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By now, you probably realize that Austin’s 78704 zip code is a gateway to fantastic entertainment and recreation. For residents, there aren’t many shortages of things to do or places to visit.
But along the way you might have asked yourself, “Where are the best places to grab a taco or Tex-Mex in 78704?” Of course, it’s no secret that there are plenty of well known restaurants just over the bridges and across Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin.
But maybe you want to experience a more local taste of the area and if that’s the case, we’ve curated a local foodies guide to the Best Tacos in the 78704 area. Here, you’ll get ideas about where the residents gather to meet up with friends, wind down the week and, of course, eat.
Habanero Mexican Cafe:
It would be a mistake to begin this list and ignore a local haunt that’s been in operation for over twenty years. Habanero Mexican Cafe is actually the latest iteration of what is a decades old family owned restaurant. Initially one of four restaurants owned by the Ibarra family, Habanero Mexican Cafe is the only surviving location, currently owned and operated by the founding partners’ son and nephew.
However, Habanero’s new name doesn’t take away from the family roots and terrific recipes that led to the success of ‘Dos Hermanos’, which made the restaurants local favorites for decades.
Today, Habanero Mexican Cafe serves delicious Mexican cuisine seven days a week. For residents looking for a taste of authentic Mexican cooking, look no further than this popular location. Its dedication to family, food and community will be immediately clear, and you’ll be certain to find something to love about its charm.
501 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704 – http://www.habanerocafe.com/
La Mexicana Bakery:
Another local favorite that has deep roots in the 78704 area is La Mexicana Bakery. Going back as far as 1989, La Mexicana is among the best Mexican Bakeries in the area. With offerings that feature such a wide range of breads and pastries, including cakes, pan dulces, bolillos and teleras, pralines and rosca de reyes, you’re bound to find something to fall in love with.
Let’s not forget some of their more full offerings as well. La Mexicana also serves fresh and hot dishes as well. Their restaurant is home to tacos, tortas and fresh bbq carnitas. With fresh, bold ingredients, it’s no surprise why this restaurant and bakery has remained so successful over the years.
1924 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704 – http://lamexicanabakeryaustin.com/
Another offering on our list featuring authentic Tex-Mex food, Maudie’s actually has a long and storied history. Evolving through several stages since it’s opening in 1954 (back then called Maudie’s Diner and serving traditional homestyle cooking) Maudie’s has seen many changes over the years.
In 1993, Maudie’s changed hands and cooking styles to become what it is today. Maudie’s Tex-Mex was born, phasing out the comfort food like biscuits and gravy and chicken and dumplings for Tex-Mex cuisine.
It isn’t often that a restaurant can effectively transition between owners, let alone completely altering their menu, but Maudie’s stood firm in the face of change. Its continued success and popularity serves as a testament that the current owners of Maudie’s are definitely doing something or everything right?
According to Maudie’s, their emphasis is placed on making great food, the right way. But don’t take our word for it, their website even explains what makes their philosophy different. “Hand prepared dishes and fresh-squeezed juices daily, we select natural proteins and pasture-raised, local, farm fresh eggs because we take healthy eating to heart alongside flavor and tradition. Quintessential Tex-Mex for today’s Austin.“
1212 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 – https://www.maudies.com/
A product of a fabulous city and a simple dream, Torchy’s Tacos started with much more humble beginnings than their 60 current locations might suggest. Their authority as one of Austin’s top Taco joints has only gained notoriety over time, adding countless numbers of Torchy’s fans over the years.
Torchy’s philosophy is simple, but oh-so-important…they source only the finest ingredients, and trust only the finest employees to put together their magnificent tacos. A continually evolving menu and innovative ideas keep things fresh literally. It’s what Torchy’s calls their ‘Damn Good’ mantra, and the results speak for themselves.
While they may have expanded to 60 other locations, the 78704 is home to three distinct, specially designed venues. But don’t worry, regardless of which restaurant’s doors you walk through, you can expect to find the same level of commitment to quality and care and some ‘damn good’ tacos.
South Lamar Location
3005 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
South Congress Location
1822 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Two decades ago, in the footprint of a successful local restaurant, Curra’s Grill opened its doors for the first time. They’ve remained open ever since, and every day more people step through to experience a taste of Mexican cuisine they won’t soon forget.
Their menu, extensive. The offerings, to die for. The food here has been described less as Tex-Mex and more as interior Mexican cuisine, something that might come as a breath of fresh air to certain food lovers.
Of course, in order to grace this list of restaurants Curra’s Grill also has to have a fantastic assortment of tacos to try. Their menu does not disappoint in the slightest. From their fresh fish tacos to their Tacos Carnitas, Curra’s has all of their bases covered. Be warned, they have also been known to serve more food than their customers can handle, so arrive hungry or order at your own risk…
614 E Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704 – https://www.currasgrill.com/
Amy’s Ice Cream:
With all of this talk of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, we think it might be time to entertain your sweet tooth a little bit. Luckily for you, there’s an Ice Cream shop in the 78704 that you would be wrong to skip. Opening their first location in 1984 in Austin, Amy’s now has twelve Austin locations to choose from. No matter where you are in your neighborhood, odds are you aren’t far from your closest Amy’s.
That’s lucky for you, as Amy’s Ice Cream has over 350 different ice cream flavors to try. There is a catch though…the ice cream flavors are a part of a rotation, so each visit you’ll have something new to try. Be sure to top off your dining experience in Austin with a trip for dessert at your closest Amy’s. Or even make it your entire dinner, we won’t judge.
South Lamar Location
2901 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
South Congress Location
1301 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
What Are You Waiting For?
Regardless of whether you live in the area already or are looking to move there, or even just visiting, hopefully this list gives you an idea of some of local favorites. Of course, this is only scratching the surface of what the 78704 has to offer. If you still find yourself looking to experience even more of the local cuisine, keep an eye out for our next foodies guide, Three Hidden Lunch Spots in Georgetown, Texas, with even more great locations for you to visit and try!
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