ALL THE BEST SPOTS FOR HEALTHY-ISH TACOS IN AUSTIN

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LIZ HARROUN

NOV 20, 2019

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IMAGE VIA TACODELI | FACEBOOK

So, here in Austin, we pride ourselves on eating tacos at any time of the day, any season of the year. They check all of the boxes as as an acceptable go-to meal (or snack) in that they’re delicious, portable, and affordable. Sometimes, though, we want to add healthy to that list, which is why we scoped out the best “healthyish” tacos around town. Here are our favorites that will keep you feelin’ fueled and fit.

Don’t let the red devil mascot fool you — Torchy’s has plenty of options, at their taquerias all over town that won’t make you feel like you’re eating something naughty. All of the ingredients are responsibly-sourced and many are sourced from around the region. Also, the calorie counts for all menu items are clearly labeled on the menu (and full nutrition information is broken down on their website, for all of you macro-counters out there).

The newest creation from the P. Terry’s owners, Taco Ranch makes fast food with fresh, trustworthy ingredients. They use organic eggs and all-natural meats in their breakfast tacos along with all-natural meats and chicken that are slow-cooked daily. Guacamole and salsas are made fresh throughout the day, too. When in need of some quick tacos without the junky ingredients, stop by their first location in Oak Hill, or wait for their second location (coming soon!) to open on MLK close to UT Campus.

Known for their butter coffees, Picnik does all of their food right — including their tacos. They use grain-free Siete tortillas, local eggs and meat, and quality oils like avocado oil. Swing by the trailer in the morning for a breakfast taco to-go (local sugar-free bacon and grass-fed sausage, anyone?), or head up north to their brick-and-mortar location on Burnet for even more wholesome options! There, you’ll find a variety of customizable breakfast tacos along with the freshest fish tacos we’ve found in Austin. Fitt Tip: if you’re going the breakfast taco route, their new Extra Bold and Vanilla Latte coffees and vegan Golden Milk Matcha certainly pair well!

Now with four locations in Austin and Round Rock, Veracruz has been recognized by the Food Network by serving one of the top five tacos in the US. The two owners (who are also sisters) value using fresh and organic ingredients, which is why their husbands are sent to stock up on fresh produce daily. There are plenty of designated gluten-free and vegetarian options, they make their corn tortillas in-house, and even have fresh juice and smoothies at their brick-and-mortar location in Round Rock!

Along with good vibes from the health-oriented staff (who are always happy to chat about holistic healing and supplements), Peoples serves up some seriously underrated food in their delis in Central Austin, South Lamar, and Westlake. All of their tacos are constructed with the finest ingredients — locally pastured, soy-free eggs on organic flour tortillas. But with zero eye-rolling from the cashier, you can easily substitute an almond paleo tortilla, corn tortilla, or bowl. (FYI: a bowl does not constitute a taco). Most of their ingredients are organic, and you don’t have to stop at breakfast tacos! They make each taco to-order and have fillable forms ready on the counter so you can build your own taco (including beef, chicken, and vegan options) just how you want it.

Tacodeli has been serving hand-crafted tacos in Austin since 1999, and there’s a reason they attract so many loyal customers (and have five locations). They have really taken the farm-to-table movement in fast-casual settings to the next level. Currently sourcing from more than 20 local farmers, ranchers, and fisherman, they use only organic, cage-free eggs and prioritize organic produce. And while they source all of their meats responsibly, they still have plenty of vegetarian options (because tacos are for everyone).

Tacos from a butcher shop and supper club? Um… yes, please! Stop by their main restaurant before 3pm to try their breakfast and lunch menu, which offers a rotating menu with tacos made from fresh produce and wild game that’s butchered in-store. Or go for their new sister space in Fareground food hall. With options like wild boar al pastor and bison picadillo, you won’t leave disappointed.

Feature image via Chris Olfers

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