tacos

So, you’re visiting my town: The Food Edition

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Launderette

I meet a lot of tourists on Tinder. I know that’s a weird thing to admit, but I find it entertaining. I can’t open that ridiculous app without seeing 200 new messages from: Australians on road trips, British businessmen, touring musicians, or software engineers from out of town throwing a bachelor party. For a while, I would share my nightlife guide of where to go out (which I still recommend), but more often than not I get asked about where to eat. Well, guy-likely-holding-up-some-animal-he-killed-in-his-profile-photo, here’s your guide:

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Torchy’s Tacos

Everyone wants to know where they ‘have to’ go. That’s subjective, since you may have a certain price range, or food style that you want. I am seasoned enough to know that everyone wants tacos, and barbecue when they come. Fair enough! I get it. Tacos are amazing.

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Mellizoz

I would definitely start at Torchy’s Tacos. Get the queso. Don’t question me. Just get it. President Obama ate there, and he didn’t get the queso. It broke my heart. Also, it’s best to go to the truck on South 1st. BYO? You know it. I’d say Mellizoz, and Taco Deli are also great in their own right, but Torchy’s is special. Ask for some diablo sauce, and if you ask for anything to be made ‘trashy’ they remove the lettuce, and add queso. Another great stop is Veracruz All Natural which is just up the road from La Barbecue.

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Torchy’s Tacos

I will not name names, but I cringe when tourists consistently tell me they have been to _________ Barbecue, and loved it. No! That is not good barbecue. Why do you all go there?! Who is spreading lies that you should go to this place?! WHY!? Again, I’ll never tell you which place it is, but if you feel compelled to go there, and it’s not Franklin or La Barbecue, then definitely reconsider what you’re about to do. Yes, the rumors about the Franklin line are true, but it’s part of the charm. You bring a bunch of booze, show up around 8 in the morning, and proceed to get hammered for the next 3 hours. La Barbecue is going to be a lot easier to get into, and there’s a lot of debate about which one is best.

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Brunch at Odd Duck

In my last guide, I talked a lot about the food trucks you can find on East 6th. There’s some incredible Asian food, and a very famous pizza truck connected to one of my go-to dive bars. If that appeals to you, and it should, refer back to that.

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Thai-Kun

Now, onto my favorite part: FANCY FOOD. Don’t get scared yet! I know the touring musicians just clicked away from this page, but the British businessmen with company cards know what I’m talking about. (Also, I totally will tell you when the happy hour is, so don’t panic – if I can afford it, you can too).

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Uchiko

Austin is home to the number one sushi restaurant in the country. That’s right. Yes, I know we’re not near water, and you’re not the first person to inform me of that. I get it. You’re surprised. Uchiko has got to be my favorite place on earth, and their daily happy hour is 5-6:30. Sit at the bar, and prepare to be blown away. They’re fresh, inventive, and worth it. If you’re reading this, and want to take me there? You should. #rly #yarly #srsly

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Odd Duck

Another incredible spot is Odd Duck, and if you’re looking for a life-changing brunch, this is the spot for you. They also have a happy hour, and happen to be next to Uchi, the sister restaurant to my beloved Uchiko. If you’re situated on the east side (like me!) then I highly recommend Launderette.

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Mellizoz

Now, keep in mind that there are hundreds and hundreds of other restaurants around, but these are the ones that I like, and for good reason. I would say Uchiko is my ‘must,’ but this is your trip, and you do you! There are many other wonderful restaurants that specialize in specific food types such as: Barlata for tapas, Clark’s Oyster Bar/Perla’s for incredible seafood, and the renowned Ramen Tatsu-Ya for, well… that’s obvious. I’m sure that I left a lot out, but this is a good guide to get you started. I hope it helped out, and yes, you can buy me a drink.

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Austin’s Best Taco Joints: The Instagram Edition

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It may come as a shock that I’ve eaten (and Instagrammed) a lot of tacos in my 13 years of living here. Sure, I mostly take them sans-tortilla, but they’re damn good either way. Here’s a look at my shots of the spots that every taco fan should try.

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Let’s start with the obvious: Torchy’s Tacos are tasty, inventive, and well-beloved by all. If you meet someone that doesn’t like them, don’t trust that person.

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They’re not just famous for tacos; their queso is arguably the best in town. An added bonus: You can B-Y-O to their trailer park location, and who says you can only have tacos with beer?

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Mellizoz is another happening location in South Austin. I think I’ve worked my way through the entire menu, and I’ve never been let down.

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The food tastes fresh, and they they oblige my pesky, “Can I get it on vegetables instead of tortillas?” demands (when I make them).

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Their truck is located next to the ever-popular Gourdough’s, and it makes for one hell of a decadent feast. Whatever they’re is putting in that green sauce, I hope they keep it up. That stuff is fiery, and addictive.

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I’ll be you’ve never heard of Rosita’s Al Pastor, and let’s keep it that way! (Well, just between you and me – I don’t want long lines to start forming.)

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In the words of Ron Swanson they have a, “meat tornado” of al pastor cooking around the clock. The tortillas are made in house, and it’s the best kept secret in town. Everyone in the know swears by it. Don’t tell all your friends.

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It’s a crying shame that I don’t have better photos of Fresa’s, or at last one of Taco Deli in my Instagram history. Both are spectacular, make incredible sauces, and are equal breakfast taco go-to’s for me, depending on which part of town I wake up in. If you haven’t tried the Doña Sauce at Taco Deli, then you haven’t truly lived yet.

Eating East: Nasha Indian

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Finally! There’s Indian food on the east side! Nasha recently opened it’s very colorful doors, and I’ve already been twice.

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The first time I went, I was a little put off by the harsh lighting inside, but absolutely adored the outdoor patio (warning: acorns will fall on you). On my recent visit, I noticed that the indoor lighting may have been changed for the better. Hurray ambiance!

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Both time I had the Malvani curry, ordered desi hot, and absolutely loved it. It’s exotic, coconut-y, and bursting with flavor.

nasha-indian-austinMy friend grabbed the Millionaire curry, medium hot, and wasn’t quite as impressed, but still ate every single bite. (He can say he’s underwhelmed all he wants, but I saw him lick the plate.)

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The wine and beer are fairly priced, and overall it’s a great spot if you are craving Indian, but simply don’t want to endure the hassle of traveling to north Austin. Did I mention that they made Indian tacos? I’ll just leave you with that.

East Side Find: Jalapeno’s Taco Bar

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I went to Jalapenos Taco Bar expecting not to like it, and boy was I wrong.

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The place was small, but not cramped, and the salsa was delicious.

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I mixed it into everything.

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The ceviche tostada was overloaded with fish, and my boyfriend’s bacon breakfast tacos more than filled him up.

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Their prices were already low, but we had a Restaurant.com coupon, and the check was unbelievably cheap. We essentially had a Mexican Thanksgiving feast for what came out to be around $13. I highly recommend stopping by this place for good, cheap tacos.

Brunch at Takoba

I know it’s not French, but my partner’s queso fundido  seemed to stretch in the shape of The Eiffel Tower. Did I mention we recently had brunch at Takoba?


Mimosas were $1.50 per glass, and $7 for a pitcher. I saw extra large micheladas for $6, bloody marys for $5, and a string of people stuck with a 20 minute wait to get tables. 

It didn’t bother us, we just killed time at the bar. 



This wasn’t my first time at Takoba. I previously had the ceviche, and was promptly reminded by my partner that I hated it. I figured I’d give it a second chance, perhaps I was just in a bad mood last time around? 

Nope. Still hated it. I can’t quite place why, but it’s not my favorite. The salad was small, but decent for the price.


A lot of the brunch menu focused on eggs, but clearly we preferred exploring the other items.  My partner chose the menudo, which he always gets, and loved it. 

The takeaway? Brunch has cheap mimosas (win!), menudo (carnivorous people’s win!), and less than stellar healthy options (not so much win?). I’d gladly go back, sit on the patio, and enjoy the fall weather with a pitcher or two, while my partner, in his love for their soup, had a bowl or three. 

By the way, we could’ve stopped at the queso fundido. That dish was filling!


Brunch At Torchy’s


Torchy’s Tacos is a famous Austin institution, and I heard that their
South 1st location was best, so I chose to swing by with my partner
on Saturday. The lines weren’t that bad, but service was not immediate.

He ordered the “Trailer Park- extra trashy,” which meant they removed the
lettuce and added queso to the fried chicken taco. He was extremely pleased.



I ordered the “Mr. Orange,” and a side of chips and salsa. The chips and salsa cost about as much as the taco, but I admit that the salsa was pretty darn good.

The mixture of blackened salmon, black beans, corn, and a drizzle of avocado sauce made it out of this world, and I’m not even that much of a taco fan.


We brought in our own bottle of bubbly to make mimosas with.
I’m not sure if that’s frowned upon or not, but no one said a word.


I wandered to the back and was relieved to find comfortable seating, abandoned game tables,
a lovely view of the creek, and (surprisingly) indoor plumbing.

With prices ranging from $3.50-$4.75 and quality that can’t be denied,
I highly recommend discreetly bringing some beer and having tacos at Torchy’s right now!