Food & Drink

Carnitas Crawl: 18 Must-Try Spots for the Best Pork in Austin!

Carnitas are a beloved staple of Mexican cuisine, and in Austin, there are plenty of places to get your fix.

Whether you prefer them crispy, tender, or somewhere in between, there's a carnitas spot for everyone.

But what makes a good carnitas joint? Is it the quality of the meat, the seasoning, or the cooking technique?

Perhaps it's a combination of all three. Whatever the secret may be, we're here to help you find the best carnitas in Austin.

From food trucks to family-owned restaurants, this city has no shortage of options. Each spot offers its own unique take on the classic dish, with some adding their own creative twists.

Whether you're a long-time resident or just visiting, our guide will help you navigate the carnitas scene in Austin.

So buckle up and get ready to explore the city's best carnitas spots. From hole-in-the-wall joints to trendy new restaurants, we've got you covered.

Get your appetite ready, because this is going to be a delicious ride.

1. Veracruz All Natural

Veracruz All Natural
111 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Veracruz All Natural is a health-conscious taco and juice joint. They serve delicious spit-grilled meats or veggie options, plus juice and Machinehead coffee.

The food is fresh and made to order, so expect a bit of a wait.

The atmosphere is cozy and festive, with plenty of seating inside and out. The Birria and Dona Reyna tacos mole are highly recommended.

This spot is perfect for those who want to indulge in tasty tacos without feeling guilty about their health.

2. Granny's Tacos

Granny's Tacos
1401 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

Granny's Tacos is a no-frills food truck that serves up delicious Mexican eats.

Their carnitas are of high quality, and their tacos are a must-try. The menu is extensive, and they even have vegan options available.

The service is friendly, and the prices are affordable. The seating area is small, but shaded benches are available for customers.

If you're in the mood for some mouth-watering carnitas, Granny's Tacos is the place to go.

3. Torchy's Tacos

Torchy's Tacos
110 San Antonio St Unit #120, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Torchy's Tacos is a Mexican restaurant that serves delicious carnitas. The restaurant has a modern look and a low key atmosphere.

The food is flavorful and the portions are generous. The fish taco is savory and the fish has a crispy batter. The shrimp taco is highly recommended by customers.

The jerk chicken taco is spicy, but nicely cooled down by the sweetness of the mango and the acidity of the crema.

The queso dip is a must-have and is highly addictive. The staff is polite and accommodating. The restaurant is perfect for a quick bite or a casual dinner.

4. ATX Cocina

Atx Cocina
110 San Antonio St #170, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

ATX Cocina is a modern Mexican restaurant that serves up delicious carnitas.

The quality of the food is worth the higher price point. The roasted beef short rib and chuleta de puerco are standout dishes.

Vegetarian options are also available. The customer service is friendly and attentive. The ambiance is modern and lively.

Valet parking is available for convenience. Highly recommended for those looking for a high-end dining experience.

5. Papalote Taco House

Papalote Taco House
2803 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (Google Maps)

If you're on the hunt for authentic Mexican street food, look no further than Papalote Taco House.

This unpretentious taqueria offers an extensive menu of tacos, tostadas, and tortas, with a focus on simple ingredients and bold flavors. The star of the show here is the carnitas, which are tender, juicy, and packed with flavor.

The tacos are generously filled, and the selection of sauces is top-notch. The atmosphere is laid-back, with a small interior and a few tables outside, but the service is friendly and efficient.

Whether you're in the mood for a quick lunch or a late-night snack, Papalote Taco House is a great choice for carnitas lovers.

6. Taqueria Mi Trailita

Taqueria Mi Trailita
5706 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78723 (Google Maps)

Taqueria Mi Trailita is a food truck that serves some of the best carnitas tacos in town. The food is made fresh to order and is authentic and delicious.

The menu has a variety of options, including breakfast tacos and tortas. The staff is friendly and attentive, making the dining experience enjoyable.

The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous. The only downside is the limited seating area, but it's worth it for the amazing food.

If you're in the mood for some mouth-watering carnitas tacos, head over to Taqueria Mi Trailita.

7. Vaquero Taquero

Vaquero Taquero
104 E 31st St, Austin, TX 78705 (Google Maps)

Vaquero Taquero is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious carnitas in Austin. Their menu is simple, but the flavors are anything but.

The al pastor tacos are a standout, with fresh ingredients and just the right amount of spice. The homemade tortillas are a game-changer and make every bite even more enjoyable.

The portion sizes are generous, and the prices are reasonable. The staff is friendly and efficient, making the dining experience even better.

The atmosphere is casual and unpretentious, perfect for a quick bite or a relaxed meal. Don't miss out on this gem of a taqueria.

8. Nixta Taqueria

Nixta Taqueria
2512 E 12th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

Nixta Taqueria is a must-try for anyone looking for authentic Mexican food with a twist. The menu boasts unique flavor combinations that are sure to tantalize the taste buds.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, offering recommendations for those new to the restaurant.

The ambiance is lively, making it a great spot for a casual meal with friends or family. Prices are reasonable and portions are generous.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to try the duck carnitas taco and the beet "tartare" tostada, which are standouts on the menu.

9. Taqueria Morales

Taqueria Morales
1415 W William Cannon Dr #101, Austin, TX 78745 (Google Maps)

Taqueria Morales is a hidden gem for carnitas lovers. This food truck serves up some of the best tacos and burritos in town.

The homemade tortillas are a must-try and the food is bursting with flavor. The prices are very affordable, making it a great spot for a quick and delicious meal.

The friendly service and picnic tables nearby make it a convenient spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

Don't forget to bring cash, as this food truck is cash-only. If you're in the mood for authentic Mexican street fare, Taqueria Morales is the place to go.

10. De Nada Cantina

De Nada Cantina
4715 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

De Nada Cantina is a must-visit spot for anyone craving delicious carnitas. The tacos and quesadillas are top-notch, and the outdoor seating offers a great atmosphere to enjoy the food.

The menu could use some less spicy options, but the quality of the food and service more than make up for it.

The blue corn tortillas and habanero crema sauce are particularly noteworthy. Prices are reasonable and happy hour offers great deals.

The service can be hit or miss, but the food quality makes up for it. Highly recommended for a tasty Mexican feast in a fun atmosphere.

11. Rosita's Al Pastor

Rosita's Al Pastor
1801 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741 (Google Maps)

Rosita's Al Pastor is a no-frills taco spot that offers some of the best carnitas in town.

Their homemade flour tortillas are a must-try and their green salsa is deliciously spicy. The staff is friendly and orders come out quick.

The restaurant has indoor seating and there's also an outdoor food truck option. Prices are affordable and the portions are generous.

If you're looking for authentic Mexican tacos, Rosita's Al Pastor is definitely worth a visit.

12. Rositas

Rositas
1801 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741 (Google Maps)

Rositas is a must-visit spot for carnitas lovers. Their barbacoa and carnitas are to die for.

The lengua is okay, but the Al Pastor is delicious, though it lacks a bit of the flavor found in Mexico. The portions are generous, and the prices are worth it.

The homemade flour tortillas are excellent, and the salsa is spicy and flavorful. The staff is friendly, and the service is quick even when there's a long line.

Rositas is open late at night, making it an ideal spot for night owls looking for good food. Don't let the line discourage you; it moves fast and is totally worth the wait.

13. Taqueria Anyeli

Taqueria Anyeli
916 W 32nd St, Austin, TX 78705 (Google Maps)

Taqueria Anyeli is a hidden gem for carnitas lovers. This small taco truck serves up authentic Mexican flavors that are hard to find elsewhere.

The homemade corn tortillas are a standout and pair perfectly with the flavorful and spicy green hot sauce. The carnitas torta is a must-try, with both the red and green sauce adding an extra kick of flavor.

Prices are cheap and portions are generous, making it a great option for those on a budget. The staff is friendly and quick, even during the busy lunch rush.

Keep in mind that this is a cash-only establishment. Don't miss out on this amazing spot for tasty and affordable carnitas.

14. Tacos Yo Soy

Tacos Yo Soy
E 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751 (Google Maps)

Looking for authentic carnitas tacos in town, Tacos Yo Soy is the place to be.

The quality of the food is amazing, and the meats are lean and delicious.

The salsas are a must-try, and the Jarritos is the perfect drink to wash it all down.

The location is great, and the service is stellar. Tacos Yo Soy is a must-visit for anyone in search of amazing Mexican food.

15. El Chilango

El Chilango
701 Provines Dr, Austin, TX 78753 (Google Maps)

El Chilango is a food truck that serves authentic Mexican street tacos. Their carnitas are a must-try, as they are crispy and tender.

Their salsas are spicy and delicious. The restaurant also offers other Mexican classics like fajitas and tortas.

The food truck has a shaded dining area for customers to enjoy their meals. The prices are affordable, but it is cash-only.

If you are looking for a late-night treat or a quick meal, El Chilango is the perfect spot.

16. Freebirds World Burrito

Freebirds World Burrito
515 S Congress Ave Ste. 101, Austin, TX 78704 (Google Maps)

Looking for a quick and delicious burrito joint for carnitas that won't break the bank and offers plenty of customizable options for everyone in your group to enjoy together at the table or on the patio outside, then look no further than Freebirds World Burrito.

With consistently high-quality food and a friendly staff, Freebirds is a great spot to grab a bite to eat and create your own tacos, burritos, or bowls.

Although parking can be a bit tight, the selection of sodas is great and there's even beer available for adults looking to unwind after a long day.

So whether you're craving a monster burrito or something light and refreshing, Freebirds has you covered with their natural-foods focus and Tex-Mex flair.

17. Taquitos Michoacanos

Taquitos Michoacanos
6201 TX-275 Loop, Austin, TX 78745 (Google Maps)

Taquitos Michoacanos is a Mexican restaurant that serves some of the tastiest carnitas tacos around.

The barbacoa is juicy, and the pastor is full of flavor.

The al pastor taco and gorditas come highly recommended.

If you're in the mood for some great, greasy Mexican food, Taquitos Michoacanos is the place to go.

18. Taqueria Chapala

Taqueria Chapala
2101 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

Taqueria Chapala is a no-frills Mexican joint that serves up some seriously delicious carnitas.

The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. The homemade tortillas are a must-try, and the tacos de adobada are a standout dish.

While the service may not be the best, the food more than makes up for it.

If you're looking for authentic Mexican comfort food, Taqueria Chapala is definitely worth a visit.