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16 Great Tacos in Austin

Rosita’s Al Pastor

Gringa (pastor with queso blanco)

Photograph by Callie Richmond

When you ask for the servers recommended taco in Spanish and she offers up a gringa, theres reason to feel youre not being taken seriously. But our suspicions were dashed when we were presented with the house specialty. The Rosita’s pork pastor meat is a blinding red-orange, supermoist yet somehow crispy around the edges. The twist to the “gringa”—which is served on a tortilla so fresh it still has a dusting of flour from the prep counter—is the addition of a generous helping of melted queso blanco, which transports the taco from the meaty and savory realm to something that’s unspeakably indulgent. As you might expect, both the cheesy and regular al pastor tacos are topped simply with raw diced onion and cilantro. It’s easy to take chips and salsa for granted, but the standard appetizer is remarkable here (ask for the red sauce, which has árbol and tomatillo chiles and is truly one of the best salsas in town). The shopping center that houses Rosita’s is rather run-down: you’ll find this neon beer signfilled taqueria somewhere between a faded Family Dollar and a check-cashing window. While the setting may not impress, we’ll vouch that the tacos will.

1911 E. Riverside Dr. (512-442-8402). Open daily 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

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