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SXSW 2014: How to make the perfect Austin breakfast taco (recipes)

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

Serving up breakfast tacos at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

The makings of a migas taco at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

The makings of a migas taco at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

Whipping up some eggs for the scramble in migas breakfast tacos.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

The makings of a migas taco at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

The makings of a migas taco at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

Homemade flour tortillas at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

Migas taco at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

The makings of a migas taco at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

Migas tacos at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Tacos

Jacob Margolis

Homemade flour tortillas at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Tacos

Jacob Margolis

Home made flour tortillas at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

Baking homemade flour tortillas at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

Homemade flour tortillas at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Taco

Jacob Margolis

Scrambled eggs, cheese, beans and bacon in the breakfast tacos at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.

SXSW Breakfast Tacos

Jacob Margolis

Breakfast tacos full of cheese, eggs, bacon and beans in flour tortillas at Joe's Bakery in Austin, Texas.


While South by Southwest is all about the music, tech and film presentations, it's also about the food.

I've been trying to explore the city as much as possible, and even though I've eaten barbecue for breakfast, my biggest take away in terms of Austin cuisine has been the lack of breakfast burritos.

Unlike in California, they're all about the breakfast tacos in Austin.

As a native Los Angeleno and breakfast burrito consumer, I too was screaming "sacrilege!" when I heard this, but after tasting them, I realized I should give them a chance.

I went to Joe's Bakery with Armando Rayo, the Austin breakfast taco king, and author of "Austin Breakfast Tacos." The guy ate more than 200 breakfast tacos while writing his book, so he knows his stuff.

What can you expect when you order breakfast tacos at a place like Joe's? Well maybe some migas (corn chips mixed with eggs and veggies in a sort of scramble) or maybe just some straight forward beans and cheese and bacon, or barbacoa (we've got some recipes for tacos from Joe's below).

The thing about Joe's is that everything is homemade. The taco fillings, the tortillas. But when tourists come to Joe's, and they're from a place like California, where it's all about breakfast burritos. Like me, they have a hard time believing in the idea of breakfast tacos. 

That's according to Regina Avila, whose family owns the restaurant. They've been making breakfast tacos and educating tourists since the 1960s.


"I get a lot of new faces, a lot of out of towners and they come and they want a burrito and I have to gently break it to them," said Avila. "We don't have burritos we have tacos, so that's kind of an education process in and of itself."

How did the breakfast taco come to be?

When immigrants came to Austin in the late 1800s, the tortilla, that perfectly edible Mexican tool, was eventually used to pick up the very Texan bacon and eggs.

But they didn't become a thing in the city until later.

Armando Rayo notes that they didn't pop up on menus in Austin until the 1970s, which was probably a result of needing to compete with fast food restaurants who had started serving breakfast.

After eating a few breakfast tacos, I'm certainly not an expert, but I can see an upside. You have more variety. More flavors. You don't have to commit to a giant gut bomb burrito, and that's quite nice.

But to be honest, Texas needs to take a page out of California's book and use more avocado.

AusTin Breakfast Taco Recipes:

Bacon and Egg Taco

1 tortilla of your choice
1 teaspoon oil in frying pan
1 egg, scrambled well with salt and pepper
1 bacon (coat it in all purpose flour before you put it on the grill).
Add bacon and egg to hot tortilla and fold.

Migas Con Todo Taco

1 teaspoon oil in frying pan
3/4 ounce onions
3/4 ounce tomatoes
3/4 ounce green jalapeno peppers
1/2 handful of corn tortilla chips
1 egg
1 tortilla of your choice
3/4 ounce shredded cheddar cheese


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