recipes. 

This commitment to culinary excellence is evident in the wide array of options available, ensuring that every palate is catered to.

quesadillas

Our dining experience was highlighted by the Miguel platter, a lavish spread that included lamb chops, shrimp, guacamole, quesadillas, and tacos

Each item on the platter was bursting with flavors that were both bold and spicy, showcasing the complexity of Mexican cuisine. The cocktail I had was equally enticing, crafted with precision and offering a perfect balance of flavors. 

And for dessert, the tres leches cake was a delightful surprise, its creamy texture and sweetness reminiscent of the Indian sweet rasamalai, creating a beautiful fusion of flavors that lingered on the palate.

Adding to the vibrant atmosphere was a Mexican music troop that serenaded diners with live music, enhancing the dining experience with their lively performances. It was these thoughtful touches that made our visit to Fonda San Miguel not just a meal, but a celebration.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to indulge in some of the finest Mexican cuisine around, Fonda San Miguel is absolutely worth the visit. 

El Mesón Tequileria

2038 S Lamar Blvd, Austin // +15124424441

The neighborhood favorite El Meson Tequileria recently returned indoors after over a decade of popular outdoor dining. The wood-fired grills have been fired up and are cooking up top-notch tacos. 

A variety of regional specialties are available on the menu, including ceviche acapulqueno, chile en nogada, and guajillo pork prepared in the Northern style. 

You should try their bistec tacos with delicate, yet powerfully seasoned skirt steak. Additionally, it serves an incredibly delicious Enchiladas Norteñas with cotija cheese that slowly chips to reveal the sweet corn beneath. 

Best Mexican Food In Austin: Bistec Tacos

Creating everything from scratch and sourcing locally whenever possible is another reason to hop on board. So head right here if you want to satisfy your taco cravings!

Taqueria Chapala

2101 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702, United States // +15124594121

This establishment transcends the ordinary, delivering a nuanced exploration of traditional dishes within a tapestry of bright, hacienda-inspired interiors.

 Here, dining evolves into a journey—a vibrant expedition in pursuit of the authentic Mexican soul.

The air was thick with the enticing aromas of spices and cooked meats, a precursor to the culinary adventure that awaited. 

The staff, with smiles as warm as the Austin sun, greeted me, making me feel like a guest in a Mexican home rather than a customer. 

The hacienda-style décor, a kaleidoscope of colors, set a lively backdrop that promised an extraordinary meal.

My exploration of the menu began with the chilaquiles, a dish that boldly claimed to redefine morning flavors. 

Each bite was a revelation: a perfect harmony of crunchy tortillas soaked in a rich, spicy salsa, crowned with a generous sprinkle of cheese, accompanied by a salsa that was nothing short of divine.

chilaquiles

Eager to delve deeper, I ventured into the heartier fare. The beef burrito and barbacoa torta, ordered by friends sharing my table, were masterclasses in flavor and satisfaction. 

The burrito was a hefty, savory delight, while the torta was a delicious testament to the slow-cooked, tender barbacoa. 

Despite the bustling lunchtime crowd, our meals arrived with surprising speed, a testament to the efficiency and care of the kitchen staff.

What struck me most about Taqueria Chapala wasn’t just the authenticity of its food but the entire atmosphere. It felt humble yet proud, a place where every dish served was a piece of Mexican heritage. 

The restaurant’s dedication to providing not just a meal but an experience was evident in every detail, from the décor to the impeccable service.

As I left Taqueria Chapala, I felt grateful for the journey I’d just taken. It was a reminder of the power of food to transport us and connect us with cultures and stories beyond our own. 

Taqueria Chapala stands as a beacon of Mexican culture in Austin, offering a taste of Jalisco’s vibrant spirit. 

For anyone craving an authentic Mexican dining experience, this spot is not only recommended but a must-visit.

Licha’s Cantina

1306 E 6th St, Austin // +15124805960

This cozy, inviting Mexican restaurant was inspired by the spirit of Mexico City and sought to recreate its authentic street food tradition among the beautiful design and airy ambiance of East Austin. One of the best Mexican restaurants in Austin and here’s why!

The menu features house-made salsa, slow-roasted meats, and sauces redolent with spices. Plus they have salads, too! 

Best Mexican Food In Austin: Cochinita Pibil

Picture-perfect plates to snap with your phone that include cochinita pibil and tinga de pollo, which sit beautifully alongside homemade tortillas, guac, salsa, escabeche, pico, beans, and chips. Amazing! Right?

ATX Cocina

110 San Antonio St #170, Austin, TX 78701, United States // +15122632322

A whisper of spices, the clink of glasses, and the warm glow of ambient lighting—this was my introduction to ATX Cocina.

I’d walked past ATX Cocina frew times, each moment marked by a tantalizing aroma that seemed to pull at me, inviting me in. 

The allure of those scents became impossible to resist, drawing me into their culinary embrace. Once inside, the space unfolded like a carefully crafted story. 

The interior was a masterclass in design—intimate spaces carved out within the larger dining area, each nook offering a private haven for diners to indulge in their gastronomic journey.

The menu was a canvas of creativity. Designed with the intention of sharing, it encouraged us to dive into a communal feast, exploring an array of dishes that were as inventive as they were flavorful. 

octopus

The octopus and crab emerged as the stars of the sea, their flavors bold and commanding, while a simple Caesar salad was reimagined into something that captivated with its freshness and zest.

But the true revelation of the evening was the salmon. It was a dish that spoke of the chef’s prowess, perfectly cooked to achieve a buttery tenderness within, contrasted by a crisp exterior. 

Paired with mezcal peaches, it was a dance of flavors that was both unexpected and harmonious. 

And then there were the Brussels sprouts—far from an afterthought, they were a revelation, enriched with chorizo that lent a smoky depth to the dish.

This place proved to be more than just a meal; it was a celebration of modern Mexican cuisine, where each dish was a testament to innovation and culinary excellence. 

The atmosphere, the service, and the unforgettable flavors all combined to create an experience that was not just enjoyed, but felt. 

As I left, the vibrant energy of the restaurant lingered, a reminder of a meal that was not just eaten, but experienced with all senses. Give this spot a try, and you will thank me later.

Sazon

1816 S Lamar Blvd, Austin // +15123264395

With the return of Sazón, indoor and outdoor service is once again available. You will find regional dishes from Puebla, Yucatán, Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Mexico City throughout the restaurant’s menu. 

They are known for their pipian Verde con Pollo (toasted pumpkin seed sauce, poached chicken) and their wires of red (grilled beef tenderloin with vegetables). 

Best Mexican Food In Austin: Pipan Verde Con Pollo

Habanero Cafe

501 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704, United States // +15124160443

Ducking in this Cafe on a tip from a local, I found a slice of Austin that felt worlds apart from the usual buzz. 

This spot? It’s a cozy, family-run nook where Mexican cuisine is not just served; it’s celebrated with every plate. 

The cafe’s charm hits you the moment you’re inside, where the space, though modest and a tad warm, wraps you up in an undeniable feeling of home.

Now, onto the feast that awaited. The star of my culinary adventure was unmistakably the Habanero Burrito

Imagine biting into a fried burrito that’s crispy on the outside yet tender and bursting with flavor on the inside—this was it. 

And the salsa? Let’s just say it’s the kind of stuff dreams are made of: fresh, with a kick of heat that dances on your tongue.

chicken fajita

But the surprises didn’t stop there. The al pastor torta was a revelation, setting a new bar for what I expected from al pastor meat—juicy, flavorful, and without the oiliness that often accompanies lesser versions.

Each bite was a testament to the care they put into their dishes, and I wasn’t the only one who was won over. 

My friend, who dived in the ground beef tostadas, was equally impressed. The chicken fajita? A symphony of taste that made us pause in appreciation.

What sets this place apart isn’t just its knack for flavor but its approach to dining as an accessible pleasure. 

Here, exquisite Mexican meals don’t demand a splurge—they’re offered with kindness and prices that echo the family’s passion for sharing their heritage.

Leaving the Cafe, I was already plotting my return. In a city teeming with culinary gems, this cafe is a heartfelt reminder of the joy of simple, delicious food made with love. 

If your path ever leads you through Austin and you’re craving a taste of authenticity that feels like a warm embrace, Habanero Cafe is your go-to.

El Alma

1025 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704, United States // +15126098923

El Alma is a beacon of Mexican gastronomy that promises a departure from the familiar Tex-Mex landscape. 

El Alma envelops you in a world where local art kisses every wall, and a rooftop deck invites the sky to dine with you. It’s a setting that whispers of nights in Mexico City, where food is both tradition and innovation.

The adventure began with their corn breads—a revelation so sweet and unexpectedly reminiscent of cupcakes that they could easily masquerade as dessert. Yet, here they were, the perfect prelude to a culinary symphony. 

The guacamole and totopos, a duo so classic yet executed with a finesse that set a new standard for what starters should aspire to be, teased the taste buds with promises of more wonders to come.

flautas

Brisket flautas then took the stage, transforming the humble flute into a crescendo of flavors so harmonious, it momentarily paused conversations. 

It was a performance so captivating, plates from my table became the envy of those around us, sparking curiosity and camaraderie among fellow diners.

Dining at El Alma isn’t merely about satisfying hunger; it’s an immersive experience where even the choice of fine china and silverware plays a crucial role, elevating each dish to a work of art. 

Despite the city’s feverish pace during the South by Southwest festival, the staff at El Alma danced through the chaos with grace, ensuring every moment at the table was seamless.

The crown jewel of El Alma? Its rooftop patio. A serene haven floating above the city’s hustle, offering breathtaking views of downtown Austin. 

Here, amidst the gentle buzz of conversation and clinking glasses, the essence of El Alma shines brightest.

 For an authentic taste of inventive Mexican cuisine, El Alma is a voyage worth embarking on, trust me!

Discada

1319 Rosewood Ave, Austin // +15129457577

Anyone familiar with the term “discada” may already be familiar with one of the tacos on the menu at this small but mighty East Austin trailer, but even those out of the loop will be impressed with the two dishes available. 

The discada refers to a seven-layered Mexican culinary method known as cowboy-wok cooking, and the unassuming trailer certainly lives up to its rustic moniker.

The unassuming spot only serves two dishes: Mexican chef Juanita’s signature Disco Taco, which is a tortilla topped with meat and pineapple, along with the Elote en Vaso, a cup of bright yellow corn dressed with tajin, mayo and queso fresco.

Best Mexican Food In Austin: Disco Taco

This talented group sells out almost every day, so call ahead or follow their social media for reservations.

Veracruz All Natural

111 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin // +15126652713

With Reyna and Maritza Vazquez at the helm of Veracruz All Natural, the sisters have mastered both the Mexican restaurant and taco trailer business model.

They’re known for their Migas and al pastor tacos, and their trailers (on Cesar Chavez and at Radio Coffee) set themselves apart from the rest of Austin’s taco trucks by using fresh ingredients and adding little additions like housemade chips and juices. 

Best Mexican Food In Austin: Al Pastor Tacos

I tried their Dona Reyna Taco along with some homemade chips with guacamole. It was amazing!

They also have brick-and-mortar stores in North Austin, Round Rock, and downtown Austin that maintain their loyal following.

Matt’s El Rancho

2613 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, United States // +15124629333

Next up is Matt’s El Rancho. A cornerstone of Tex-Mex cuisine since 1952, this restaurant wraps you in a blanket of nostalgia and warmth the minute you step through its doors.

The magic of Matt’s isn’t just in its history; it’s in the air. There’s something about the bustling atmosphere that makes you feel part of a larger family, one that’s gathered here for generations to savor the taste of Texas mixed with Mexican zest. 

On this particular visit, I dove into the heart of their menu with the beef fajita lunch plate. What arrived was a culinary masterpiece: tender, juicy beef paired with flour tortillas, daring me to try and fit all that goodness into just two wraps.

As I tackled my plate, a side act stole the show—tortilla chips and salsa, fresh and robust, a crunchy prelude that set the stage for the main course. 

These weren’t your average chips that crumble at the sight of salsa; these were warriors, ready to dip into a salsa that hit that sweet spot of spice.

tortilla chips and salsa

Despite the chaos that comes with being one of Austin’s most beloved eateries, the service didn’t miss a beat. 

Navigating through the sea of diners with grace, the staff at Matt’s El Rancho ensured that every guest felt seen, proving that good service is the backbone of any legendary restaurant.

Parking, often a mundane detail, spoke volumes here. The lot, perpetually full, and the option for valet parking underscored the allure of Matt’s. It’s not just a place people stumble upon; it’s a destination.

I wholeheartedly recommend this spot for an unforgettable journey through history and culinary delight!

Eldorado Cafe

3300 W Anderson Ln. #303, Austin, TX 78757, United States // +15124202222

Eldorado Cafe is where the spirit of Mexico meets Texan charm in a riot of flavors and colors. This isn’t just another spot on the map; it’s where the soul of Tex-Mex comes alive, amidst a cantina that buzzes with stories and laughter.

My adventure here was a leap into the bold and the beautiful, starting with the sage advice to book ahead—Eldorado’s allure isn’t a well-kept secret, after all. The wait can stretch, but oh, is it worth it.

We embarked on a flavor journey with dishes that seemed to whisper secrets of distant lands and homey comforts. 

The Chicken Flautas, Clyde’s fried chicken taco, and Papas Rellenas were our guides, each a beacon of taste, leading us through lands of spice and tenderness. 

Papas Rellenas

Among these, the Flautas and the taco were like finding gold; they were the stories we’d retell.

The cocktails? Imagine a drink that holds its own, bold and unapologetic, a far cry from the timid sips found elsewhere. Each sip was a testament to Eldorado’s courage in a glass.

Meeting the captain of this ship, the owner, added a layer to our journey, embedding the experience deeper into our hearts. 

Their passion wasn’t just visible; it was palpable, infusing every bite, every smile from the staff, every vibrant wall.

Eldorado is a journey to the heart of Austin’s Tex-Mex soul and a place that demands exploration!

Alli Mexican cuisine

948 Payton Gin Rd, Austin // +15126084166

You can’t find better Tex-Mex than at Alli Mexican Cuisine. Consistently voted “One of the Best Mexican Restaurants in Austin” for the last five years, this popular spot serves up classic soups, tacos and sopes in a cozy atmosphere. 

Order the crispy duck variety with green tomatillo sauce and black beans for a unique take on enchiladas.

For true Tex-Mex aficionados, a steaming bowl of caldo is always a necessity when the cold sets in. This soup is subtly spiced and contains meat or chicken, cabbage, carrots, squash, and green beans. 

Best Mexican Food In Austin: Caldo

Tortilleria El Taquito Marisquero

8610 N Lamar Blvd #114, Austin // +15124906622

Riverside is filled with the best Mexican restaurants in Austin, but El Taquito is the most charming by far, despite Taco More’s salsa bar and goat soup. 

Taquitos have dominated the late-night menu since 1995 at this restaurant—founded by immigrants from Tamaulipas. 

Since it closes at 1 am on weekends, it’s an excellent alternative to the strip’s fast-food chains, plus it serves an undeniably great al pastor taco. 

With a diverse menu that includes queso fusions and enchiladas, it’s more than just a taco joint, and the market-style option of buying meat by the pound can transform a kitchen into an actual taco stand (just don’t forget the onions and cilantro).

Best Mexican Food In Austin: Tacos

La Condesa

400 W 2nd St A, Austin // +15124990300

Inside one of the city’s most dazzling spaces, La Condesa serves a hip take on traditional Mexican food. It’s framed by a colorful, oversized mural where trendy Austinites dig (and dig into) the restaurant’s three-day-long mole recipe. 

This rooftop patio overlooking Guadalupe Street is perhaps one of the city’s few and most urban-feeling happy hour spots—stop in for drinks and appetizers such as Chapulines (Oaxacan grasshoppers with roasted garlic, guacamole and salsa tomatillo).

The Mexico City district it’s named after is just as buzzing and stylish as La Condesa, with a large dining area and patio space for you and your crew to relax in a socially-distanced style. 

You can enjoy half-priced cocktails from 11 am to 3 pm on Sundays after brunch to enhance the amazing ceviche or share a huge party package with plenty of meats, tortillas, beans, and more to feed you and five friends.

Best Mexican Food In Austin: Ceviche

Mi Madre’s Restaurant

2201 Manor Rd, Austin // +15123229721

Located on Manor Road, Mi Madre’s serves delicious breakfast tacos that taste like a loving parent made them. 

Mi Madre’s is no doubt, one of the best Mexican restaurants in Austin. Known for exceptional breakfast and lunch—and now dinner!—the food is fresh, authentic, and always served with a smile. 

Enjoy their mole wings or an al pastor fry-up before trying their famous mole sauce on a roasted goat pasilla. They also have the fabulous chicken chile relleno.

Best Mexican Food In Austin: Al Pastor Tacos

Foodies Also Ask: Frequently Asked Questions

What sets Austin’s Mexican food scene apart from other Tex-Mex cities in Texas?

Austin blends authentic Mexican dishes with creative culinary innovations, offering a unique mix of traditional and contemporary flavors. 

This city stands out for its chef-driven concepts and emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, providing a distinct and diverse dining experience beyond classic Tex-Mex.

Is it all Tex-Mex in Austin, or can you find authentic regional Mexican cuisine?

Austin is rich in authentic regional Mexican cuisine, far beyond just Tex-Mex. The city’s culinary landscape includes a variety of regional dishes from across Mexico, such as Oaxacan mole and Yucatecan cochinita pibil, served in both food trucks and upscale restaurants.

How has the Mexican food scene in Austin evolved recently?

The Mexican food scene in Austin has evolved with a focus on authenticity and innovation. Chefs are redefining traditional Mexican cuisine by incorporating global flavors and emphasizing sustainability and local sourcing. 

This evolution enriches Austin’s culinary identity, making it a hub for those seeking genuine and inventive Mexican dining experiences.

Summary About The Best Mexican Restaurants In Austin

So, we learned that If there’s one culinary tradition Austin truly excels at, it’s Mexican. And If you love Mexican food as much as I do, I’m sure you’re always on the lookout for what’s new and noteworthy. 

You can learn all about the city and its culture through its restaurants, regardless of if you’re a long-term Austin resident or just visiting for a few days.

Austin’s vibrant Mexican food scene covers a far wider range of styles and flavors than basic Tex-Mex. 

So, whether it’s tacos, tortas, tamales or more, these are the best Mexican restaurants in Austin that are serving up some seriously delicious home cooking worthy of a long drive. Trust me!

Visiting other destinations in Texas? Check out our other delicious guides:

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