Taco trucks have become a staple in downtown Austin, offering locals and visitors alike a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine. These food trucks can be found scattered throughout the city, often serving up a variety of tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes. With so many options to choose from, taco truck dining has become an essential part of the Austin experience. In this discussion, we will explore the popularity of taco trucks in downtown Austin and what makes them so unique.
The Taco Truck Scene in Austin
As a proud Mexican, I have always been fascinated by the taco truck scene in Austin. There’s something about the smell of sizzling meat, the sound of salsa music, and the sight of colorful decorations that makes me feel at home. In downtown Austin, taco trucks are a ubiquitous sight. From the trendy East Side to the bustling South Congress, you can find a taco truck on almost every corner. But with so many options, how do you know which ones are worth trying? In this article, I’ll share my picks for the best taco trucks in downtown Austin.
What Makes a Great Taco Truck?
Before we dive into the list, let’s talk about what makes a great taco truck. In my opinion, there are three key factors:
Authenticity: A great taco truck serves up authentic, traditional Mexican flavors. This means fresh ingredients, homemade tortillas, and a respect for regional variations.
Atmosphere: A great taco truck has a lively, fun atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re part of the party. This can come from colorful decorations, friendly staff, and upbeat music.
Price: A great taco truck offers delicious food at a reasonable price. You shouldn’t have to break the bank to enjoy a taco.
Now that we know what to look for in a great taco truck, let’s get to the list!
1. Veracruz All Natural
Located on East Cesar Chavez, Veracruz All Natural is a local favorite for their fresh, flavorful tacos. The truck is known for its homemade tortillas, made fresh every day, and their signature migas breakfast tacos. They also offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan options. With a colorful, festive atmosphere and friendly staff, Veracruz All Natural is a must-visit for any taco lover.
2. La Pera
For something a little different, check out La Pera, a taco truck located in the heart of downtown Austin. La Pera serves up gourmet tacos with unique flavor combinations like duck confit with cherry habanero salsa and fried avocado with chipotle aioli. Despite the fancy ingredients, the prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is laid-back and casual.
3. Torchy’s Tacos
Torchy’s Tacos is a Texas institution, and their downtown Austin truck is one of the best. The truck is known for its creative, fusion-style tacos like the Trailer Park, which features fried chicken, green chilies, and queso. They also offer a variety of breakfast tacos and sides like street corn and guacamole. The prices are a bit higher than other trucks on this list, but the quality is worth it.
4. Mellizoz Tacos
Mellizoz Tacos is a family-owned truck located on South Congress. The truck serves up classic, authentic tacos with a focus on quality ingredients. They also offer unique creations like their “migas ala Mexicana” taco, which features scrambled eggs, tortilla chips, and pico de gallo. With a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and reasonable prices, Mellizoz Tacos is a great choice for a casual taco lunch.
5. Pueblo Viejo
Last but not least, we have Pueblo Viejo, a taco truck located on East 6th Street. Pueblo Viejo is known for its classic, no-frills tacos like al pastor and barbacoa. They also offer a variety of salsas and toppings to customize your order. With a laid-back, casual atmosphere and affordable prices, Pueblo Viejo is a great choice for a quick, satisfying lunch.
More About the Taco Truck Scene in Austin
Austin has a long history of taco trucks, dating back to the 1960s when Mexican immigrants began setting up makeshift kitchens on the side of the road. Today, the taco truck scene in Austin is more vibrant than ever, with new trucks popping up all the time. In fact, the city is often touted as one of the best places in the country for street food.
One of the reasons for this is the city’s vibrant food culture. Austin is home to a diverse mix of people from all over the world, and this is reflected in its food scene. From classic Tex-Mex to fusion cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Austin. And with so many food trucks to choose from, you can try something new every day.
Another reason for the popularity of taco trucks in Austin is the city’s love of all things local. Many of the taco trucks in Austin source their ingredients from local farms and suppliers, giving customers a taste of the best the city has to offer.
How to Find the Best Taco Trucks in Austin
With so many taco trucks in Austin, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are a few tips to help you find the best ones:
Ask the locals: The best way to find a great taco truck in Austin is to ask the locals. Whether you’re at a bar or just walking down the street, ask someone where their favorite taco truck is. You’re sure to get some great recommendations.
Use social media: Many taco trucks in Austin use social media to promote their business and let customers know where they’ll be parked. Follow your favorite trucks on Instagram or Twitter to stay up-to-date on their locations and specials.
Explore different neighborhoods: Austin is a big city, and each neighborhood has its own unique character. Take some time to explore different areas of the city and try the taco trucks in each one. You never know where you’ll find your new favorite.
FAQs for Taco Trucks Downtown Austin
What are taco trucks?
Taco trucks are food trucks that serve Mexican-style tacos, often made with traditional ingredients like corn tortillas, meat, cilantro, onion, and lime. These mobile food vendors have become increasingly popular in Austin, as they offer affordable, delicious, and convenient dining options for locals and visitors alike.
Where can I find taco trucks in downtown Austin?
You can find taco trucks in various locations throughout downtown Austin, including East 6th Street, South Congress Avenue, Rainey Street, and other popular areas. These trucks typically park in designated spaces or on private property with permission, so their location may vary depending on the day and time.
What types of tacos do taco trucks serve?
Taco trucks in downtown Austin serve a wide variety of tacos, including traditional options like carne asada, al pastor, and barbacoa, as well as modern twists like fusion tacos, vegan tacos, and breakfast tacos. Many taco trucks also offer other Mexican specialties like quesadillas, tamales, and elotes (grilled corn on the cob).
How much do tacos from taco trucks cost?
Prices for taco truck tacos can vary depending on the type of taco and the vendor, but generally range from $2 to $5 per taco. Most taco trucks also offer combo deals, where you can get multiple tacos plus a drink or side for a discounted price.
Are taco trucks safe to eat from?
Taco trucks in downtown Austin are subject to the same health and safety regulations as traditional restaurants, and must obtain the proper permits and inspections in order to operate. While there is always a small risk when eating any type of street food, taco trucks with good reputations are generally safe and provide delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine.
Do taco trucks accept credit cards?
Not all taco trucks in downtown Austin accept credit cards, so it’s a good idea to bring cash with you when visiting. Some trucks may have a minimum purchase amount for credit card transactions, and others may offer mobile payment options like Venmo or PayPal. It’s always best to check with the vendor before ordering if you’re unsure about their payment policies.