Austin, Texas is known as a mecca for foodies, or at least a mecca for people with big appetites. Featuring Tex-Mex (breakfast tacos, anyone?), world-class barbecue, sweet treats, and more, Austin has something for every taste. Join me as I share some of my food finds from my recent business trip in Austin. All the places we tried come locally recommended or at least highly rated on Google Maps.
Torchy's Tacos at the Food Truck Trailer Park
Food trucks are a big thing in Austin and Torchy's Tacos is one of the best according to fellow travel blogger Danielle from Boots Not Roots. Located in the Food Truck Trailer Park, the menu comes with some memorable options like the Democrat (shredded beef barbacoa, avocados, queso fresco, and tomatillo sauce on a corn tortilla) and the Republican (jalapeno sausage, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, and poblano sauce on a flour tortilla).
Cake Pops at Holy Cacao
We ate at Torchy's in the evening but we returned to the Food Truck Trailer Park a few days later to sample cake pops at Holy Cacao. Chocolate covered sweetness on a stick. How could I possibly resist?
Chuy's Tex-Mex and Shrine to Elvis
My friend Alisa from Travel Sandwich, a former Austin local now living in Dublin, told me that Chuy's Tex-Mex is a can't miss stop. She happened to be in town at the same time I was and so we treated ourselves to a two margarita lunch (the Texas version of a three martini lunch ;-)). The margies were by far the best that I had in Austin and the enchiladas were pretty darn good too. Chuy's also has a shrine to Elvis and seems to be holding out hope that he's still alive...somewhere.
Mexican Al Fresco at Polvo's
For food that's less Tex and more Mex, check out Polvo's. We ate outside on the patio and enjoyed generous portions of enchiladas with all the trimmings. Polvo's also features a help yourself salsa bar which definitely won them points in my book!
Mexican at Takoba in East Austin
Taking our Tex-Mex upscale, we tried Takoba in East Austin. Takoba came highly recommended by Jason Weems, our Austin Detours tour guide.
Takoba's mango-habanero margarita packed a serious punch and paired well with stringy queso fundido.
My plate of tacos with a side of nopales (cactus) was a welcome respite from rice and beans.
Breakfast Tacos at Tacodeli
Considering how much I love Mexican food, you can imagine how excited I was to learn that Austin is famous for breakfast tacos. Yes, that's right...tacos for breakfast! Once again, my friend Alisa came through for me and pointed me at Tacodeli. 2 eggy, cheesy tacos later drenched in salsa and washed down with a cup of coffee and I was ready to face the day.
One of my colleagues really wanted to try a Texas steak so we sought out the Saltgrass Steakhouse. We enjoyed tremendously large (roll-me-home-I'm-so-full) portions and were surrounded by Texas kitsch decor.
Craft Beer Cans at Home
Austin is also known for a great craft beer scene. We bought a few cans to try at home. It was a nice break after all the huge meals we'd had during the week.
The Salt Lick for Texas BBQ
No trip to Texas is complete without a stop for BBQ. We sought out The Salt Lick and enjoyed enormous platters of pork ribs and brisket with sides of beans and sweet potatoes. I loved being able to spice things up with a side of pickled jalapenos.
Boozy Ice Cream at Prohibition
If you have a sweet tooth and like a good drink, I recommend Prohibition Creamery. Prohibition (ironically) serves boozy ice cream and is a great spot for a night cap in East Austin after a visit to Takoba. I tried Prohibition's Signature Bourbon ice cream and it was the perfect end to a perfect evening.
I wish we'd had more time to eat our way through Austin. What places would you recommend if we find ourselves back in town again? Leave a comment below and let us know!
See the map below for directions to the places we visited in this post.