What you need to know about the National Taco Championship coming to Austin this weekend
The National Taco Championship is coming to Austin on Saturday, and there will be a chihuahua beauty contest, lucha libre, tequila and more than 30 of Austin's top taco makers competing for a spot in the Las Vegas finals later this year.
Just in time for March Madness, Austin's event from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 30 in the Austin American-Statesman parking lot, 305 S. Congress Ave., kicks off the year-long championship competition followed by stops in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Scottsdale.
The winner of the Austin event will go to the finals in Las Vegas in November to compete for a $100,000 grand prize against the winners from other cities. Admission costs $20 and then you can sample the tacos from restaurants, food trucks and professional taco makers for $3 each.
The cashless event, sanctioned by The Taco Society, has five categories — beef, chicken, pork, fish and veggie — whose tacos the 40 judges will be trying in a tent where they don't know who created which taco. Competitors include the Austin Taco Project, Be More Pacific, Casa Chapala, Cyclone Anaya's Tex-Mex Cantina, Eldorado Cafe, El Huarache, El Nuevo Mexico, El Ultimo Taco, Torchy's Tacos and Gabriela's Downtown.
In addition to lucha libre wresting and live music, the event will feature a hot chile pepper eating contest and a chihuahua beauty pageant. Kids 12 and under are free. You can also buy a VIP ticket, which includes 6 tacos, private bathrooms and a shaded seating area. For $20, you can also buy a ticket into the tequila expo from noon to 5 p.m. that will feature more than 100 types of tequila and other agave-based spirits.
You can find out more and buy tickets at nationaltacochampionships.com/austin.