Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
Apr 6, 2009 02:52 PM

Best Tacos Al Pastor in Austin

I searched for a thread on this topic and couldn't find one. I'm shocked that there's not one on this board, and figure I must have searched wrong. But, in case I haven't...I'm starting it now. Who has the best al pastor in Austin.

So far, I'm loving Chango's and Las Cazuelas. Chango's has a better tortilla for sure, but I do really like the meat at Las Cazuleas. It seems a little "saucier" than Chango's. Both are great to be sure, but I'd like to find some more, and see if I can top them.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My favorite thus far are from the El Pastor trailer just east of Parker on Riverside.

    4 Replies
    1. re: brattpowered

      I dug up these old al pastor discussions from the wayback machine.Sadly most of the really passionate hounds heating up over the issue have all but disappeared.Maybe foodiegal71 can pick up the torch and start beating the bushes for the best in town?

      1. re: scrumptiouschef

        As much as I would love to throw myself head on into this search, Weight Watchers will not allow it, the bastards. Why isn't al pastor point free?

        I'll definitely take on some research, but I doubt it will be to the extent as some of y'all.

      2. re: brattpowered

        I second this, except I go to the restaurant from whence it came, in the strip mall.

        1. re: chucklesmcfarland

          I can't tell which your seconding? El Pastor trailer?

      3. pastor cart on north lamar in the car wash parking lot

        6 Replies
        1. re: ieathereforeiam

          first of all (for me)...... NO PINEAPPLE!!!!

          1. re: bloody hammer

            I'm with you on that. I'm not a fan for a variety of reasons, one being that I detest cooked fruit, but that's another post all-together.

            1. re: foodiegal71

              In the no pineapple category, Taquera Arrandas on Burnet. In the with pineapple, it's a toss-up between Los Pinos and Polvo's for me.

            2. re: bloody hammer

              I believe pineapple is part of what makes "al pastor" what it is:

              Al Pastor: Usually pork, it is marinated over one or two days with a blend of different chili peppers, spices and herbs (such as adobo), and then slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie called a Trompo (lit: spinning top), often with a pineapple on top. (

              The sweet pineapple melts over the pork, giving it a swwet, crusty glaze, as opposed to simply roasted pork. The pineapple also helps tenderize the meat:

              "The juice from the pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down protein and makes the meat very tender. When ready, the meat is then thinly sliced off the spit with a large knife. It can be served with small tortillas, onions, pineapple, cilantro and lime. It is also a common ingredient in tacos, burritos, and tortas."

              "Al Pastor" without pineapple isn't really Al Pastor at all!!

              1. re: Bababooey

                You're not getting off that easy. We know what al pastor is.Where do you go to get yours? Details please.

                1. re: Bababooey

                  the description your copy & pasted says ".....often with a pineapple on top".

                  the word OFTEN is an odd way to describe something mandatory, eh?

            3. i prefer ordering an al pastor plate and making my own tacos.

              so far, my favorite al pastor plate in austin is at Vasquez Taco. i've had them at both the 183 and also the braker lane locations and i slightly prefer the one on braker.

              1. The best tacos al pastor in Austin are at Curra's Grill. Order the al pastor plate with red corn tortillas and black beans. They come with a Avocado sauce. Yummy!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: auspr

                  i've tried Curra's al pastor twice and wasn't overly thrilled either time. i can appreciate they do the authentic style of cutting it off the slab but..... the flavor just wasn't there for me.

                  i consider Curra's al pastor to be just slightly more than good.

                2. The quest began today. My friend and I have declared Thursdays as Taco Thursdays and exploring our options for tacos al pastor at lunch (since I work downtown and she works in south Austin, we're kind of limited in our choices).

                  Today, Rosita's Al Pastor. First, I have to say that I was kind of confused because I didn't realize that Al Pastor and Rosita's were the same thing. That turned out to be nice because it's one less place to put on my list!

                  We each ordered 5 al pastor tacos for $5 and got to eatin'. I'm not a fan of cooked fruit, so I was happy to not have pineapple in these and have them be more, what I understand, traditional. The tortillas were a bit disappointing, but since I saw the stacks of bags of Mission tortillas when I walked in, I knew what I was in for. They weren't horrible by any means of course, and honestly, I'm after the meat so we're good.

                  The meat. Wow. That was some good stuff. Every now and then, I'd hit a fatty piece that just melted in my mouth and made me think of pork belly. The meat just couldn't have been any better I don't think. There was a good balance of meat and fat, a nice hint of sweetness and nothing too tough or chewy.

                  The creamy green added a nice, slow burn that I didn't pick up until taco #2. I ate three of the tacos and was stuffed, so I brought 2 back and gave them to a co-worker who declared them "really effin' good".

                  My friend enjoyed hers too, but she's a fan of pineapple so her #1 is currently Chango's. I do like Chango's tortillas better (made there), but the meat at Rosita's is superior, no contest.