So maybe you think that you have this whole Mexican breakfast thing figured out. Sure, you've had breakfast tacos, maybe even huevos rancheros, and now you think you are a real officianado on the topic. Well, I'm here to tell you that the world of Mexican breakfasts is a whole lot bigger than you may realize, and Austin is the perfect place to expand your horizons. Breakfast tacos, delicious as they may be, are only the beginning.
In this guide, I'll teach you what to order, and where to order it. When you've exhausted my reccomendations I urge you to continue exploring. Almost every restaurant in town serves up some version of tex or mex morning fare. Your next favorite breakfast item is just a discovery away. Austin has a special appreciation for breakfast, especially when its served after 11 AM. Cover that borderline lunch in hot sauce and you've summed up a big part of what makes this city great.
What to Eat
The following is a list of standard Mexican breakfast foods. You'll find many more delicious items on the menus of Austin eateries, but these are some classics to check off your gastronomic bucket list.
The Breakfast Taco This Austin staple comes in a wide variety of reincarnations, but you can depend on the inclusion of at least one of the following ingredients: eggs, beans, cheese, or potatoes. Depending on where you go, you can find tacos filled with classics, like chorizo or bacon, or something a little different. For instance, Taco Deli offers breakfast tacos stuffed with avocado, black beans, or spinach. If it's thrift you are after, check out Las Cazuelas on Cesar Chavez. Their yummy breakfast tacos are insanely cheap.
Migas A classic Mexican dish made of soft tortillas, scrambled eggs, and cheese. This is usually available with, or without chorizo (Mexican sausage).
Huevos Rancheros Eggs prepared to order, usually over ham or bacon, then topped with hot salsa.
Huevos Motulenos Eggs over refried beans, usually served with fried bananas.
Huevos Divorciados Eggs topped with two spicy salsas, one red, one green.
Machado Con Huevos Shredded dried beef with scrambled eggs.
Chilaquiles Crunchy fried tortilla strips tossed with cheese and salsa (red, green, or chipotle) and topped (or sometimes tossed) with eggs
Tortas Mexican sandwiches served on incredibly tasty bollilo bread, sometimes called Mexican French Bread. Tortas are stuffed with different things in different restaurants, but they will often include avocado, mayonnaise, meat, and jalapenos.
Menudo Soup made with tripe and red chili pepper.
Where to Eat
Where you go for breakfast depends on where you are, how much you want to spend, and what you'd like to eat!
Where to Eat (Casual, Inexpensive)
- Amaya's Taco Villiage (51st & I-35): Huge family restaurant with several egg based dishes & breakfast tacos. Rumor has it that a second restaurant will be opening in Southpark Meadows soon.
- Chuy's Bakery (Research Blvd.): Tortas, tacos, and an assortment of sweet Mexican pastries.
- Izzos / Mellizzos Tacos (South First): Standard, tasty breakfast tacos.
- Juan in a Million (Ceasar Chavez, East Side): This Mom & Pop style breakfast joint features breakfast tacos and a fiercly loyal clientele.
- La Mexicana Bakery (South First): Tortas, tacos, and an assortment of sweet Mexican pastries.
- Las Cazuelas (Cesar Chavez on the East Side): Cheap tacos and breakfast plates including migas, huevos divorciados, ranchero, and more.
- Macho Taco (Way South on Manchaca): Enormous, inexpensive tacos, migas, huevos rancheros.
- Taco Deli (Crestview, Barton Creek, Rosedale, Westlake, Gracy Farms): Well made, slightly dressed up tacos and migas.
- RIP Tamale House (Airport Blvd., North): Super cheap breakfast tacos.
- Torchy's (South First, South Lamar, Guadalupe, Spicewood, Burnet, William Cannon, Anderson Mill): Breakfast tacos.
Where to Eat (Casual, Mid-Range Prices)
- Curra's (South Austin): Think of Curra's as a Mexican diner. It's huge menu of Mexican breakfast dishes will leave you spoiled for options. I reccomend their mutelenos.
- Polvo's (South First): Like Curra's, Polvo's is a homestyle Mexican restaurant with very loyal customers. It's hard to say which of the two is better, but most Austinites have a favorite.
- Sazon (South First): Interior Mexican, with a delicious menu of favorite Mexican dishes.
- Senor Buddy's (Oak Hill): Owned by the same family as Curra's, this hidden breakfast spot is a good place to escape the brunch crazy weekened crowds. Just keep in mind the seating is all outdoors, and last I checked it was beer and wine only. (Read: no margaritas.)
- Takoba (6th St,, East Side): Takoba offers a slightly more dressed up, but still reasonably priced breakfast menu, including smoked salmon tortas and chilaquiles that will knock your socks off. The beans alone are good reason to hit this place up.
Where to Eat (Fancier, More Expensive)
- El Alma (Barton Springs Rd.): A step up from the homestyle fair you'll find at Curra's or Polvo's. You'll find some more creative dishes here, and incredibly good drinks.
- El Chile (Manor Rd., South 1st.): El Chile sports a similar menu from a different chef, and the same great drinks!
- Fonda San Miguel (North Loop): Probably the most expensive brunch you'll ever eat, but maybe also the tastiest. It's a great way to experience interior Mexican food. At about $50 per head, with reservations reccomended, it's the kind of brunch you take very seriously.
- La Condesa (Downtown): A very unique menu, featuring special treats like wild boar chorizo and crab meat tosatadas.
When to Eat, Where
Not everything in Austin opens at the crack of dawn. In fact, most places don't even serve breakfast during the week, opting instead to save themselves for weekend brunchers.
- Amaya's Taco Villiage (51st & I-35): 7am 11:30am (8am - 1pm weekends)
- Chuy's Bakery (Research Blvd.): Open 24 Hours
- Curra's (South Austin): Open at 7am
- El Alma (Barton Springs Rd.): 11am - 3pm, Saturday & Sunday only
- El Chile (Manor Rd., South 1st): Open at 11am - 3pm, Saturday & Sunday only
- Fonda San Miguel (North Loop): 11:00am to 2:00pm, Sunday only
- Izzos / Mellizzos Tacos (South First): Open at 7:30am
- Juan in a Million (Ceasar Chavez, East Side): Open at 7am
- La Condesa (Downtown): 11am - 3pm, Saturday & Sunday only
- La Mexicana Bakery (South First): Open 24 Hours
- Las Cazuelas (Cesar Chavez on the East Side): 5am - 2am Mon - Wed, Open 24 Hours Thur - Sun
- Macho Taco (Way South on Manchaca): 6am to 7pm
- Polvo's (South First): 7am - 3pm
- Sazon (South First): Open at 9:30am (8:00am Saturday, 9:00am Sunday)
- Senor Buddy's (Oak Hill): Hours not posted
- Taco Deli (North Lamar, Barton Creek, Burnet): 7am - 11am (8am - 3pm weekends)
- Takoba (6th St,, East Side): 10am, Saturday & Sunday only
- RIP Tamale House (Airport Blvd., North): Open at 6:30am (7am weekends)
- Torchy's (South First, South Lamar, Guadalupe, Spicewood, Burnet, William Cannon, Anderson Mill): Open at 7am (8am weekends)
Are you an experienced Austinite with some advice on the city's best Mexican Breakfasts? I'd love to hear from you. Tell me where I should eat next!