In the battle for the best tacos in America, Austin Texas maybe the strongest contender. Especially as it’s home to the Torchy’s secret menu offering seven tacos not found on its massively popular menu.
I had spent previous days scouring the city for its best tacos and unparalleled migas breakfast tacos with Michael and I was skeptical of going to a franchise. But I was assured that Torchy’s Tacos expanded into multiple locations because it was so well loved.
But Why is Torchy’s Tacos so Popular?
In a city where there are three taco joins on every block, it may be difficult to understand why everyone loves Torchy’s. It’s always busy, especially at lunch.
It’s not authentic Mexican tacos like you’ll find elsewhere in Austin. In fact, it’s not even classic Tex Mex.
Torchy’s Tacos are their own invention, somewhat inspired by traditional Mexican and Tex Mex cuisine fused with Austin barbecue. And it works. Torchy’s has expanded into other cities in Texas and recently Colorado and Oklahoma. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were eventually a national chain.
Taco Bell better watch out.
However, it’s very important to order the right items on Torchy’s Tacos menu and some are delicious and others are…meh.
In fact I didn’t like Torchy’s at all when I initially went. It was OK. But I didn’t think worth the hype or the price considering all the other amazing food truck tacos in Austin.
Later on I realized it was because I made the rookie move of ordering a tuna taco. I wouldn’t have gone back but my friend Nick tempted me with the Torchy’s secret menu.
Call me a hipster sheep, but I love secret menus.
The good news is that the Torchy’s secret menu is very small. The two of us were able to try most of it by sharing. It opened a new world to me and I realized I really liked Torchy’s Tacos – just follow my advice – no fish.
Watch this video if Torchy’s Tacos when it was just a food truck.
History of Torchy’s Tacos
Torchy’s started out as a hugely popular street food truck on South 1st in 2006. Its move to a bricks and mortar location in Austin went so well they opened up several locations, moved onto other cities in Texas and have branched out to Colorado and Oklahoma.
Most people don’t realize that breakfast is served all day so you can. Your fill if migas even if you don’t wake up until the afternoon.
The Torchy’s Secret Menu isn’t So Secret
The Torchy’s secret menu launched in 2013 and it really is the worst kept secret. In fact, if you forget which one you want to eat most locations have the secret menu printed so you can choose.
- Chopped brisket and grilled jalapeno topped with avocado, jack cheese, pickled onions, sour cream, tomatillo sauce and cilantro. Served on a fried corn tortilla wrapped in a flour tortilla.
The Trailer Park
- Combining two of the most hipster loving foods: fried chicken and tacos. It just makes sense. Ask for it to be extra trashy and you’ll get cheese instead of lettuce.Or get hillbilly style for chorizo and chopped bacon. And if you’re a fan of Nashville Hot Fried Chicken get the Torchy Taco hot sauce instead of the mild poblano ranch.
These carnitas use both a corn and a flour tortilla and are topped with guacamole, cheese, pickled onions, creamy chipotle and cilantro. Served on a flour tortilla.
Jack of Clubs
- A great breakfast option, this fried-egg and grilled potatoes taco comes with black beans, crispy tortilla strips, cheese, sour cream, Diablo sauce and cilantro. Served on a flour tortilla.
- My least favourite as it was the last flavourful. Deep fried pinko-breaded tuna topped with bacon, black beans, green chilies, cotija cheese, avocado sauce and cilantro. Available as a flour or corn tortilla
The Mad Cow
- Skirt steak is topped with fresh grilled corn, black beans, jack cheese, creamy chipotle and cilantro on a flour tortilla.
Ace of Spades
Another great breakfast option but you have to like dairy! Jalapeño sausage and brisket are topped with a fried egg, green chile queso, cotija cheese, sour cream and Diablo sauce. Served on a flour tortilla.
Torchy’s Tacos Menu – The Must Try Items
Torchy’s secret menu items aside, the regular menu at Torchy’s is HUGE.
So many that some regulars don’t even know about the secret menu because they are content with what’s currently offered.
It’s divided into: Breakfast tacos, breakfast tacos classics, tacos, not a taco, chips and dips, eats and treats and taco of the month.
Are you overwhelmed yet?
There’s so much to choose from but it also means you could end up like me, ordering a fish taco and thinking Torchy’s is only meh. So here are the most popular items at Torchy’s Tacos:
Most Popular Torchy’s Taco Menu Items
- Horchata – although many locations are licensed with a full bar (hint: sit there if the dining room is too crowded) there’s nothing like a good horchata to wash down tacos.
- Green Chile Queso who needs lame guacamole when you can have chips and dip topped with queso fresco, Diablo hot sauce and cilantro
- Lovepuppies brownies come in many flavours, just in case you have room for dessert.
- Street Corn – All the goodness of regular street corn without picking corn out of your teeth. Shucked fresh corn is tossed with mayo, lime, cilantro, queso fresco and ancho chilli powder served in a pan.
- The Democrat – You can’t go wrong with barbacoa served with avocado, cotija cheese and tomatillo sauce.
- The Dirty Sanchez – switch up your breakfast from the traditional migas to fried poblano peppers and scrambled eggs topped with guacamole.
Vegetarian Menu at Torchy’s Tacos
Although you can remove meat from many of the menu items, Torchy’s makes great vegetarian specific dishes. For breakfast both the Migas and the Dirty Sanchez are vegetarian. As are the guacamole and green chile queso dips and the street corn.
But two very popular vegetarian tacos are:
- The Independent – deep fried portobello mushrooms with fresh corn, pickled carrots, avocado, and queso fresco.
- Fried Avocado Taco – Exactly as it sounds. Along with refried beans, pico de gallo, cheese and poblano sauce.
Torchy’s Taco of the Month
Most of all you cannot forget the taco of the month! While the Torchy Taco secret menu items are always available because they use ingredients from the full menu, this item is unique every month and once the month is over it’s gone!
If you’ve been to Torchy’s Tacos let me know in the comments below what your favourite menu item is!
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