The Most Popular Food in Austin: A Gastronomic Guide to the City's Culinary Delights

Choose the food you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 28, 2024 06:05
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions matter, and your taste buds rule! Austin, known for its eclectic mix of flavors and vibrant food scene, offers a smorgasbord of mouthwatering options to satisfy every craving. We've cooked up a sizzling new ranking - "What is the most popular food in Austin?" - and we're inviting foodies, locals, and visitors alike to come and vote for their favorite Austin eats! From the iconic breakfast tacos to the legendary barbecue, this is your chance to make your culinary voice heard and help us determine the ultimate Austin food champion. Can't find your go-to dish on the list? No worries! Simply suggest a missing option and let the delicious debate begin. So, grab your fork, dig into the rankings, and let your taste buds do the talking!

What Is the Most Popular Food in Austin?

  1. 1
    Austin is famous for its breakfast tacos, which are a delicious combination of eggs, bacon, cheese, and salsa wrapped in a warm tortilla. They are a staple of Austin's food culture and can be found at many local taco shops and food trucks.
    Breakfast tacos are a popular Tex-Mex dish that originated in Austin, Texas. They are a delicious combination of soft tortillas filled with various breakfast ingredients, creating a perfect blend of flavors. The breakfast taco is a beloved morning meal for many Austinites and visitors alike.
    • Tortilla: Soft, flour tortillas are typically used, though corn tortillas can also be found.
    • Fillings: Common fillings include scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, chorizo, potatoes, cheese, and beans.
    • Salsas: A variety of salsas, ranging from mild to spicy, are often added for extra flavor.
    • Toppings: Common toppings include cilantro, onions, avocado, and sour cream.
    • Size: Breakfast tacos are typically smaller in size, allowing for easy consumption on the go.
    Breakfast tacos in other rankings
  2. 2


    Austin is known as the BBQ capital of Texas, and for good reason. The city has a plethora of BBQ joints that serve up mouth-watering brisket, ribs, and sausage. Some of the most popular BBQ spots in Austin include Franklin Barbecue, La Barbecue, and Terry Black's Barbecue.
    BBQ chicken wings are a popular flavor that combines the savoriness of grilled meat with a tangy and sweet barbecue sauce. It is a classic choice for wing enthusiasts.
    • Flavor: Savory, tangy, and sweet
    • Preparation Method: Grilled or baked
    • Sauce Type: Barbecue sauce (typically tomato-based)
    • Spiciness Level: Varies (can range from mild to spicy)
    • Texture: Crispy exterior and juicy interior
  3. 3
    Tex-Mex cuisine is a fusion of Mexican and Texan cuisine and is a popular food in Austin. It includes dishes like enchiladas, fajitas, and queso. Many Tex-Mex restaurants in Austin have been around for decades and are beloved by locals and visitors alike.
    Tex-Mex is a popular style of cuisine in Austin that blends traditional Mexican flavors with American influences. It is known for its bold flavors, generous use of cheese, spices, and hearty portions. Tex-Mex dishes often feature ingredients like tortillas, beef, chicken, beans, corn, chili peppers, and various types of cheese. It is a fusion cuisine that offers a unique culinary experience.
    • Spicy Flavors: Tex-Mex dishes are known to have a spicy kick with the use of chili peppers and hot spices.
    • Flour Tortillas: Tex-Mex cuisine predominantly uses flour tortillas as opposed to traditional Mexican corn tortillas.
    • Cheese: Cheese plays a major role in Tex-Mex cuisine, and types like cheddar, Monterey Jack, and queso fresco are commonly used.
    • Meats: Beef, chicken, and pork are popular choices for Tex-Mex dishes, often seasoned with spices and grilled or slow-cooked.
    • Guacamole: Guacamole, a creamy avocado-based dip, is a staple accompaniment for many Tex-Mex dishes.
  4. 4
    Tacos al pastor are a type of taco that originated in Mexico but are now popular in Austin. They are made with marinated pork that is cooked on a vertical spit and then sliced and served on a tortilla with pineapple, cilantro, and onion.
    Tacos al pastor are a popular Mexican dish that originated in central Mexico. They are made with thin slices of marinated pork, typically cooked on a vertical rotisserie called a trompo. The pork is seasoned with a blend of spices and marinated in a mixture that includes achiote paste, pineapple, and various herbs and spices. The meat is then slowly cooked until tender and juicy. The cooked pork is thinly sliced and served on small tortillas, commonly accompanied by diced onions, cilantro, pineapple, and a squeeze of lime.
    • Serving Style: Sliced pork on small tortillas
    • Main Ingredient: Marinated pork
    • Cooking Method: Vertical rotisserie
    • Marinade Ingredients: Achiote paste, pineapple, herbs, and spices
    • Common Toppings: Diced onions, cilantro, pineapple, and lime
    Tacos al pastor in other rankings
  5. 5
    Austin has a thriving pizza scene with many local pizzerias serving up delicious pies. From classic margherita pizzas to more creative toppings like brisket and jalapenos, pizza is a popular food in Austin.
    Pizza is a popular Italian dish that has become a staple in American cuisine. It typically consists of a round, flat dough base topped with various ingredients and baked in an oven. The toppings often include tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of meats, vegetables, and herbs. The combination of these flavors creates a savory and satisfying meal enjoyed by people of all ages.
    • Dough: A flattened round dough made from flour, water, yeast, salt, and sometimes olive oil.
    • Toppings: A variety of ingredients can be used, including tomato sauce, cheese (often mozzarella), meats (such as pepperoni, sausage, or ham), vegetables (like mushrooms, onions, or bell peppers), and herbs (such as basil or oregano).
    • Baking: Typically baked in a hot oven, reaching temperatures around 475°F (245°C), for a short period of time (usually 10-15 minutes).
    • Styles: There are various regional styles of pizza in America, with New York-style and Chicago-style being among the most famous. Each style has its own unique characteristics, such as the thickness of the crust, the proportion of toppings, and the cooking method.
    • Versatility: Pizza can be customized to suit individual preferences, allowing for countless topping combinations and variations. This versatility contributes to its popularity and widespread appeal.
  6. 6
    Austin is home to many craft breweries that produce a wide variety of delicious beers. From IPAs to stouts, Austin's craft beer scene is a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike.
    Craft beer is a type of beer that is brewed by small, independent breweries using traditional methods and high-quality ingredients. It is known for its innovative flavors, unique styles, and emphasis on craftsmanship. Craft beer has gained popularity in Alberta and has become an integral part of the local food and beverage scene.
    • ABV (Alcohol by Volume): Craft beers typically range between 4% and 7% ABV, although some styles can have higher or lower alcohol content.
    • Ingredients: Craft beer is brewed using high-quality ingredients such as malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. It often includes unique ingredients like fruits, spices, and herbs to create distinct flavors.
    • Flavor Profiles: Craft beer boasts a wide variety of flavor profiles, including hoppy IPAs (India Pale Ales), malty stouts, refreshing wheat beers, sour ales, and more.
    • Small Batch Production: Craft beer is typically produced in small batches, allowing brewers to experiment with different recipes and techniques.
    • Local Impact: Craft breweries contribute to the local economy by creating jobs and supporting local farmers and suppliers for ingredients.
    Craft beer in other rankings
  7. 7
    Breakfast dishes
    Halil S. Mucaram Halil marx07 (talk) 18:26, 13 November 2012 (UTC) · CC BY 3.0
    Beyond breakfast tacos, Austin is known for its delicious breakfast dishes like migas, huevos rancheros, and pancakes. Many local restaurants serve up breakfast all day long, making it easy to get your fix of breakfast food whenever you want.
    One of the most popular breakfast dishes in Austin is the Breakfast Taco. It is a versatile and delicious morning meal that combines the flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine with traditional breakfast ingredients. The creator of the Breakfast Taco is unknown, as it has been a staple in Tex-Mex culture for many years.
    • Tortilla Type: Commonly made with flour tortillas, although corn tortillas are also used.
    • Protein Options: Includes a wide variety of protein choices such as bacon, sausage, chorizo, scrambled eggs, or migas (scrambled eggs with tortilla strips).
    • Fillings: May contain additional fillings like cheese, beans, potatoes, avocado, or salsa.
    • Toppings: Often topped with cilantro, onions, tomatoes, or jalapeños for added flavors and freshness.
    • Sauce Options: Can be served with various sauces like salsa, hot sauce, or creamy avocado sauce.
  8. 8
    Austin has no shortage of burger joints, from classic fast-food chains to gourmet burger restaurants. Many local burger places use locally sourced beef and creative toppings to make their burgers stand out.
    Burgers are a popular type of sandwich made with a ground meat patty, typically beef, that is cooked and placed between two slices of bread or a bun. The patty is often seasoned with various spices and grilled, fried, or charbroiled to perfection. Burgers are known for their versatility, as they can be customized with a wide variety of toppings, condiments, and cheeses, allowing for endless flavor combinations.
    • Popular Varieties: Cheeseburger, Hamburger, Bacon Burger, Veggie Burger, Turkey Burger, Chicken Burger, etc.
    • Size: Burgers can vary in size, from small sliders to larger, more substantial patties.
    • Cooking Style: Grilled, fried, or charbroiled.
    • Bread/Bun: Typically served on a sesame seed bun, but other bread options like ciabatta or brioche are also popular.
    • Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, bacon, cheese, and many more.
  9. 9
    Ice cream
    Peachyeung316 · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Austin has a vibrant ice cream scene with many local ice cream shops serving up unique and delicious flavors. From classic vanilla to more exotic flavors like lavender honey and goat cheese, Austin's ice cream scene has something for everyone.
    Ice cream is a frozen dessert that is enjoyed and loved by people all around the world. It is typically made from dairy products like milk or cream, combined with sweeteners, flavorings, and often fruits, nuts, chocolate, or other delicious additions. The mixture is then churned or stirred while freezing to create a smooth and creamy texture. Ice cream is usually served in a bowl or cone and can be enjoyed alone or as a topping for other desserts.
    • Temperature: Typically served at around -15°C to -20°C
    • Ingredients: Dairy products (milk or cream), sweeteners, flavorings, fruits, nuts, chocolate
    • Texture: Smooth and creamy
    • Serving Style: In a bowl or cone
    • Popular Flavors: Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, cookies and cream
    Ice cream in other rankings
  10. 10
    Fried chicken
    Evan-Amos · CC0
    Fried chicken is a popular food in Austin, with many local restaurants serving up crispy and delicious chicken. Some of the most popular places to get fried chicken in Austin include Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken and Lucy's Fried Chicken.
    Fried chicken is a popular dish made by coating chicken pieces in a seasoned batter or breadcrumbs and then deep-frying them until they become golden and crispy on the outside, while remaining juicy and tender on the inside.
    • Main Ingredient: Chicken
    • Cooking Method: Deep-fried
    • Seasoning: Varies, but commonly includes salt, pepper, and a blend of herbs and spices
    • Batter or Breading: Can be either a seasoned batter or a coating of breadcrumbs
    • Texture: Crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside
    Fried chicken in other rankings

Missing your favorite food?


Ranking factors for popular food

  1. Local flavor
    Consider the unique dishes and flavors that are associated with Austin or Texas in general, such as barbecue, Tex-Mex, and tacos.
  2. Popularity among residents and visitors
    Look at reviews, ratings, and recommendations from locals and tourists alike. Social media and food apps can give an idea of popular spots and dishes.
  3. Restaurant reputation
    The reputation of the restaurants and food trucks serving the food should be considered; well-known, highly-rated spots are likely to contribute to a food's popularity.
  4. Culinary awards and recognition
    Foods from Austin that have received awards or recognition on a local, regional, or national level should be taken into account.
  5. Accessibility and affordability
    Foods that are easily accessible to a wide range of people in terms of location, taste preferences, and budget can be considered more popular.
  6. Frequency of events or festivals
    Austin holds numerous food-related events and festivals that showcase the city's culinary scene. Foods that are often featured or celebrated at these events can be indicators of their popularity.
  7. Seasonality and tradition
    Some foods may be more popular during specific seasons or due to cultural or local traditions, such as food served during holidays or at particular celebrations.
  8. Influence of local chefs and culinary scene
    The creativity and innovation of local chefs can contribute to the popularity of certain dishes and food trends in Austin.
  9. Media coverage
    Foods that have been featured in local or national publications, TV shows, or online media can gain popularity due to increased exposure.
  10. Sustainability and local sourcing
    In a city like Austin, which values sustainability and local food production, dishes that highlight local, seasonal ingredients can be considered popular among eco-conscious consumers.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular food in Austin. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or food is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 199 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each food once every 24 hours. The rank of each food is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular food in austin

Austin, Texas is known for its vibrant food scene and diverse culinary offerings. From barbecue to Tex-Mex to fusion cuisine, there's something for everyone in the city. With so many options, it can be difficult to determine which food reigns supreme as the most popular in Austin. That's where StrawPoll comes in - we've gathered data from thousands of polls to bring you the answer to this burning question. So, without further ado, let's dive into the most popular food in Austin.

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