Austin's Top 10 Barbacoa Joints
Why settle for Chipotle when you can have the real deal?
By Rod Machen and Clara Wang,
12:01AM, Thu. Dec. 15, 2022
Taquería Doña Juanita
This unassuming little taco truck serves the best barbacoa in town. Get it on a handmade flour tortilla (thick, textured, and almost pitalike), and with their creamy salsa verde, which has the mild creamy consistency of a salsa de aguacate. (1512 E. Sixth)
El Borrego de Oro
On Sundays, you’ll find this restaurant filled with Mexican families enjoying a post-church brunch of menudo and delicious barbacoa tacos. Don’t skip the margaritas and birria tacos, which, as the name Borrego suggests, is also perfectly done lamb but with a crunchy shell and a rich consommé for dipping. (3900 S. Congress)
With three locations, each serving equally excellent Jalisco-style barbacoa, Taqueria Chapala is an Austin institution. You can order their barbacoa on its own by the pound as well as in tacos or tortas.
Order your barbacoa on corn tortillas here; it’s more toothsome. Their taco sizes are smaller and more like what you would find in Mexico City – and so is the food. (1210 E. Cesar Chavez)
Las Cazuelas has been an Eastside icon for nearly four decades, serving stellar Jalisco-style barbacoa.
While it’s most notable on the scene for its cabrito – in both taco and consommé forms – the barbacoa shines, too. Make sure to hit the salsa bar for a variety of spicy sauces and accoutrements.
Nestled next to a gas station in the North Lamar area, Ñoños Tacos distinguishes its barbacoa game by covering the tender morsels of beef with extra spice. It’ll leave red on your tortilla and a smile on your face.
This mostly outdoor joint on far North Lamar has an enormous menu, but focusing just on the barbacoa would not be a mistake. Instead of the standard tightly-packed braised bundle, the pieces of beef in these tacos look more like fajita meat. But one taste shows they are still tender and juicy. A stellar result.
South First Street is changing in front of our eyes, but Little Mexico just keeps doing what it has done for decades. Their barbacoa taco is straightforward and delicious. Here’s to many more years of the same.
The menu at El Tacorrido is small, but everything on it is of the highest quality. The barbacoa is no exception. Drive through, fill up, and go about your day satisfied by those tender tacos.