An Ode to the Austin Breakfast Taco

Story by Kendall French-Kazen 


Austin, Texas, the capital of the Lone Star State, is the breakfast taco capital of the world. Austinites flock to breakfast tacos as if they were eating their last meal. Austin has a rich history of providing the world with this delicious snack and continues to satisfy the cravings of hungry Texans and travelers alike.

Let’s start with the basics. If you are not a native of central Texas like I am, you might be wondering what the a breakfast taco is. The breakfast taco is inspired by traditional Mexican food but with a Texas twist. If you are in a rush, it is a sleek, compact way to consume your morning meal. The most common ingredients are egg, potato, sausage, pulled pork, cheese, and beans all wrapped up in a delicious corn or flour tortilla. New Yorkers are generally used to behemoth burritos, but tacos are a daintier and more authentic option when munching in Austin.

Here is a list of some of my favorite breakfast taco spots in Austin. Remember, they’re good for more than breakfast.

Torchy’s Tacos

When I go home to Austin, this is my taco haven. Torchy’s Tacos started as a small trailer and has since expanded to dominate the Austin taco scene. Carnivores will enjoy the smoked beef brisket taco, but I’ve seen people brought to tears over the vegetarian-friendly fried avocado taco. If you want to look like a local then ask for your tacos to be “extra trashy” (with extra queso) or poke around the Internet until you find Torchy’s secret menu.

Juan in a Million

Imagine a tortilla. Now imagine a tortilla hiding under a pile of Tex-Mex-inspired breakfast food. This is the kind of portion sizing you can expect from Juan in a Million. Breakfast is served all day. The menu has barely changed since the restaurant’s inception, because they know exactly what works. I’d recommend the migas taco with onions and cheese. Trust me, Juan will not let you down.

Texas Honey Ham Co.

This hole in the wall is located just outside the Austin city limits and serves more than just breakfast tacos, but these are definitely their best sellers. Though you should beware of students flocking from the nearby high school, the staff is insanely friendly and you never have to wait too long. This local favorite has perfected the simplicity of the breakfast taco without sacrificing flavor.


 This story appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Baedeker.

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