Torchy's Tacos

As long as the quality is akin to Torchy's, Austin can never have too many taco joints

Restaurant Review
Photo by John Anderson

Torchy's Tacos

2809 S. First, 444-0300, www.torchystacos.com
Monday-Thursday, 7am-10pm; Friday, 7am-11pm; Saturday, 8am-11pm; Sunday, 8am-10pm

In a city awash with tacos, it can be hard to determine why another taco joint is needed or even wanted. How different can the tacos at these scores of places be? I mean, we're talkin' eggs, potatoes, beans, cheese, and chorizo or bacon in various combinations all rolled up in a tortilla, right? But devotees of tacos, especially breakfast tacos, will defend their preferred proprietor with the passion of newly baptized Baptists. And we encourage and salute these loyalists. Among our favorites is Torchy's, whose newest location is now housed in a real structure with a ceiling, doors, and everything. (It's the former home of the revered Virginia's Cafe, to be exact.) This cafe doesn't stray much from Torchy's trailer roots, and the tacos remain the same: big fistfuls of taste. Breakfast tacos are available all day long, but the menu really excels when it flexes its culinary muscle in such offerings as the Baja Shrimp Taco, a shellfish take on the fish taco with superbly fresh crustaceans fried without a hint of grease and capped with Torchy's take on the traditional cabbage slaw toppings ($4). The succulent Green Chili Pork Taco ($3) oozes with the savory goodness of pork slow-cooked with chiles and wrapped up in two corn tortillas (it takes two to stand up to the rich filling). The queso fresco, cilantro, onions, and lime provide a tangy counterpoint to the rich meat filling. The crowds amassing in the small cafe at all times of the day attest to the loyal following Torchy's has developed. We don't suggest you abandon your favorite taco haunt, but we do urge you to expand your taco repertoire to include this South Austin stop. And in doing so, you'll be confirming the cherished belief that a town cannot have too many good taco joints.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
MORE Torchy's Tacos
Texas-Based Restaurant Chains Worth Your Money
Texas-Based Restaurant Chains Worth Your Money
If you’re going to eat at a chain, it might as well be a Texas chain

Jessi Cape, Jan. 3, 2020

More Food Reviews
Review: Peruvian Restaurant Llama Kid Is an Eastside Oasis
Review: Peruvian Restaurant Llama Kid Is an Eastside Oasis
Once a virtual concept, this modern take is really solid

Melanie Haupt, July 29, 2022

Restaurant Review: Birdie's
Restaurant Review: Birdie's
A neighborhood restaurant, for some

Melanie Haupt, May 6, 2022

More by Barbara Chisholm
Review: <i>Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall</i>
Review: Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall
Razor-sharp language and wit elevate this coming-of-age novel

Jan. 6, 2017

Chews Wisely
Stirring It Up With Molly Ivins: A Memoir With Recipes
2011 Texas Book Festival cookbook reviews

Oct. 21, 2011

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Torchy's, tacos

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle