Austin Restaurants For Mexican Cuisine

As you might expect for a Texas city, there are plenty of fine Mexican restaurants in Austin. There's a range of places in this category: there are family-owned, local restaurants in Austin that have served authentic Mexican cuisine for decades, and there are places that feature burgers and Tex-Mex fare, Happy Hour specials, and good margaritas.

Many of those actually serve "Tex-Mex", that unique Texas slant on Mexican cuisine. The result of introducing Texas flavorings and ingredients into traditional Mexican dishes, Tex-Mex may not be real Mexican food, but it's still delicious. If you're looking for a tasty, satisfying taco or fajita plate, you'll find many good choices around town.

If you want authentic Mexican food, there are some good choices for that in town as well. Considering the wide range of tastes and flavors that Mexican cooking encompasses, and then adding in all the Tex-Mex places, picking a short list of favorite local Mexican restaurants is a tall order.

But here is our shot at it.

Our Favorites

Azul Tequila
4211 S. Lamar Blvd. Ste A2, Austin TX 78704
(512) 416-9667
map website

Azul Tequila

A small restaurant located in a south Austin strip mall, it has a wide-ranging menu including both Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. The chips and salsa are quite tasty (salsa is spicy with a touch of barbecue flavor) and the quesos are also very good. Recommended are the fajitas, of which they have many different types. They also have happy hour specials with some of the best margaritas in town and discount appetizers. Often has live music.

Habanero Mexican Cafe
501 W. Oltorf St., Austin TX 78704
(512) 416-0443
map website

Habanero Mexican Cafe

A family-owned restaurant that has been in Austin for over a decade. Serves good, authentic, inexpensive Mexican food. Great breakfast tacos (tortillas and salsa are handmade and fresh). Delicious chicken fajitas. We've also heard the barbacoa and menudo are good. Simple, sparse place with wooden tables close together. Excellent for a quick, satisfying, Mexican breakfast or lunch.

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill
10525 W. Parmer Lane, Austin TX 78717
(512) 388-7772
map website

9400 Arboretum Blvd., Austin TX 78759
(512) 346-3506
map website

110 W. 6th Street, Austin TX 78703
(512) 478-5355
map website

Popular night spot on Sixth Street. Don't come here looking for authentic Mexican cuisine. But if you're looking for good chips and salsa, quesos, burgers, salads, or a pork chop with chorizo, and of course margaritas and happy hour appetizers, this is your place. Also has two locations in northwest Austin.

Sao Paulo’s Restaurante
2809 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin TX 78705
(512) 473-9988
map website

This place serves a fusion of Tex-Mex and Brazilian food. It offers casual dining with both Tex-Mex and Brazilian entrees available. Brazilians will say it's not truly authentic, but it's still good. The appetizer sampler and black bean stew are recommended here. Smallish place but well decorated with paintings by local artists and low, but ample lighting. Good for dates and family dining. Live jazz on weekends.

Fonda San Miguel
2330 W. North Loop Blvd., Austin TX 78756
(512) 459-4121
map website

An Austin icon since 1975, Fonda San Miguel has won awards for food and service and the owners published an award-winning book of recipes. Food and decor are authentic Mexican. It's a place for fine Mexican dining and to take dates and out of town visitors you want to impress. Reservations are strongly recommended as the wait can be up to an hour otherwise. The food is good quality, service is generally very professional, and the atmosphere is very elegant and high class. Prices are also high class. The very sumptuous Sunday brunch buffet, for example, is $40 as of this writing. Still, a good choice for special occasions.

Torchy’s Tacos
2809 S. 1st St., Austin TX 78704
(512) 444-0300
map website

4301 W. William Cannon Dr., Austin TX 78749
(512) 514-0767
map website

1311 S. 1st St., Austin TX 78704
(512) 366-0537
map website

2801 Guadalupe St., Austin TX 78705
(512) 494-8226
map website 4211 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin TX 78759
(512) 291-7277
map website

5119 Burnet Rd., Austin TX 78756
(512) 382-0823
map website

3005 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin TX 78704
(512) 614-1832
map website

11521 Ranch Road 620 North, Austin TX 78726
(512) 381-8226
map website

Torchy's S. 1st Street

Torchy's Tacos South First Street location

Torchy's Trailer Location

Torchy's trailer is in the South 1st St. Trailer Eatery
Serving tasty Mexican fast food, Torchy's has several restaurants plus a trailer location in Austin. Great, fresh tacos, burritos, and fajitas. The fried avocado taco and the trailer park (a big piece of white meat fried chicken, chilies, vegetables, and cheese on a tortilla) are recommended. Good place for a fast, inexpensive breakfast or lunch. Mostly young (twenty-something) staff and clientele. Popular with local college students.

Watch a video about Torchy's Tacos:

Need more choices?

View the map below for other Mexican restaurant choices around town.

Click here for a list and map of Austin Mexican restaurants (opens in a new tab).

Austin Mexican Restaurant News

Austin restaurant named among America's best

Thrillist issued its 2014 list of the Best Mexican Restaurants in America and Austin's La Condesa was named for its "forward-thinking takes on traditional interior Mexican flavors." The website also cited La Condesa's cocktail selections and happy hour snacks.

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