Top 5 things I ate in Austin, TexasWritten on August 28th, 2021 by Jonathan Tsang
I ate a lot of food in Austin Texas. Specifically bbq and tacos. But upon living here for a month, I realized it is more than that. For one there are tons of craft breweries for wine, beer, and kombucha. The various ice cream places scattered throughout the city readily available for when the sun inevitably beams down on you. I knew before coming here BBQ was the classic, but the breakfast tacos or tacos in general might be my go-to here.
This is a pretty short entry as I prep my other articles for “rating all tacos in Austin” and “rating all bbq in Austin”.
- Migas taco from Granny’s tacos
- Texas sheet cake donut from Salty Donut
- Rollin’ Smoke BBQ sandwich
- Cuvee Texas Teddy (nitro cold brew over ice with vanilla and cream) from Cuvee
5. Migas breakfast taco from Veracruz Al Natural
Migas Taco: Egg, tortilla chips, tomato, onion, cilantro, monterrey jack cheese, avocado
I learned what Migas was upon moving to Austin. It is a traditional Mexican breakfast dish usually consisting of stale bread and other ingredients in Spanish and Portuguese cuisines. When you order a migas dish here, it means that they throw in crispy tortilla chips.
To be honest, I could even put the breakfast taco from Veracruz Al Natural on this list. It’s that good. (but I will limit one dish per restaurant)
I think their migas breakfast taco is a standout though. The crunchy tortilla chips, the super soft avocado, the velvetty eggs make it a winning combination. The migas taco is 100% vegetarian and that fact scared away some meat-eaters I know, but trust me, I think it is really good even sans meat.
Veracruz tacos are a little pricier at about $4-5 per taco, but they use fresh ingredients and their food tastes amazing so I can’t complain too much.
Veracruz has a couple locations but my favourite has to be the Webberville one where they make the tacos out of a blue schoolbus. It has a rustic charm to it.
4. Brisket Kolaches from Kerlin BBQ
Cheddar Brisket Kolaches are slightly sweet doughy buns filled with savoury brisket and cheddar
Kerlin BBQ is the lesser known, less renowned bbq on East Cesar Chavez (situated right beside La Barbeque). This sounds like a negative, but their brisket, burnt ends, and overall pricing being cheaper alongside less of a line makes it my go-to in East Austin.
They are ONLY open Friday, Saturday, and Sundays, and their kolaches are even more exclusive, only being available on Sundays. Waiting till Sunday seems daunting, but trust me it is worth it. I recently found out the Capital City Bakery nearby sells Kolache dough, (and Capital City Bakery sells their Kolaches for $5+ while Kerlin BBQ sells for $5 flat).
I think they should charge more for these delicious flaky, slightly soft, slightly crispy kolaches. They are only $5 at the time of writing this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they go up in pricing. I see families sometimes order 7 kolaches at a time. (and I’ve even eaten 4 whole myself)
Kolaches are traditionally doughy pastries filled with sweet jams or savoury fillings but these are filled with really tender brisket. It’s incredibly good and if you compare the line-up to get these versus La Barbeque, it’s a no contest. I’m going to get these every time.
I could probably eat 5-6 in one sitting (not that I should), and bonus points for Kerlin BBQ burnt pork ends being also pretty good.
3. Carne guisada taco from Joe’s Bakery
Carne guisada is literally “meat stew,” originating from Latin America. It has a meaty broth thickened with roux and animated with a magical mix of dried chiles, garlic, cumin, and black pepper.
✔️ Tortillas made in-house
✔️ Super succulent beef
✔️ Flavourful guisada stew
✔️ Only $2.25
There is a lot to love from the carne guisada taco. It is a measly $2.25 and does not disappoint in flavour, the size of the taco, and it is served up piping hot. When most taco places are pushing $3-4, Joe’s has value and taste. The guisada chiles are popping in the stew, the meat is stewed and tender, the soft tortilla acts as a vessell to hold it all and try to contain that stew. Writing this and thinking about them makes me wanna get one tomorrow (and I already ate them today)
The only thing that can be difficult is going during non-peak hours. This place is REALLY busy. Good luck trying to dine-in or do curbside take-out when they are busiest at 10am-11am.
2. Real Deal Holyfield Taco from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
Real Deal Holyfield Taco: brisket, egg, refried beans, potato, egg in a freshly made tortilla
Where do I start? This monstrosity of a taco is $12. ($9 for the taco and $3 to add 1/4 pound of brisket) This can only be created when the worlds of tacos and bbq collide. It’s a mix of amazing flavours. Salty brisket, soft eggs and potatos, a layer of refried beans, and the tortilla has a satisfying fresh chew to it.
This taco might be a meal in itself. In the land where you can get an abundance of affordable smaller tacos, just this one can suffice for a meal.
Aside from the price, the other downside of this place is located in south Austin and is near impossible to get to without a car. Also make sure to arrive before 10am or else you risk the chance of the taco being sold out.
p.s. I would argue their brisket is almost on par with Franklin’s and is only $30/lb as opposed to $34/lb from Franklin’s.
1. Brisket from Franklin’s BBQ
“Serving the best barbecue in the known universe.”
- Texas Monthly
The photo above shows 2lbs of Franklin’s brisket.
I’m talking exclusively about the Franklin bbq brisket here. I found their pulled pork dry and I didn’t even get to try their ribs. As far as I know they use black magic to make their brisket as good as it is. I could go on and on about the brisket. It melts in your mouth. It is the perfect salt level.
The worst part about their brisket? (other than it is the most expensive bbq brisket you can find at $34/pound) It is curbside pickup only right now and has a 3lb minimum on each order. (which usually can run you $100/meal) So I can’t get more of it easily. (Or else I will be reheating brisket for the entire week)
Austin Texas has some insane food. Come out and experience it for yourself if you haven’t already!