- Mike Sutter AMERICAN-STATESMAN RESTAURANT CRITIC
10 critic's picks
Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse and Cafe (1900 S. First St. 416-1601, www.bouldincreek.com ): See how Austin has changed by visiting this stalwart coffeehouse at its new and bigger location, now with table service. See how Austin has stayed the same with tacos to please the vegetarian palate: veggie chorizo, tofu scrambler, red and black beans and sautéed mushrooms and spinach.
El Chilito (2219 Manor Road. 382-3797, www.elchilito.com ): Look for the awning that reminds you of a Mexican blanket, then put together breakfast with beans, potatoes and a taco stuffed with migas for $4 and change at this East Austin walk-up favorite. Warm up with Mexican hot chocolate.
Izzoz Tacos (1503 S. First St. 326-4996, www.izzoztacos.com ): The big blue trailer with some of the city's best tacos and sandwiches has moved a few blocks south, but expect the same steaming migas, bacon and spinach. Come back throuhout the day for tempura avocado, beer-braised beef and pork carnitas with pineapple-tomatillo salsa.
La Mexicana Bakery (1924 S. First St. 443-6369, www.la-mexicana-bakery.com ): Cheap, basic breakfast tacos 24 hours a day, plus a long glass case of pastries, empanadas, cookies and doughnuts in the myriad shades of the pastel rainbow.
Polvo's (2004 S. First St. 441-5446, www.polvosaustin.com ): When the salsa bar has tangy tomatillo, smoky roasted pepper and fresh pico de gallo, does it matter what you put it on? No. Taco fillings include nopalitos (cactus), calabacitas (squash), machacado (dried beef) and chorizo (sausage with attitude).
Rosita's Al Pastor (1911 E. Riverside Drive): Who says a breakfast taco has to be about eggs? And who says you can't have breakfast after the bars close? Not this trailer, where crunchy-tender bits of rotisserie-roasted pork on handmade tortillas are the best way to start the day, even if the day starts at 2 a.m.
Taco Xpress (2529 S. Lamar Blvd. 444-0261, www.tacoxpress.com ): The building looks something from "Alice in Wonderland," a tumble-down warren crowned with a parade-float image of owner Maria Corbalan. Breakfast tacos are grilled to order, and the migas are like a rolled-up casserole with eggs, tortilla chips, jalapeños, tomato and so much cheese.
Taquerias Arandas No. 5 (2448 S. First St. 707-0887): Horchata, hot coffee, table service, chips and salsa. I haven't even mentioned breakfast tacos yet. Don't be afraid to keep it simple and cheap: a breakfast taco with nothing but beans and cheese can be as fortifying as a buffet.
Tamale House No. 3 (5003 Airport Blvd. 453-9842, www.myspace.com/tamalehouse ): Seventeen kinds of 85-cent breakfast tacos in a space as disheveled as Charlie Sheen's living room. Duck around the side of the building and behold some muralistic Mayan majesty.
Torchy's (2801 Guadalupe St., 494-8226; 1311 S. First St., 366-0537; 2809 S. First St., 444-0300; 4301 W. William Cannon Drive, 514-0767; 4211 Spicewood Springs Road, 291-7277; 5119 Burnet Road, 382-0823; www.torchystacos.com ): You'll see the little devil signs everywhere, including in the South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery at 1311 S. First St., where you can walk one trailer over and get a cakeball for dessert. For breakfast, the Monk Special brings eggs, bacon, green chili and cheese for $2.25. Salsas include green-hot poblano and tear-inducing habanero Diablo. Bonus: good coffee-shop coffee instead of toxic taco-shop coffee.
Alayna's Taqueria. 2611 Manor Road, 524-0860.
Carrob's Cafe. 605 Sabine St. 382-0603, www.carrobscafe.com .
El Primo. A trailer at 2101 S. First St.
El Sol y La Luna. 600 E. Sixth St. 444-7770, www.elsolylalunaaustin.com .
El Meson. 5808 Burleson Road, 416-0749; 2038 S. Lamar Blvd., 442-4441; www.elmesonaustin.wordpress.com .
El Taquito.1713 E. Riverside Drive. 851-8226, www.eltaquito.com .
El Taco Rico. A trailer at 810 Vargas Road.
Güero's Taco Bar. 1412 S. Congress Ave. 447-7688, www.guerostacobar.com .
Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop. 2305 E. Seventh St. 472-0017.
Juan in a Million. 2300 E. Cesar Chavez St. 472-3872, www.juaninamillion.com .
La Familia. 3601 W. William Cannon Drive, Suite 900. 892-1311, www.lafamiliaaustin.com .
La Reyna.1816 S First St. 447-1280.
Maudie's Tex-Mex. 2608 W. Seventh St., 473-3740; 1212 S. Lamar Blvd., 440-8088; 10205 N. Lamar Blvd., 832-0900; 9911 Brodie Lane, 280-8700; 3801 N. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) 306-8080; 12506 Shops Parkway, Bee Cave, 263-1116; www.maudies.com .
Mi Madre's. 2201 Manor Road. 322-9721, www.mimadresrestaurant.com .
Mi Victoria Bakery. 5245 Burnet Road. 458-1898.
One Taco. A van next to Little Woodrow's at 520 W. Sixth St. 539-7561, www.one-taco.com .
Papalote Taco House. 2803 S. Lamar Blvd. 804-2474.
Porfirio's. 1512 Holly St. 476-5030.
The Screaming Goat. 900 W. 10th St. 477-4628, www.thescreaminggoat.com .
Star Seeds Cafe. 3101 Interstate 35 N., next to the Days Inn. 478-7107, www.starseedscafe.com .
Taco Cabana. 211 S. Lamar Blvd., 472-8098; 2117 W. Ben White Blvd., 462-2242; 2507 E. Riverside Drive, 462-2236; 517 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 478-0875; more locations at www.tacocabana.com .
Tacodeli. 1500 Spyglass Drive, 732-0303; 12001 Burnet Road, 339-1700; 4200 N. Lamar Blvd., 419-1900; www.tacodeli.com .
Taco Shack. 402 Brazos St. at the Frost Bank tower, 473-0101; 2825 Guadalupe St., 320-8889; 4002 N. Lamar Blvd., 467-8533; more locations at www.tacoshack.com .
Tacos La Güera. 2510 S. Congress Ave. 326-8226.
Taqueria Chapala. 2101 E. Cesar Chavez St. 320-0308.