America might run on Dunkin, but Austin sure as hell runs on breakfast tacos. They’re what sustains us. They’re this city’s lifeblood. And these are 12 of our favorite spots with some of the best breakfast tacos in the city, and therefore the world.Less
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ is a fusion of Austin’s greatest cuisines: Tex-Mex and barbecue. The foundation of their breakfast tacos are the phenomenal flour tortillas that you’ll beg and plead and offer to trade in your car for a stack to take home (until you learn you can buy them by the dozen). Those get topped with exceptional brisket or pulled pork, scrambled or fried eggs, and tomato serrano salsa, to make some of the greatest breakfast tacos in the entire known universe.
The migas taco at Veracruz sets the bar for all other migas tacos. Like Super Mario Bros. 3 or the brisket at Franklin Barbecue, they’re best-in-class - a legend. What makes these migas tacos so much better than all the other ones out there? The ingredients (they make their own tortilla chips), the execution, and the attention to detail. Veracruz has three trucks and two brick-and-mortar locations, and you’re probably going to have to wait in line no matter which one you go to. It's worth it.
Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop is an East Side staple that’s been around since 1962. Is there always a wait? Yes. But that’s because of the exceptional Tex-Mex/Mexican diner food (and the pan dulce, too), especially the breakfast tacos made with fluffy house-made flour tortillas. Get the miga taco con todo, with still-crispy tortilla chips, as well as the super-crispy bacon that defies the laws of pork belly physics. Either order a side of it or add it to your breakfast taco.
Sometimes you just know. The first time we went to Tacos Guerrero, we opened the foil and had one of those holy sh*t moments. The breakfast tacos coming out of this tiny, orange, one-woman trailer on the East Side are spectacular - like the migas, with still-crispy tortilla strips, that by default come with refried beans (which is not typical at all). There’s a standard red and green salsa, but make sure to get the molcajete salsa made from roasted tomatoes and chiles.
Tamale House is an Austin institution that’s existed in various forms and locations since 1958. The soul of this place is the breakfast menu, filled with dishes like chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, and breakfast tacos made with outstanding homemade flour tortillas. The real standout is the phenomenal chipotle migas taco, with scrambled eggs and crispy corn tortilla chips that get tossed in queso with a smoky chipotle salsa.
At Pueblo Viejo, you have options. You can order a simple, excellent breakfast taco like a bacon, egg, and cheese - or if you’re paralyzed by choice, there’s a set menu of more elaborate options. And while most breakfast taco places have two salsas (red and green), Pueblo Viejo has five: pico, tomatillo, creamy jalapeno, roasted habanero, and habanero and ghost chili. So when you’re ordering, just stay calm, follow your heart, and know you really can’t go wrong.
The UT students who have clearly just rolled out of bed and stumbled over to Vaquero Taquero’s brick-and mortar have no idea how good they have it. The al pastor tacos on handmade corn tortillas and the quesadillas are what put this place on the map. But it’s the insanely good breakfast tacos - especially the bacon, egg, and cheese (with the cheese crisped up on the griddle first) - that make us consider going back to school. We’d study for a PhD just to get that machacado.
Rosita’s specializes in al pastor tacos, but the breakfast tacos are actually where this place really shines. What makes them stand out is the incredible house-made flour tortillas, pillowy and slightly thicker than you might find elsewhere. They’re the perfect foundation for breakfast tacos filled with eggs briskly scrambled on a flattop. Order a chorizo, egg, and cheese, and it all turns a fiery bright red.
Waiting in lines for food is basically a sport in Austin. There’s often a very good reason for the line - and at El Primo’s it’s the fantastic breakfast tacos. Like moths to a light, people are powerless to the migas tacos (the default version is made with deli ham, which is pretty unique to this place) and the homemade chorizo and egg. You’ll see crowds waiting patiently for their orders while traffic whizzes by on South First.
Taco-Mex hits that sweet spot in the breakfast taco Venn diagram of cheap, fast, and good. It’s commonly known as “Taco Window,” because that’s what Taco-Mex is: A window in a strip mall where you ring a bell and order tacos. There is no door, no interior, no picnic table outside - just a bench out front. But from the literal hole in the wall emerge excellent breakfast tacos. From what we can tell, the price for a breakfast taco here ($1.75) has not gone up in at least a decade.