16 Great Tacos in Austin

El Primo

Pastor

Photograph by Callie Richmond

Nestled in the now-tony confines of this newly developed area, scrappy stalwart El Primo remains a standby with fiercely loyal regulars who have been visiting since the trailer parked here nearly ten years ago. During a recent weekday lunch, El Primo’s crossover love between old South Austin and new South Austin was on full display as some paint-splattered construction workers shared the sole picnic table with a bearded hipster type strumming a Les Paul guitar while he waited. The lengthy menu may sometimes overreach, but most tacos are simply and skillfully executed. On our visit, the pastor was a favorite, a medium-sized portion of shredded, saucy, slightly messy pork, served on thin double corn tortillas. A squeeze of lime, generous helpings of cilantro, and a coarse dice of raw onion round out the mix. At $2.25, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better value in this area. Adventurous eaters will be rewarded here: the lengua (beef tongue) was tender, full of meaty flavor, and best punched up with a splash of the chile de árbol–garlic salsa. 

2101 S. 1st (512-227-5060). Open Mon–Thu 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Fri 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

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