Pelón's Restaurant & 508 Bar

Tasty new eats in the central city for hungry ACL fans

New on the Menu
Photo by John Anderson

Pelón's Restaurant & 508 Bar

802 Red River; 243-7874
Daily, kitchen 11am-10pm; bar 11am-2am

Though the name Pelón's won't be familiar to frequent Austin visitors, this new Mexican eatery occupies one of Austin's oldest restaurant spaces: the low-ceilinged, brick and stone building at Eighth and Red River that for decades housed Jaime's Spanish Village, a popular spot for Tex-Mex food and margaritas. The building had seen hard use over those many years and was seriously run down when Jaime's finally closed for good in 2011. Hospitality entrepreneur Doug Guller of ATX Brands took over the property last year, lavishing much-needed love on the restaurant building and enclosed patio and turning the infamous musicians' flophouse on the corner into a cozy little bar. The makeover is very impressive. The restaurant space is clean and updated but still has that same cool, cavelike quality it always had. The new wooden deck is shaded by one of the loveliest old oak trees Downtown and provides a comfortable, secluded spot to enjoy drinks with friends.

The menu is straight-up Tex-Mex with a few Interior Mexican enhancements. The house presents two very good salsas: a robust red with fire-roasted tomatoes and smoky chipotle peppers, and a verde sauce based on fresh tomatillos and serranos. The chips are fresh and crisp and the tortillas are made in-house daily. The carnitas enchiladas ($10.49 for three) and chicken chile relleno ($12.99) we had for lunch last week were well-prepared, with generous portions and reasonable prices. Based on our recent visit, Pelón's has yet to develop a busy Downtown lunch crowd, but on evenings when there are music events across the street at Stubb's, the place is likely to be packed.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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  

More Food Reviews
A Trio of Mediterranean Dining
A Trio of Mediterranean Dining
Just when you thought you couldn't possibly get any shawarma, right?

Wayne Alan Brenner, Sept. 4, 2020

Hot Sauce: Your Lifestyle Is the Target
Hot Sauce: Your Lifestyle Is the Target
What does your favorite condiment reveal about who you are?

Wayne Alan Brenner, Aug. 28, 2020

More by Virginia B. Wood
Top 10 Savory Bites
Top 10 Savory Bites

Jan. 1, 2016

Open Secret
Open Secret
The not-so-hidden pleasures of dine

Dec. 25, 2015

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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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