Food & Drink

Everywhere in the ATX to celebrate not-Mexican independence

Published On 04/28/2013 Published On 04/28/2013
Where to Cinco in Austin
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1. Curra's Grill 614 E Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

Curra's Grill slings Mexican fare like burritos and ceviche across Travis Heights alonside the most sought-after tamales around. Avocado lovers can put down the tortilla chips shoveled into their guac and shift their attention to the mother of all margs, the avocado margarita, the art of which this place not only created, but perfected, as well. Although they take the cake as the most popular menu item, the impressive offering of specialty margs leave no tequila or mezcal to be desired.

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2. La Fruta Feliz 3124 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78723 (Central East)

Epitomizing a hole-in-a-wall, LFF is a well-hidden, little-known Mexican spot tucked away on Manor Road. This top-notch taqueria boasts some of the most authentic, and potentially surprising, taco fillings, from tongue and stomach, to the must-try barbaco de cabra (goat head meat). If you want to do Mexican right, this is the only place worth going to.

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3. Tacodeli 1500B Spyglass Dr, Austin, TX 78746 (West Austin)

Many Mexican joints have tackled the breakfast burrito, but few have committed themselves wholeheartedly to the endeavor, so much so that they close at 3p. Tacodeli makes that commitment. And the results are glorious.

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4. La Condesa 400 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701 (2nd St District)

La Condesa is the place to go if you're looking for traditional Mexican flavor with modern Austin flair. The menu, offering up handfuls of tortas, taquitos, combos, and a few other staples, is shorter than most, but there's an obvious preference for quality over quantity at this Downtown restaurant. Tacos strewn with red pickled onion, cilantro, and guacamole make the ideal warm-up round before hitting the bar, where tequila and mezcal reign supreme in customizable flights.

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5. Takoba 1411 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Central East)

The owners of Takoba know what they're doing with Mexican food -- they grew up in a rural area in central Mexico before relocating to Austin. They're dedicated to fresh, local ingredients and the menu reflects this philosophy, offering a great selection of standard favorites like quesadillas and more authentic, lesser-known dishes like a traditional Mexican pork stew. Best of all may be the outdoor patio-cum-sandbox that's filled with multicolored lounge chairs.

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6. Trudy's 409 W 30th St, Austin, TX 78705 (Utwest Campus)

There are five Trudy's locations throughout Austin, but this one in the Central part of town is the proud original. Opened in 1977, Trudy's has gone on to become an Austin tradition and with its practically-on-campus location, this spot is sure to be lively as you wolf down one of their signature burritos. We recommend the Ciro's Special Burrito, which is stuffed with chicken fajitas, mushrooms, cilantro, onions, spinach, tomatoes, and peppers and then topped with chile con queso and avocado. We'll give you a minute to stop your mouth watering.

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7. Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill 214 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Go ahead, pretend you're there for the chicken fajita tacos, pulled pork sandwich, or the super-hot thermonuclear wings all you want, but we're on to you. And there's no shame in enjoying the, er, sights at Bikinis. Come for the view, and stay for more of the view while you chow down on some pretty great burgers and watch sports.This is what America is all about -- it's in the Constitution (don't bother looking this up).

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8. Vivo 2015 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

With seemingly every other restaurant offering its own take on the cuisine, being the best Tex-Mex spot around is no easy task, and is even harder in the capital of the Lone Star State. Despite the pressure, Vivo is definitely in contention for the prize with its hip atmosphere, a sprawling Tequila section of the menu (including a top-of-the-line 1800 Colección for a cool $165), and fried corn tortilla tacos. Because everything is bigger -- and fried - in Texas.