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Jul 8, 2013 05:22 PM

Hottest Taco Joint in Austin

Hello Austin Hounds,
I am from Toronto and am helping curate a large Canada vs USA taco throwdown in October as part of a Food Network sponsored event. I would like to know what are the top/ hottest taco joints in Austin to reach out to for this job. I'm thinking like Rick Bayless/ Big Star in chicago kind of "hot"- not necessarily the most authentic (I know, I know, but this is media), but rather, somewhere with a big following. Looking forward to tasting their goods!


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  1. So an overhyped, overcrowded taco joint that will play well on TV? Without a doubt: Tacodeli.

    1. Torchy's as well for a place that focuses specifically on tacos.

      Neither place is very Rick Bayless though. For that, maybe somewhere like La Condesa or Benji's. They're not taco joints per se, but are more of the sort of Frontera variety.

      A great authentic option would be Taco More, if you're willing to deviate from the "hot/hip" vibe.

      2 Replies
      1. re: popvulture

        Should also add just for posterity's sake that while I like Torchy's and Tacodeli just fine, they'd definitely be toward the bottom of my list of places to suggest if someone asked where to get tacos in Austin.

        1. re: popvulture

          Please, let's not confuse television with reality!! Wouldn't it be great if someone was really interested in what the BEST taco is and wanted to put that on television??!!!

      2. > Canada vs USA taco throwdown

        Uhhhh. If the contest is fair, I think I can predict the winner.


        For the sort of cachet you're talking about, I'm guessing you want Franklin? Just put the brisket on a tortilla.

        Austin's great taco thing is that we have all these great places to get tacos. We don't have a Franklin of tacos; we've kept it much more distributed (and thankfully, with much fewer long waits and much cheaper prices).

        You could go to a mini-chain like Torchy's or Tacodeli or Taco Shack or Taqueria Arandas, etc., but you're seriously missing the point if you do this. None of them have the credibility or universal foodie acclaim of (for example) Tacos Rico.

        If you have to pick one of these sorts of places, I'd say flip a coin between Torchy's and Tacodeli. If this is the way you're picking the contestants, there is a good chance Canada could win! ;)

        1. So, hipster tacos? Probably Tacodeli.

          1. I'd put el taco rico and la fruta feliz's offerings against any taco anywhere anytime. The folks that run / cook at those joints are the nicest people one could meet and any self respecting taco show should at least make mention. And are they really ** that ** much more spartan than Taco Deli and Torchy's for TV-dome? I mean, if it's all about TV, La Condessa's interior is a lot more visually inviting than any place else that serves tacos.