Why You Want to Delight in Breakfast Tacos in Austin

As we prepared for a month-long stay in Austin, the thoughts of Texas barbecue was top of mind. But when we asked locals what food specialty we should have in Austin, we were taken by surprise.

What we heard over and over again was: breakfast tacos.

While very familiar with tacos, the idea of breakfast tacos was new to us. We quickly learned that breakfast tacos are a pillar of the Austin culinary scene.

Curious to dig deeper, we set off to explore the breakfast tacos scene in Austin. In that quest, we discovered more about their popularity and the places to have the best breakfast tacos in Austin.

Join us as we explore this Austin breakfast staple.

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What are Breakfast Tacos?

Breakfast tacos are not tacos for breakfast. They are a meal by themselves. They are Tex-Mex, in that they combine traditional Mexican staples with American breakfast food. Picture a flour tortilla with salsa, cheese, and beans, combined with eggs, bacon, and potatoes.

Available, only in Texas, breakfast tacos are typically served warm in a wrapped foil. It is a meal that sets the tone for the day. Eating two will give you the fuel needed to successfully conquer your morning.

The origins of breakfast tacos are somewhat contentious. Locals say Austin coined the term “breakfast tacos” while the people of San Antonio claim to have invented it.

One cannot deny that Austin has made the breakfast tacos so iconic that you can find it served any time of the day.   

Tyson's Tacos Breakfast Tacos for Best Breakfast Tacos in North Austin by Authentic Food Quest. Also rated the best tacos in AustinBreakfast tacos from Tyson's Tacos

Breakfast Tacos – an Austin Institution

In Austin, breakfast tacos are beloved and every Austinite has their favorite tacos joint. New breakfast tacos recipes compete with old-fashioned breakfast tacos. You can pretty much find anything in a breakfast taco, be it fish, meat, veggies, and newly invented sauces.

On homemade tortillas, you’ll find a variety of creative and healthy ingredients. From vegan, gluten-free, or veggie loaded tacos, there are more options that you can imagine.

With their relative affordability, at a cost of $4 or less, it’s no wonder breakfast tacos are so popular.

One of the best breakfast tacos in Austin, that everyone raves about is the migas. Migas in Mexico are the leftovers. This typically involves crumbs of tortilla chips, eggs and other leftover foods that are not to be wasted.

Inspired by the Mexican tradition, Migas in Austin are Tex-Mex tacos filled with scrambled eggs, tortilla chips, guacamole, and a variety of other toppings.

Veracruz All Natural Migas for Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin by Authentic Food Quest. Highly recommend Veracruz All Natural for the best tacos in AustinAward winning migas tacos from Veracruz All Natural

Where to Eat Breakfast Tacos in Austin – According to the Locals

When it comes to where to eat the best breakfast tacos in Austin, it’s always best to ask the locals. We noticed that the favorite locations most mentioned were in the neighborhoods where they lived or worked.  

However, there were a few iconic places that consistently came up for the best breakfast in Austin. Here are the places we recommend to savor migas and breakfast tacos in town.

#1 – Veracruz All Natural

Veracruz All Natural was started by two sisters, Reyna and Maritza, born in Veracruz, Mexico. Reyna’s dream was always to open her own restaurant. She partnered with her business-savvy sister, Maritza, to make her dream a reality.  

Today, fueled by Reyna’s love for cooking and Maritza’s entrepreneurship, their success is beyond what they could have imagined. Named one of the top 5 tacos places in America by the Food Network, Veracruz All Natural now has five locations in Austin and the surrounding area.

Veracruz was also the first breakfast tacos place that was mentioned to us and more specifically for their migas. Not familiar with the famous migas, we were intrigued and could not wait to taste this unique Austin breakfast food.

Veracruz All Natural for Best Breakfast Tacos Food Truck in Austin by Authentic Food Quest. The line is long at Veracruz All Natural, but the wait is worth it!Expect a line at Veracruz All Natural

Tasting Veracruz Migas and Tacos

Following one of our local friend’s recommendation, we went to the original location in East Austin for brunch. By the time we got there one sunny Sunday afternoon, a sizable line had already formed in front of the trailer.

We actually ended waiting longer in the taco line than for barbecue at Franklin’s barbecue, rated the top barbecue spot in Austin.

Forty-five minutes later, we were seated with our migas and breakfast tacos in hand.

Tempted by all the tacos on the menu, we ordered the famous Migas Original, the Migas Poblanas, and the healthy looking La Reyna. To bear the wait for the tacos, we also got chips and salsa with refreshing watermelon aguas frescas.

VeracruzAllNaturalChipsSalsa_BestBreakfastTacosinAustin_AuthenticFoodQuestHomemade chips and salsa to help you bear the long wait

After dipping frantically into one of our best salsas and sipping the freshly-made watermelon water, we were ready.

The list of ingredients in each taco made them sound like a full meal. And they were.

With the addition of the poblano peppers to the Migas Original, the Migas Poblanas was one of our favorites.

Filled with eggs, tortilla chips made fresh, poblano peppers, red onion, queso fresco, black beans, and avocado, it was a mouthful of delight. Everything tasted really fresh and the tortilla chips, crispy and salty, added the ideal bite to the migas.

La Reyna was a pleasant surprise. This breakfast taco comes with egg whites, mushrooms, carrots, spinach, cilantro, onion, red bell pepper, Monterey jack cheese, and avocado. With this wonderful mix of vegetables, freshly cooked and crackling under the teeth, it was definitely one of our best breakfast tacos in Austin.

Happily, we got to taste an additional breakfast tacos that had been mixed up in our order. Thank You Veracruz!

Veracruz All Natural La Reyna Tacos for best Breakfast Tacos in Austin by Authentic Food Quest. Our best breakfast tacos in AustinLa Reyna breakfast tacos with a wonderful mix of fluffy eggs and veggies

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Where to Eat the Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin

Veracruz All Natural – East Austin

Address: 1704 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX

Hours: Open every day; 7:00 am- 3:00 pm

RELATED: Find the best tacos in Mexico City Guide to the Best Authentic Food in Mexico City

#2 – Torchy’s Tacos

What started as a food truck has grown to become one of Austin’s beloved taco chains. Their slogan “Damm Good” is exactly what we thought the first time we tasted these native tacos.

At the Torchy’s location near the University of Texas, we got acquainted with a variety of tacos with evocative names. From the tipsy chick, democrat, independent, republican and more, there is a sense of playfulness that just draws you in.

For a taco joint, we were very impressed by the decor of the place. Even though it is a chain, it doesn’t have a fast-food vibe. The decor is cheeky and playful. This particular location even has a bar with Torchy’s margaritas, that are not premixed and with the perfect balance of tequila and sweetness.

Torchys Tacos Interior for Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin by Authentic Food Quest. Known for the best breakfast tacos in AustinThe casual and playful interior at Torchy's Tacos

Tasting Torchy’s Tacos

Tempted by the following tacos, we ordered the beef barbacoa Democrat, the seared ahi tuna Mr. Pink, Baja Shrimp, and the monthly special. We completed the order with an order of guacamole and the much hyped about sumptuous Torchy’s queso dip.

In general, all the tacos were great. The combination of diverse and in some cases, an unexpected mix of ingredients was phenomenal. Mr. Pink, for instance, matches chipotle sauce with seared ahi tuna, and the combination works.

Messy to eat, and a delightful indulgence, it’s no wonder Torchy’s Tacos are so loved.

Torchy's Tacos Democrat Barbacoa for Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin for Authentic Food QuestTorchy's Tacos beef barbacoa "Democrat" taco

The famous green chili queso with chips was the best queso dip we’ve ever had. Velvety and smooth, this green chili queso has the perfect savory heat that allows you to keep eating without the fear of a burning chili taste.

Queso Dip Torchy's Tacos Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin by Authentic Food QuestSumptuous Torchy’s green chili queso dip

Where to Eat Breakfast Tacos in South Austin

Torchy’s has over 15 locations in Austin and in multiple cities throughout Texas. Beyond the Lone Star State, you’ll find Torchy’s in Oklahoma and Colorado.

Torchy’s Tacos South Lamar – Flagship Location

Address: 3005 S. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX

Hours: Open every day; 7:00 am- 11:00 pm

Torchy's Tacos for Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin by Authentic Food QuestThe slogan on the exterior of Torchy's Tacos says it all

#3 – Cenote

Popularly known as a coffee shop and restaurant, Cenote in east Austin, is also home to delectable tacos.

The place recommended to us by Amy, a local, who said: “you’ll find some of the best tacos in Austin, that no one talks about.”

Located in a historic house built in 1887, Cenote is very welcoming. The place has a relaxed atmosphere, with comfortable couches as well as space for working. The outdoor seating area is spacious with large wooden tables under umbrellas.

Cenote Outdoor seating for Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin by Authentic Food QuestBeautiful outdoor patio at Cenote's

Tasting Cenote’s Tacos

Keeping in mind Amy’s recommendations, we bypassed all options on the menu and went directly to the tacos. We ordered the tacos plate with the choice of three tacos including fish tacos, chicken fajita, and a carnitas taco. A side salad completed the plate.

Having tasted their beet fries previously at a potluck dinner, we made sure to order them again.

CenoteBeetFries_BestBreakfastTacosinAustin_AuthenticFoodQuestIncredibly fresh and flavorful beet fries

The first glance at our meal, which arrived while seated outdoors, we knew it was going to be good. The fresh arugula, as well as the avocado, onions and tomatoes falling out the tacos, was a clear indication of the use of high-quality ingredients.

The homemade 50/50 corn/flour tortillas held the tacos perfectly in place. Each taco was juicy with the right amount of flavor.

Cenote prides itself in making everything from scratch with the simple ingredients. Seasonal ingredients from Texas farmers including local craft beers and wines are featured.

Cenote Tacos Plate for Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin by Authentic Food QuestCenote's tacos platter with fish, chicken and carnitas tacos

Where to Eat the Best Breakfast in Austin

Cenote, East Austin

Address: 1010 East Cesar Chavez Austin, TX

Hours: Mon – Fri; 7:00 am- 9:30 pm; Sat, 8:00 am – 9:30 pm; Sun, 8 am – 4:00 pm

Cenote Outside picture for Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin by Authentic Food QuestThe lush exterior at Cenote

#4 – Tyson’s Tacos

Tyson’s Tacos, a small neighborhood joint on Airport Boulevard, was another gem highly recommended by locals for the best tacos in Austin.

Helen, whom we were house-sitting for, told us with a lot of enthusiasm to definitively check the place out. “I cannot believe I only discovered this place recently!” she said and “the tacos are really tasty. It’s also a great place to hang out.”

The extensive menu at Tyson’s Tacos is the first thing that strikes you as you walk up to the counter to order. There are dozens of tacos to choose from. Story has it that most of the tacos have been created by Austinites who love the place. The names are creative and so are the ingredients.

Tyson's Tacos for Best Breakfast Tacos in North Austin by Authentic Food QuestCan't miss the bright yellow truck at Tyson's Tacos

Tasting Tyson’s Tacos

We went to Tyson’s Tacos twice and each time ordered one of the most unusual tacos we’ve ever had.

The Pescado y mariscos which came with pecan crusted corn tilapia, pickled beet slaw, and purple cabbage with raspberry pico de gallo with a kiss of goat cheese.

Intrigued by the unusual combination of tilapia with raspberry pico de gallo and charmed by the kiss of goat cheese, we just had had to try this Austin style taco.

The taco named Wild Feminist immediately caught my attention. Filled with eggs, house sausage, avocado, potatoes, and pico, this was another taco to savor.

Tysons Tacos Wild Feminist Taco for Best Breakfast Tacos in North Austin by Authentic Food QuestThe delectable Wild Feminist taco at Tyson's Taco

Other tacos we tried were The Rage which comes with eggs, black beans and fried avocado and Queen Barret, which has migas, avocados, house sausage, and fresh jalapenos.

The pescado y mariscos was the most outstanding tacos. Surprisingly, the unusual flavors complemented each other. The pecan crusted tilapia was moist and not greasy at all. When combined with the pickled beet slaw and raspberry pico de gallo, the flavors harmonize in the mouth.

The outdoor seating patio, friendly staff, and availability of local craft beers make this neighborhood joint worth discovering.

Tyson's Tacos Tilapia for Best Breakfast Tacos in North Austin by Authentic Food Quest. Our best breakfast tacos in AustinThe surprising pescado y mariscos (tilapia) with raspberry pico de gallo at Tyson's Tacos

Where to Eat Breakfast Tacos in North Austin

Tyson’s Tacos

Address: 4905 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX

Hours: Open 24/7

Tyson's Tacos Interior for Best Breakfast Tacos North Austin by Authentic Food QuestOutdoor seating at Tyson's Tacos

#5 – One Taco  – An Urban Taqueria

Located in downtown Austin, is where you’ll find the original One Taco food truck which opened in 2009. They now have two brick and mortar locations around Austin. We went to the downtown Austin food truck for a taste of traditional tacos with a variety of ingredients.

Tony, one of the owners was working the food truck when we got there. Really friendly, he described his concept as offering authentic Mexican Style Tacos. As he said “conceived in México and born in Austin”.

Following his recommendations, we ordered the Gowalla tacos which came with steak, bacon, avocado slices, queso served on a corn tortilla.

Gowalla Taco with avocado and steak the best breakfast tacos Downtown Austin Authentic Food QuestThe gowalla taco at One Taco an Urban Taqueria

The second recommended tacos was the Taco Bandera, a grilled chicken taco with avocado slices and pico de gallo, on a corn tortilla. We completed our order with a serving of chips and salsa.

One of the aspects we really enjoyed was the ambiance. One Taco food truck downtown is  attached to a popular neighborhood bar on West 6th street called Little Woodrow’s.

The outdoor seating area with a full bar featuring Texas craft beers is the perfect place to relax and watch sports on one of the many screens.

Outdoor seating at One Taco Urban Taqueria Best Breakfast Tacos Downtown AustinNice outdoor seating at One Taco Urban Taqueria Downtown Austin

Tasting Tacos from One Tacos – An Urban Taqueria

For solid breakfast tacos downtown Austin, One Tacos is a great spot to check out. Both tacos were incredibly fresh and flavorful. The Gowalla tacos was stuffed with perfectly seasoned steak and with all the other ingredients, it made for a very filling tacos.

While a grilled chicken tacos might seem basic, we were quite impressed by the flavors of the  tender chicken with avocado and the hint of spice from the pico de gallo.

One Tacos offers hearty tacos with authentic flavors. If you are in downtown Austin and craving tacos, this casual spot is worth seeking out.

Chicken Taco Bandera for the Best Breakfast Tacos Downtown Austin Authentic Food QuestTaco Bandera at One Taco the place for breakfast tacos downtown Austin

Where to Eat Tacos in Downtown Austin

One Taco  – An Urban Taqueria

Address: Food Truck, Little Woodrow’s, 520 W 6th St, Austin, TX

Food Truck Hours:  Everyday; 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

Food Truck window at One Taco an Urban Taqueria Food Truck the Best Breakfast Tacos Downtown Austin Authentic Food QuestThe food truck is located at the back of the seating area

#6 – Tacodeli

Tacodeli is the other popular native Austin taco chain that came up frequently when we asked for local locations. The first taqueria opened in 1999, and by now the chain has five locations in Austin as well as in Dallas, Plano and Houston.

After a morning run on Friday morning, we stopped in for lunch at the Central Austin location on Lamar Blvd.

When we first walked in, we were welcomed by the bright colors and airy atmosphere and surprised by the long line. The wait gave us a chance to peruse the menu and read the favorable press on the walls.

The menu is extensive and features chicken, beef, pork, fish and vegetarian options. We went for the house favorites including the Friday special, an unexpected ceviche yucatan.

Inside Tacodeli one of the Best Breakfast Tacos in North Austin Authentic Food QuestBustling Tacodeli at lunch time in North Austin

Tasting Tacos from Tacodeli

The surprising ceviche yucatan featured lime cured mahi, roasted peppers, corn, serranos, onions and cilantro. One of the house favorites, the cowboy taco, had juicy beef tenderloin, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, cheese and guacamole.

From the sea, the mojo fish taco, a grilled line caught Texas gulf drum was prepared with a garlic sauce, spiced slightly with pico de gallo and served with guacamole. The final tacos was the classic carne asada, with grilled ribeye, avocado, cilantro, onion, lime wedge.

Tacodeli Mojo fish Tacos one of the Best Breakfast Tacos in North Austin Authentic Food QuestColorful tacos plate with rice and beans

Rice and beans and a serving of the masa chips and salsa roja (medium hot sauce) completed the order.

Overall, the tacos were solid. Not exceptional, but the kind of place you can count on for convenience. The tacos were plump full, though the carne asada was disappointing, as it was too salty.  

Between the two taco chains in Austin, our preference goes to Torchy’s. However, Tacodeli is a reliable option for a wide range of tacos made with fresh ingredients.

Tacodeli Cowboy Taco Best Breakfast Tacos North Austin Authentic Food QuestThe Cowboy taco, one of the most popular tacos at Tacodeli

Where to Eat Breakfast Tacos in North Austin

Tacodeli

Address: 4200 North Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX

Hours: Mon – Fri; 7:00 am- 3:00 pm; Sat – Sun;  8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Tacodeli Outside restaurant on North Lamar in Austin one of the Best Breakfast Tacos in North Austin Authentic Food QuestOutdoor patio at Tacodeli on North Lamar
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In Summary

Breakfast tacos in Austin are deeply woven into the fabric of the local food culture. With the proximity to Mexico, we expected to find more traditional flavors and ingredients.

As one Mexican grandmother told us during our stay, “breakfast tacos don’t exist in Mexico”, the flavors you’ll find in Austin, her daughter added “are uniquely Austin.”

From freshly made tortillas stuffed with fluffy eggs, bacon, salsa, and more, there is a taco for every persuasion and every occasion.

The best part is that you can enjoy breakfast tacos in Austin at any time of the day – morning, afternoon, or evening. Put all expectations aside and let the creativity and local flair guide your tacos choices.

Have you ever had breakfast tacos before you? If not, which of these tacos would you like to try? Let us know in the comments below.

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38 comments

  1. I am not a huge breakfast food fan. But, tacos and barbeque? Sign me up! These all look so delish! I’ve been dying to get to Texas just for food purposes hahaa.

    Reply
  2. I’ve just recently gotten into TexMex food after moving from Boston to California (seriously, the Massachusetts food game is weak!) And these breakfast tacos are next level! Eating ahi tuna for breakfast with potato scramble too? That is indulgent and the perfect savory breakfast in my book! Bookmarking for a future trip to Texas!

    Reply
    • The breakfast tacos flavors in Austin are so unexpected. It takes breakfast to a whole new level and makes it an enjoyable feast. Do let us know what and where you eat your breakfast tacos when you make it to Austin. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  3. This makes me want to have tacos so badly! I absolutely love the brushfire tacos at Torchy’s but I’ve never tried their queso. I guess I’ll have to give that a shot on my next visit.

    Reply
  4. I have a whole book on breakfast tacos from Austin – they’re really THAT good! Torchy’s is definitely my favorite – but I always love finding new places! Thanks for the list!

    xoxo,
    Andi

    Reply
  5. I’m drooling over all of these restaurants! I might just have to get myself down to Austin to find one of these restaurants. Also, it is super awesome that there are some veggie options for the people who don’t eat meat which is a little difficult, especially in Texas!

    Reply
  6. Breakfast tacos are definitely a big deal in San Antonio as well. It’s funny to know that both cities claim to have invented them. We used to do “breakfast taco runs” before work when I lived in San Antonio and come back to the office with a giant bag full of them.

    Reply
  7. At first, When I read breakfast tacos I thought it is tacos for breakfast. It looks like a great and rich breakfast. I like the fact that there are many different versions. I am sure if I have it for breakfast I won’t need lunch 🙂

    Reply
  8. I am hungry for breakfast tacos. And I have just finished dinner here 🙂 Seriously, the food pictures and the descriptions are giving me hunger pangs again. Obviously, you did something right with this post!

    Reply
  9. So I was sitting here drooling over the images of all these wonderful pictures of breakfast tacos, when I read something “you can only get in Texas” which as a New Yorker it put me in a spiral. But as I continued to read I realized that you’re absolutely right, especially when it comes to “Migas” that is a perfect way to use all the leftovers and not let anything go to waste! Excellent details you’ve put into this article

    Jim

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, Jim. So glad you enjoyed the article. We were very impressed by the breakfast tacos in Austin…so good and worth seeking out. Indeed, using the migas in a new creative way adds so much more to the tacos 🙂 A real treat. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  10. Yummy amazing choices in Austin. I would love to try them all – we are so limited with good Mexican food where I live and I have to make my own breakfast burritos, which is fast and easy but not as varied as these venues.

    Reply
  11. Honestly this is the first time I’ve ever heard about breakfast tacos, ever! But I already love how it sounds (and looks). Freshly made tortillas stuffed with fluffy eggs, bacon, salsa and even steak in one bite is such a brilliant idea. Now the problem is…which restaurant should I try first? ?

    Reply
  12. Great post on breakfast tacos in a city I really want to visit in the US, but I have to admit, I am not a great fan of tacos. :O Is that shocking? I know everyone around me loves tacos but I am not a great fan. Maybe I need to give them another try. God help me when I eventually get to Mexico!

    Reply
    • The tacos in Austin are quite unique. And breakfast tacos are a specialty to Austin. We’ve not been to Mexico for the food, but we hear the tacos in Mexico are very different than what you find in Austin. There are so many kinds of tacos, you’ll be sure to find some you’d enjoy. Cheers, Danik. Hope your travels bring you to the U.S. soon.

      Reply
  13. This is literally my heaven food. My desert island food. If I needed convincing, the Queen Barret from Tyson’s would be my top taco! I could eat pico de gallo on everything, and the spicier the better when it comes to tacos. Am salivating just thinking about visiting Austin!

    Reply
  14. Breakfast Tacos? I’m not sure my stomach would cope. Call them Brunch Tacos and my brain might accept the idea. I do like the look of Torchy’s Tacos beef barbacoa taco and the queso dip sounds amazing too

    Reply
    • As surprising as it may sound – breakfast tacos, it’s quite easy to get used to them. They are small and packed with flavor, including your favorite breakfast ingredients. We loved Torchy’s and the queso dip is out of this world!!

      Reply

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