Austin Mole Restaurant Guide 2018

The ultimate guide to mole in Austin! 

This guide is just a starting point for all you people who love mole as much as I do and want to find it in Austin. For those people visiting the city for festivals like ACL or SXSW, definitely consider checking out one of these restaurants and trying out a mole dish. Mole is a traditional sauce that originated in southern Mexico. There are seven traditional moles that are hugely different, but most restaurants typically only have the most common mole, mole poblano – the dark brown, chocolatey sauce. I used to make mole every winter. It is a long process when done from scratch, but the effort is worth it when it comes out right. Here are a few of our fav places to get mole. This guide is also a part of the Austin Food Bloggers’ 2018 City Food Guide (#ATXBestEats). 

Hecho En Mexico

6001 W William Cannon Dr # 301, Austin, TX 78749 (map) (menu)

South Austin, Traditional and Interior Mexican, Incredible Tequila night

Hecho en Mexico gets the first place in our list, because it is moderately priced and serves three excellent moles, including “manchamanteles,”  one of the seven classic moles of Oaxaca, which you rarely see at restaurants. Also on the menu is a mole blanco, a white mole that is perfect with seafood. If you are really interested in moles, get the “Platon de Enchiladas de Mole,” which gives you three enchiladas with one each of all three moles on the menu. All these moles are excellent, and the restaurant has a great neighborhood feel to it.

Also, if you like tequila, definitely check out their Tequila Dinners on the last Wednesday of every month – they are pretty amazing.

Mole on the menu:
Mancha Manteles $16
Mole Blanco $16
Mole Poblano $16
Platon de Enchiladas de Mole $18
Memelas de Pollo Poblanas (lunch) $9

Here’s a great article about Hecho en Mexico in Community Impact.

Platon de Enchiladas de Mole at Hecho en Mexico restaurant in Austin, TX
All three delicious moles on the Platon de Enchiladas de Mole at Hecho en Mexico restaurant in Austin, TX

El Naranjo

85 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 (map) (menu)

South Austin, Traditional and Interior Mexican, Incredible Tequila night

El Naranjo seems to be on everyone’s list of the top Mexican restaurants in Austin. The chef owners,Iliana and Ernesto, had a restaurant in Oaxaca, which won praise from Bon Apetit Magazine. In 2006 they moved to Austin and opened a food trailer, and later opened their Rainey Street restaurant. El Naranjo also serves three traditional moles including pipian verde, one of my personal favorites and difficult to find. Def check this place out.

Mole on the menu:
Mole Negro de Oaxaca $30
Mole Amarillo de Oaxaca $29
Pipian Verde $28

Licha’s Cantina

1306 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 (map)(menu)

East side, Authentic Mexican cuisine, Highly recommended 

We first heard about Licha’s Cantina from one of Rachel’s culinary students who came from Mexico. She told us it was the only place in Austin she would eat Mexican food. If this isn’t a great recommendation, nothing is. This should high on your list. 

Mole on the menu:
Mole con Pollo Huarache $12
Camaron con Mole Tlacoyo $16
Enmoladas de Pato $21

El Meson

2038 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (map) (menu)

South Austin, Traditional Mexican Home Cooking, Neighborhood Restaurant

El Meson’s Chef Marisela Godinez came to Austin in 2000, and has since earned a devoted following and been featured in numerous publications. Her cuisine nicely straddles the line between home cooking and fancy cuisine. 

Mole on the menu:
Mole Verde
Mole Poblano
Enchiladas con Mole
Huevos con Mole Rojo

Curra’s Grill

614 E Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704 (map) (menu)

Relaxed hangout, excellent classic Tex Mex dishes, 

I mentioned Curra’s in our South Austin Taco Guide. Curra’s is one of the classic, old-Austin traditional Mexican restaurants south of the river. Curra’s has the traditional mole poblano, and it is very good. One of my fav breakfast dishes is “huevos sucios,” two eggs covered in mole sauce. Yum.

Mole on the menu:
Huevos Sucios $8.99
Pollo con Mole $14.99
Mole Enchiladas $11.99

Papalote Taco House

2803 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (map)(menu)

Traditional Mexican, fast and easy

I also mentioned Papalote’s in our South Austin Taco Guide. The food is authentic, the atmosphere is very casual and the people who work there are super friendly. I mention Papalote here, because one of their taco toppings is Guajolote en Mole, “shredded turkey covered in sweet mole sauce topped with poblano peppers, cabbage, pickled onions, queso fresco, and a slice of fresh avocado.

Mole on the menu:
Guajolote en Mole $3.75

Manuel’s

310 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701 (map)(menu)

Classy, downtown, place to go out,

For years, Manuel’s was the Mexican place to go downtown. The food is excellent, and the atmosphere is lively. Good date night restaurant. “Manuel’s Famous Mole” is a classic mole poblano. The Pollo en Mole appetizer is great if you want to sample mole for the first time.

Mole on the menu:
Manuel’s Famous Mole $18
Pollo en Mole con Queso $11

Fonda San Miguel

2330 W N Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756 (map)(menu)

Elegant, Romantic, Place to take out of town guests

The most established, high end Mexican restaurant in Austin. This used to be one of the main restaurants in Austin to take out of town guests. The atmosphere is beautiful, lush, vibrant and romantic. The food is excellent. I’ve had the mole here several times. It is quite good, but the atmosphere is the main reason I would go. It is worth noting that their Sunday brunch is supposed to be spectacular.

Mole on the menu:
Pollo en Mole Poblano $18

2 thoughts on “Austin Mole Restaurant Guide 2018

  1. Nice round up! I am also a mole lover, and I think I have had all of these except Licha’s. I’ve also had good ones at Alcomar and it’s sister restaurant El Chile, though it’s been several years since I had El Chile’s.

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