Second Helpings

Mexican bakeries

"Second Helpings" offers tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were updated by Erin Mosow. For quick, reliable information about Austin eateries, check here.

Cisco's Bakery & Cafe

1511 E. Sixth, 478-2420

Monday-Sunday, 7am-2:30pm

It hasn't been the same since Rudy "Cisco" Cisneros passed away, but Cisco's still serves excellent biscuits, textbook migas, and piping hot coffee in a manner evocative of a time when high politics was a contact sport and high tech was a calculator. Finish off your Tex-Mex breakfast of the gods with a Mexican cookie or pastry from Cisco's bakery. Expect a big alumni-and-offspring crowd on Sundays after UT home games.

Fiesta Mart

3909 N. I-35, 406-3900

Monday-Sunday, 24 hours

Bakery Hours: Around 7am-10 or 10:30pm

This Houston-based supermarket chain was built on catering to an international clientele, so it makes perfect sense that Fiesta houses a full-service Mexican-style bakery. Fresh-baked tortillas, buñuelos, empanadas, and pan dulces are a few of the available treats. Fiesta's bolillos (hard rolls) are a hearty but inexpensive sandwich alternative to sliced bread. Bring in a picture and have them make a cake with a color-frosting image of someone whose face you'd like to eat.

Joe's Bakery & Cafe

2305 E. Seventh, 472-0017

Tuesday-Sunday, 7am-3pm

Joe's is one of a handful of stalwart East Austin institutions (El Azteca, Cisco's, Hernandez Cafe, etc.) that help make our town the mecca of Tex-Mex. Belly up to the lunch counter for homemade migas, tacos, and award-winning menudo, then step up to the pastry counter for piedras, novias, cemitas, y capirotada. See if you don't leave a fat and happy customer.

La Mexicana
La Mexicana (Photo By John Anderson)

La Mexicana

1924 S. First, 443-6369

Monday-Thursday, 4am-8:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 24 hours

In addition to having a neon sign of casino proportions, La Mexicana is well known for their wide selection of inexpensive pan dulces, empanadas, and galletas (Mexican-style cookies). If your sweet tooth needs a root canal, try something from the taqueria. La Mexicana also carries an impressive selection of imported Mexican food products such as La Abuelita chocolate and sticks of canela (Mexican cinnamon).

La Victoria

5245 Burnet Rd., 458-1898

Monday-Sunday, 6am-8pm

La Victoria is one of many reasons Burnet Road has become North Austin's most vibrant commercial thoroughfare. In addition to a wide assortment of Mexican pastries and cookies, La Victoria serves excellent 99-cent breakfast tacos. The bakery also sells menudo, picadillo, and barbacoa by the pound. This is the perfect place to begin a thrift-shopping Saturday morning.

Mr. Natural

1901 E. Cesar Chavez, 477-5228

Monday-Saturday, 9am-7pm

A mecca for Austin vegetarians, Mr. Natural is a juice bar, bakery, health-food store, and vegetarian Mexican restaurant in one. The bakery features a variety of fresh-baked treats, and the lunch specials are generous and inexpensive. Where else can you get soybean ceviche, sunflower and tofu tamales, pineapple empanadas, and queen bee royal jelly all under one roof?

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