Güero's Taco Bar

With a Hispanic population climbing above 35 percent, it’s no surprise that Austin restaurants like Torchy’s Tacos for on-the-go fish tacos, Trudy’s for mucho flavor, and Kerbey Lane Café for Tex-Mex breakfasts have perfected the art of full-flavored Tex-Mex. One of the most exemplary is Güero’s Taco Bar.

Set in a former seed and feed store where dice games were held in the back room and book makers paid off bets on the patio in the 1800s, Güero’s Taco Bar is now more of a family establishment with an indoor dining room, a cantina serving margaritas and beers, and a garden for alfresco dining. Featuring live Tejano music on the outdoor patio, vintage Mexican décor, and an extensive margarita menu, Güero's Taco Bar is the perfect place to experience Austin flavor and get literal taste of its roots.

Güero’s is a taco bar, but diners shouldn't limit themselves to tacos alone. Start with a salt-rimmed hand-shaken margarita with fresh-squeezed lime juice from the 18-item "marg" menu. Each margarita comes with complimentary chips and salsa, but springing for the chile con queso as a starter is well worth the additional $5 on your tab.

Reflecting the stylish, eclectic Austin vibe, the Güero’s menu offers ample options for vegans and meat lovers alike. Try the chalupas a la Celeste (two crisp shells with refried beans, soy chorizo, grilled onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms topped with warm chipotle sauce, lettuce, tomato, and avocado) off the vegan menu, but meat lovers should order Güero’s specialty, tacos al pastor (two marinated pork tacos topped with chopped onions, cilantro, and pineapple), reminiscent of those made in Mexico's finest cantinas. There are gluten-free options as well, including picadillo tacos (two tacos stuffed with spicy ground beef, carrots, and potatoes).

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After you’re done, make sure to explore the trendy South Congress strip where local artisans sell their creations and street musicians find street corners to play for tips.