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.
4211 S. Lamar Blvd. Ste A2, Austin TX 78704
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
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
9400 Arboretum Blvd., Austin TX 78759
110 W. 6th Street, Austin TX 78703
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
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
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.
2809 S. 1st St., Austin TX 78704
4301 W. William Cannon Dr., Austin TX 78749
1311 S. 1st St., Austin TX 78704
2801 Guadalupe St., Austin TX 78705
map website 4211 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin TX 78759
5119 Burnet Rd., Austin TX 78756
3005 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin TX 78704
11521 Ranch Road 620 North, Austin TX 78726
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