Welcome to the home of the Mexican breakfast
Sustainable Food Center Downtown Farmers' MarketFourth and Guadalupe
Whenever out-of-town guests ask me for recommendations about Mexican breakfasts in Austin, I invariably direct them to the Saturday morning Downtown Farmers' Market, which serves up some of the best Mexican breakfast treats in town. Located on Fourth between Guadalupe and San Antonio streets, this compact weekly market is one of Downtown's most bustling locales on a Saturday morning.
Once there, look for the tent occupied by the Gardener's Feast and order one of its feather-light banana-leaf tamales ($4 each). The Gardener's Feast is a family-owned operation helmed by Mariana Ibañez Guerra and her husband, who prepare tamales from Abuela's recipes using fresh, organic ingredients. The family sells tamales at 11 central Texas farmers' markets. I can't resist the luxurious Chiapaneco, filled with spicy chicken mole and prunes. But the tinga, filled with shredded beef and olives, is also superb, especially when accented by the Gardener's Feast's spicy roasted-chile salsa. The corn-husk tamales ($2.50 each) are just as delectable, made with fluffy masa wrapped around homemade fillings such as stewed pork with tomatillo sauce. Vegetarians and carnivores alike will relish the bean-and-goat-cheese, spinach-and-onion, or poblano-and-cheese tamales.
After sampling the Gardener's Feast's tamales, stroll over to the Tacodeli tent, which has been a farmers' market fixture for many years now. Tacodeli has recently expanded its farmers' market menu to include a wider variety of breakfast and lunch tacos. Do order the Deli Belly taco ($4), stuffed with crisped thick-cut pork belly, avocado, onions, and cilantro. I have always loved Tacodeli's fundido tacos, stuffed with beef ($2.95) or chicken stewed with poblanos, onions, and cheese ($2.25), a staple of the farmers' market menu since the beginning. Breakfast tacos are made the Mexico City way, with mashed potatoes and black beans instead of the fried potatoes and refried beans so emblematic of Tex-Mex breakfast tacos ($2-$2.50).