Austin's Best Mexican Restaurants to Enjoy From Home
Mexico City, Guanajuato, Oaxaca -- only months ago people were booking flights willy-nilly to Mexico just to get some of that unparalleled food south of the border. But now what’s an Austinite have to do to get their hands on some of these interior Mexican specialties? You don’t have to risk your health on an international flight -- it’s all just a phone call or click away. Our city remains awash in fabulous Mexican restaurants that go above and beyond Tex-Mex basics, and these are the best of the best.
Tastefully fusing both East Austin flair and colorful Mexican cultural heritage, this is the bright and lovely restaurant that masa built. Their masa is made in house (naturally), and their love for the corn-based dough is evident, informing many of the dishes on the menu. Though you’ll have to wait to walk back into their gorgeously designed digs, they’re offering a limited menu online with ordering available on Tuesday at noon for pickup on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12:30 pm-6:30 pm. The menu includes Suadero, shrimp, and migals meal kits with everything you need to recreate your favorite dish including instructionals from Chef Fermin. They also are offering cocktail kits for their legendary Don Dario margaritas, Carajillos, and Nada Palomas.
Click here for pickup
South Lamar, Burleson Road
El Meson was doing interior Mexican before it was cool, with a menu featuring a deliberately wide range of regional specialties. This OG Austin restaurant has survived 28 years and they plan to weather this storm by going curbside with most of their pretty extensive menu. The menu (plus family meal kits, daily specials, and one-off dishes and produce) are posted on Facebook and devotees will find their favorites -- like ceviche acapulqueno, chile en nogada, and chilorio del norte (northern-style guajillo pork) -- still available for at-home indulgence. You can also fiesta forever with margarita kits available in classic lime, mango, and tamarind flavors plus mexican martini kits.
Call 512-442-4441 for pickup
Both the design and the beautifully plated food at family-owned Licha’s Cantina are infinitely Instagrammable... but since that’s not an option now, you have the opportunity to try your hand at plating it at home. The menu (both in non-Covid times and now) features house-made masa, slow-roasted meats, and sauces redolent with spices. Impress your family or your quaran-team with cochinita pibil, chicken tinga, barbacoa de chivo, pastor and more along with homemade tortillas, guac, salsa, escabeche, pico, beans, and chips. Smaller curbside options include huaraches, sopecitos, queso, and camote. Their margs are also fired up and ready to go and check their Facebook and Instagram for Cinco De Mayo Puro Pinche party packs that have options for drinks and additional meats from the parilla.
Call 512-480-5960 for pickup
South Austin/Bouldin Creek
Sazón moves effortlessly between regional dishes from Puebla, Yucatán, Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Mexico City; two of the most distinctive offerings are the pipian verde con pollo (toasted pumpkin seed sauce, poached chicken) and chile en nogada (poblano, cinnamon-spiced pork, almonds, raisins, pear, apple, walnut cream sauce). Though the latter hasn’t been on their truncated menu, they’re bringing it back for Cinco De Mayo to commemorate the Battle of Puebla. Now that things have “opened up” Sazon is allowing patio seating via counter-service in addition to curbside and delivery. Peruse the menu on their website and tack on a margarita kit featuring Herradura blanco because a Sazon meal just isn’t complete without a cold ‘rita.
Call 512-326-4395 for pickup and delivery
Fonda San Miguel
Your living room may not feature the gorgeous talavera and colorful walls that make for a spectacular dining experience at Fonda, but you’ll hardly notice when you’re zeroed in on the Fonda favorite gracing your plate. Their curbside menu is certainly shorter than the weighty in-restaurant version but you can still get their calabacitas rellenas, enchiladas, ancho relleno san miguel, and more along with Mexican rice, beans, corn tortillas, and chips and salsa. Anyone who has bellied up to that beautiful bar also knows that the Fonda San Miguel margaritas are the stuff of dreams so be especially thankful they’re sharing their proprietary magic mix with Dulce Vida silver. Non-tequila drinkers can pick up a bottle of wine for $30.
Nestled in the Lo-Burn food trailer park, you’ll find T-Loc’s Sonora Hot Dogs. Yep, hot dogs: This place introduced an already meat-obsessed city to the heart-stopping bacon-wrapped dogs typically found in the state of Sonora, Mexico. You're looking at toppings like beans, diced onions, tomatoes, mustard, and mayonnaise, but take heart knowing there’s a vegetarian option. As a food truck, they have an advantage over dine-in spots and are continuing to do their full menu which also includes carne asada, burritos, and daily specials like fish tacos. No margaritas... yet. But they do serve aguas frescas and Mexican sodas.
Click here for pickup
You'll find this unassuming friend-run trailer on Rosewood serving a single dish -- OK, technically two dishes, but only one type of taco. “Discada” refers to the seven-layered cooking process that takes place in a kind of “cowboy wok,” a shallow plow disc. The tacos have pork, beef, onions, and pineapple, and are about three bites each; you can choose between five or eight of the delectable little taquitos, with a small or large elote on the side. The trailer is reopening just in time for Cinco de Mayo and is doing curb-to-car contactless delivery. Make sure to pre-order and/or check their Facebook because these guys sell out almost every day.
Click here for pickup
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