Austin Mole Restaurant Guide 2018

Austin Mole Restaurant Guide 2018

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

South Austin Pho Restaurant Guide 2018

South Austin Pho Guide • Cook Love Heal

South Austin Phở Restaurant Guide!

Welcome to the South Austin Phở Restaurant Guide! I’m featuring ten restaurants serving pho in South Austin for those of us that live and work south of the river, and for those visiting the city for festivals like ACL or SXSW, as part of the Austin Food Bloggers’ 2018 City Food Guide (#ATXBestEats).

A big fan of homemade soups, I have recently become obsessed with Vietnamese Pho–the perfect quick restaurant meal to enjoy any time of year. Pho is light, refreshing, and hydrating on a hot summer day— just add lots of fresh veggies (an option on every menu) and wait for it to cool a little before digging in! And on a cold, rainy day, pho is warm and comforting— believe me, you’ll have to take off your jacket after a few bites! Another plus to going out for pho is that most restaurants serving pho have a wide variety of other dishes (for those not as obsessed with pho as I am) such as Vietnamese vermicelli bowls, salads, spring rolls, curries, sushi, and/or standard Chinese dishes.

For the uninitiated, pho is a brothy Vietnamese soup typically made with a rich broth, rice noodles, and some kind of meat, that you top with fresh garnishes including cilantro, Thai basil, bean sprouts, jalapeño slices, and lime wedges. Hot chile sauce and hoisin sauce are often offered as condiments to go with the pho. You can dip the meat in some sauce on a side plate or drizzle the soup with a little sauce. Pho is typically made with chicken, beef, or fish broth flavored with various aromatic spices such as ginger, clove, star anise, fennel seed, black cardamom and/or clove. Many restaurants in Austin also serve pho with vegan broth, which I have notated with a (V) next to the restaurant name.

Pho With Us (V)

9900 S IH 35 Frontage Rd #500, Austin, TX 78745 (map)

512-373-3249

Newly opened, this family owned and operated restaurant in Southpark Meadows is a real find. Pho With Us opened its doors in December 2017, and has a clean, bright, and warm atmosphere. They serve various kinds of pho (beef, chicken, or vegan broths– all were exceptional) and the most bright and plentiful veggies we have seen– just ask to add veggies to any bowl for a small charge. We had the opportunity to speak with Chef Chau Ro (who has been cooking professionally for 24 years and also opened Dong Nai on South Lamar) and the manager Paul (her soon-to-be son-in-law) who were both friendly, welcoming, and passionate about their new restaurant and its authentic cuisine. 

Chef Chau Ro and Manager Paul of Pho With Us
Chicken pho with extra veggies at Pho With Us in Southpark Meadows

Me Con Bistro

3421 William Cannon Drive Ste 101, Austin, TX 78745 (map)

512-899-2390

“Me Con” or “Mother and Daughter” Bistro bases its menu on authentic recipes from their mother. One of the closest pho restaurants to our house, we also think it is one of the best in South Austin. The service is always excellent and all the dishes we have tried have been great (pho, daily specials, curry dishes). Their vegetable pho uses chicken broth, so unfortunately no vegan pho, but they do have vegan options for other meals.

Pho with extra veggies at Me Con Bistro

Dong Nai

4211 South Lamar Blvd #E1, Austin, TX 78704 (map)

(512) 444-1593

Owned by the same folks as the new Pho With Us, Dong Nai is located in the strip-mall near Target  and has a loyal following. We went on a cold weekday and it was packed with people busily eating on their lunch hour. Service was friendly and quick. I’ve got an inquiry out to them about vegan options. I wasn’t able to tell from their menu if they have a vegan broth.

Pho with extra veggies at Dong Nai

Pho Please (V)

1920 East Riverside Drive D140, Austin, TX 78741 (map)

512-354-9779

I took my family here last summer when I was getting over a cold. We were there on a weekday for lunch and it was very busy (but yet no wait) with a mix of families, students, and professionals feasting on pho and other noodle dishes. The atmosphere was lively, clean, and bright. They serve chicken, beef, shrimp, and vegan pho options, and were happy to accommodate my request of chicken broth, no chicken, and lots of vegetables.

Het Say (V)

2121 E. Oltorf St. #12B, Austin, TX 78741 (map)

512-443-4232

“Het Say” or “Beyond Words” is located in a strip mall on East Oltorf where you are greeted by knowledgeble and friendly staff. They offer seafood (shrimp, fish balls, squid, imitation crab), 100% vegetarian broth (with tofu, broccoli, napa cabbage, mushrooms, carrots), and various beef and chicken versions of pho.

Chicken pho with extra vegetables at Het Say

Elizabeth Street Cafe (V)

1501 South 1st Street, Austin, TX 78704 (map)

512-291-2881

Elizabeth Street may be better known for their baked goods, fancy appetizers, and bahn mi, but they also offer unique, less conventional pho  (such as Cauliflower, Bok Choy, White Miso & Toasted Seaweed; Red Snapper; or Pork Belly, Meatballs & Soft Boiled Peeler Farms Egg) with broths made from fish & shrimp, chicken, beef, pork, or just vegetables.

Pho Thaison (V)

3601 W William Cannon Dr, Ste 250, Austin, TX 78749, 512-892-8777 (map)

161 W. Slaughter Ln. #L850, Austin, TX 78748, 512-280-2060 (Southpark Meadows) (map)

These are the two South Austin locations of the Austin-based chain. Their pho comes with either the standard beef and chicken or a vegan broth. In addition to pho, they offer Asian staples such as curry, sushi, and spicy Singaporean dishes. We like to take our daughter and her friends here because they have something that each person will like. Check out AFBA blogger Suzanna Cole’s review of the Southpark Meadows Pho Thaison from a few years ago.

Other Pho Restaurants in South Austin I haven't had a chance to try:

888 Pan Asian Restaurant

2400 E Oltorf St #1A, Austin, TX 78741 (map)

512-448-4722

Hai Ky

1931 E Oltorf St B, Austin, TX 78741 (map)

512-693-2464

Kim Phung Restaurant – Riverside

4001 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (map)

512-494-5666

No MSG, hormone-free meats, no vegan broth option.

Simply Pho House (Bee Cave)

12918 Shops Pkwy, Austin, TX 78738 (map)

(512) 263-8889

I haven’t had a chance to try this place, but would be worth a try if you’re out near the Galleria. They have beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetable (with chicken broth) versions of pho– no vegan pho options as of yet. In reviews on the web, someone mentioned that they don’t automatically serve the standard pho garnishes (cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapeños, etc.), so would be good to ask for them when you order. They offer a wide variety of Asian dishes besides pho, so good place to take the family or a large group.

South Austin Breakfast Taco Guide 2018

South Austin Breakfast Taco Guide!!

Welcome to the South Austin Breakfast Taco Guide! Here is the answer to your question: Where are the BEST TACOS IN AUSTIN?? (At least South Austin)

We love breakfast tacos. Who doesn’t? There’s nothing better than a really fresh taco made with good ingredients and topped with delicious salsa. And the best thing is that you can put just about anything into a taco – veggies, fish, meat, beans, leftovers and any kind of sauce you can imagine. We make tacos for breakfast at home at least 3-4 times per week, but where do you find a good taco when you want to eat out? Look no more – here is our guide to the tacos of South Austin for those of us that live and work south of the river, and for those visiting the city for festivals like ACL or SXSW. This guide is also a part of the Austin Food Bloggers’ 2018 City Food Guide (#ATXBestEats). Enjoy and eat more tacos!

Papalote Taco House

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

Traditional Mexican, fast and easy

This may be our favorite taco place in South Austin. The food is authentic, the atmosphere is relaxed and the people who work there are super friendly. The taco toppings are all delicious, and the corn tortillas are fresh. When you go, think about trying one of the three traditional dishes on the left side of the menu – huaraches, tlacoyos and sopes. All these are a bit like open-faced tacos.

Papalote Taco House - South Austin
Papalote Taco House, South Lamar
Huarache at Papalote Taco House, Austin
Huarache – a traditional Mexican dish, like an open-faced taco.
Sopa at Papalote Taco House, Austin
Sope – another traditional Mexican dish, like an open-faced taco.

Taco Deli

1500 Spyglass Dr, Austin, TX 78746 (map)

Unusual ingredients and combinations, regular specials, local ingredients

Super popular south Austin taco joint that now has several locations around Austin. Taco Deli focuses on using high quality and local ingredients, and has a range of unique options. You can also find Taco Deli tacos at most of the big farmer’s markets in town and at a number of coffee shops. However, the tacos are much better from the restaurant.

A post shared by Tacodeli (@tacodeli) on

A post shared by Tacodeli (@tacodeli) on

Curra’s Grill

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

Relaxed hangout, excellent food 

One of the classic, old-Austin Mexican restaurants south of the river. Curra’s has been around for decades. Their menu is very traditional Tex-Mex. They serve good margaritas, and the atmosphere is relaxed. A great place to meet friends.

Sazon

1816 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (map)

Classic tex-mex, dirt cheap tacos, nice porch

Another old-Austin Tex-Mex. Sazon has delicious dirt cheap tacos on fresh homemade corn tortillas. Sazon feels like it hasn’t been updated in a long time, but the porch is a perfect place to hang out and get a taco after a dip in the springs.

Maria’s Taco X-press

2529 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (map)

Eclectic atmosphere, classic tex-mex with drinks, music, dancing.
 
Maria’s used to be “the” cool taco dive of south Austin. It was one of those places where the people watching was as good as the food, and they always had great music. Taco X-press is eclectic, weird, totally Austin – home to the “Hippie Church” – tacos and gospel on Sundays. In the mid 2000’s a real estate developer bought the land Maria leased for her restaurant. Fortunately, thanks to a bullet-proof 99 year lease they were able to negotiate the threat into the opportunity to buy a piece of the land and build a new restaurant. This is one of the landmarks of South Austin. Go for the tacos, stay for the dancing.

Bouldin Creek Cafe

1900 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704 (map)

Old Austin hippies, vegetarian with good coffee

Bouldin Creek Cafe was another classic old Austin hippie hang-out. In the early 2000’s, like Maria’s, they were forced to move and found a new home just a bit further south. They managed to keep the laid back, eclectic feel of the restaurant through the upgrade, and they still have a huge following. Be prepared for a wait on weekends. 

Torchy’s Tacos

2809 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704 (map)

Contemporary take on tacos, fried avocado & more

Another classic south Austin taco spot. Torchy’s was one of the first places in south Austin to really start experimenting with tacos. A lot of people love Torchy’s – Obama famously stopped in when he visited Austin for SXSW, and he ordered two tacos – the “Democrat” and the “Republican.” 

Güero’s

1412 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (map)

Traditional Mexican, great drink menu, South Congress

Longstanding classic Mexican restaurant located in a beautiful historic building on South Congress. Excellent place to meet a big group of friends for food and drink. 

Grocery Stores with Decent Tacos

You can’t leave out the grocery stores with tacos, because they are convenient and have pretty good tacos.

Wheatsville Food Co-Op

4001 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (map)

Wheatsville has good pre-made tacos made with excellent ingredients and delicious salsa.

Central Market Westgate

4521 West Gate Blvd, Austin, TX 78745 (map)

Good tacos made with whatever ingredients you want.

Psst...

You can make great tacos too!

This may be a bit unfair, but all the tacos in the picture at the very top were our homemade tacos. There are some great tacos in Austin, but you can make amazing tacos at home too!
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