BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANTS: AUSTIN, TEXAS
1816 South Lamar Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78704
Owner Margarito Aranda calls his food “gastronomia Mexicana” from a “Mexico deconocido” and indeed the menu includes regional items from throughout Mexico you don’t usually find in Mexican restaurants. Culling from Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Veracruz, and Mexico City, Sazón offers such dishes as
empanadas de huitlacoche, caldo Xochitl, Pollo en Mole Oaxaqueño and carnitas Michoacanas. There is a full bar along with a spacious interior–or you can sit on the outdoor patio where you can listen to local bands on weekends. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS: the empanadas de Huitlacoche for starters followed by the Pollo en Mole Oaxaqueño.
GUERO’S TACO BAR
1412 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
Guero’s has been at its present location on South Congress since 1995, a building that used to house the Central Feed and Seed building. The patio has a bar and live music. While the varied menu includes many familiar standard dishes–enchiladas, tamales, flautas and chalupas, and even Codorniz (quail) asada–you really go to Guero’s for the self-serve salsa bar. And that means tacos and fajitas! The plentiful taco fillings include picadillo, carne guisada, pork, al pastor, chicken al carbon steak, fish and shrimp. Don’t forget to compliment your tacos with a bowl of Frijoles Charros. In addition to hand-shaken margaritas, domestic and foreign beers, the full bar offers a dangerous array of premium tequilas. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS: the fajita plate with its complement of guacamole, sour cream, rice and beans.
Austin has many good Mexican food restaurants but none is more unique than Mr. Natural, a small restaurant which shares the space with a natural food store and, yes, the menu features health-minded renderings of traditional Mexican dishes. How about albondiga soup the way your abuelita used to make it, except with tofu albondigas! Yep, this is natural food approach to Mexican cuisine. You’ll find Green Chile and Cheese Tamales, Vegetarian Enchiladas, Veggie Tacos, Tofu Chorizo and Egg soft taco burritos and Corn Tortilla humus flautas. LATINOPIA recommends the albondiga soup and the veggie tacos–scrumptious!
LA MORELIANA MEAT MARKET
3600 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
This is one of three Moreliana markets in Austin that feature a modest counter-style restaurant ensconced amid the rows of supermarket displays and the fresh meat counter. But don’t be fooled. The tacos here are exquisite, arguably the best in town. This is ideal for a quick no frills luncheon. Latinopia recommends the melt in
your mouth asada or carnitas tacos, the spicing is excellent and the meat cooked to a juicy tenderness. The other locations are at 5403 Cameron Road (512) 371-7599 and at 1909 East William Cannon Drive (512) 693-9008.
JUAN IN A MILLION
2300 East Cesar Chavez Street,
Austin, TX 78702
Located on Cesar Chavez Street, along with so many good Mexican restaurants in Austin, this is a family restaurant, founded in 1980 by Juan Mesa. It attracts all comers–students, families with kids and workaday stiffs. Latinopia visited at breakfast and themenu is traditional Tejano with breakfast tacos as well as a variety of breakfast treats including the “con queso” breakfast of any style eggs, carne quisada, refried beans, potatoes and flour tortillas.
The selection of breakfast fillings is diverse including eggs and nopales, barbacoa,chorizo, and machaca. Latinopia recommends the “migas” breakfast plate made up of tortilla chips, onions, and tomatoes with shredded cheese as well as any of the scrumptious soft flour breakfast tacos. For dessert the tres leches cake!
Lunches and dinners at Juan in a Million include fajitas, enchiladas, chalupas, carne guisada and rib steak dinners. Beverages include soft drinks, beer, margaritas as well as traditional horchata. The son of owner Juan Mesa told Latinopia, “We love Latinopia and we hope people will continue to come to our restaurant. If we continue supporting one another we will really get somewhere!”
1207 South 1St Street
Austin, TX 78704
Fried avocado tacos?
Yep, that’s what you’ll find, along with more traditional taco fare, at Izzoz tacos, one of the trailer-on-cement block trucks that have sprung up in Austin in recent years. This is a no frills outdoor patio venue located next to a funky used car lot just 1 mile south of downtown Austin on South First Street. But don’ t be misled, the food here is excellent!
The fried avocado taco contains tempura battered avocado, tortilla, tomato, fresh young
arugula greens and a sprinkling of cojita cheese all flavored with a luscious Sherry
vinaigrette sauce. There is a wide variety of tacos including the Slowrider (braised
machaca beef with caramelized onion, cilantro and cojita cheese), the Padre ( braised carnitas, avocado, pinapple and tomato salsa), the Bowman (roasted chicken, spinach, pico de gallo and cilantro) and for vegetarians there is the Shroom (sauteed Portabello mushroom with caramelized onion, spinach, tomato, and chipotle aioli). The Old School taco is traditional crisp corn taco with chile flavored ground meat, tomato, lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese. Tortas include beef, pulled pork, blackened Talapia andtempura shrimp. Complementing the food is a selection of bottled Mexican and American sodas, coffee and tea. Latinopia recommends the signature fried avocado tacos and the blackened talapia torta. Whether its tacos or tortas, You’re sure to find some of the tastiest food you’ve ever eaten at Izzoz tacos!