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Great Tex/Mex in Austin?


I am heading to Austin next week and LOVE Mexican food. I'm a Yankee, so I dont get south very often. Where can I have some wonderful cuisine? I'm staying downtown so that is preferable, though I am willing to hop a bus...I'd like to keep the entrees under $20...


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  1. You need to decide if you want Tex-Mex or interior Mexican. If you want the latter you can walk to Manuel's right on Congress. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on the best Tex-Mex in town and there is all the info you would ever want on this board. Can't think of any really good Tex-Mex right downtown.

    1. If you want to walk somewhere downtown, I'd go with El Chile Cafe, it's a few blocks from the capital on Congress.

      1. Although I like some of the things at Manuel's, it is not Tex-Mex. It is pricey. If you want Tex-Mex, spend a few bucks on a cab and head out 6th to Dario's for enchiladas or 7th to Angie's for (my vote) the carnitas tacos. I have not been wowed by El Chile, but I have only tried it twice. If you are downtown and want a greasy Tex-Mex enchilada, go to the Capital Cafeteia for lunch. Also downtown, truly in the Tex-Mex idiom, Jaime's on Red River.

        3 Replies
        1. re: tim irvine

          Except for the Carnitas tacos, everything at el chile is heads above Angie's. I haven't been to the el chile down town, only on manor road, but IMHO the experience is much preferable at el chile.

          1. re: TroyTempest

            No one has mentioned the fabulous home made tortillas at Angies. That in itself makes it a better destination than El Chile IMHO.

            1. re: TroyTempest

              The chicken enchiladas are good at Angie's also. The chicken is slow stewed on the bone and there's a ton of it in and covering the enchiladas which are served with the old school TexMex brown gravy instead of the default verde sauce that is always on chicken enchiladas.

          2. I agree 100%...the tortillas are a major part of why I mentioned Angie's. I am not wild about the rest of their menu. Was it my imagination or did El Chile down on Congress start off as an El Chillito?

            1. I loved Angie's when it was in the original location. Now that it moved, it's just not the same. It's like a mess hall at a small college or something. It was freezing when i went in there and the fans were on full blast. The service was terrible. The waitress couldn't seem to remember that I had asked for a straw about 3 different times. My kids and I started laughing about it after a while.

              I'm going to need more than good tortillas to call Angie's "good" Tex-Mex. Dario's is good, El Azteca is good, Jaime's is pretty good and I know folks either love or hate Maudie's but I like it.

              1. Visit Matt's El Rancho at 2613 South Lamar - great Tex-Mex, excellent margaritas and a true Austin institution since the 1950's. Not downtown, but certainly worth the easy drive.

                1. The best crispy tacos in town that I have found are the Grilled Tacos Garcia at Jorge's (2203 Hancock Drive). I don't care for anything else I've tried on the menu (that isn't much though, the tacos are so good!). Crispy grilled tortillas (not the pre-made store-bought taco shell that breaks apart in your hand), perfectly seasoned beef, and plenty of tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce make for a great taco. Just like the tacos I grew up with, only better!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: danny_w

                    whenever I make fajitas at home, I call and order a couple dozen corn tortillas from Jorge's on Hancock. they are fan freakin' tastic.

                    1. re: danny_w

                      Does anybody know of any other restaurant in town that serves grilled tacos? I am referring to the tortillas, which are grilled and folded, instead of a standard store-bought hard taco shell.

                      1. re: danny_w

                        Matt's El Rancho has them, they call them "old fashioned tacos" on the menu. They're good. Also their flautas are similar--crisped on a griddle and not deep fried, afaik.

                        1. re: cstrombe

                          Thanks! I haven't been to Matt's in years. I used to go all the time when I was in college in the 70's and they were at their old location. I think I have only been to the new location once, but I'll have to make a trek down there soon.

                          1. re: danny_w

                            Start with the Bob Armstrong dip!!! Yum.

                    2. If I'm not mistaken this trip has already happened. Leaudemiel, how was it?