Culture / Restaurants

An Austin Taco Haven Is Moving Into Houston, Continuing the Washington Avenue Restaurant Revolution

BY // 05.16.16

The Austin influx continues: Houston is getting yet another culinary outlet from our sister city out West. This time, it’s in the form of Tacodeli. The taco haven joins myriad Austin-based destinations migrating to the Houston city limits, most recently women’s boutique Kick Pleat, spa and salon Milk + Honey, and Hopdoddy Burger Bar, which opens on May 30 in River Oaks District.

Lauded for its organic, scratch-made and locally sourced offerings, Tacodeli plans to open its first Houston location at 1902 Washington Avenue (previously Drake nightclub) this fall, adding to Washington’s ever-evolving taco landscape. Dallas-based Velvet Taco opened last year, while staples like El Tiempo and Molina’s continue to thrive.

“I’ve been a huge fan of the Houston restaurant scene since I first started visiting the city back in the ’80s. It is very exciting to know that we will finally be able to sling tacos in a city with some serious culinary heritage,” Tacodeli co-owner Roberto Espinosa said. “We are especially excited to be opening in a unique part of the city along Washington Avenue with great neighbors such as B&B Butchers, Julep, and soon-to-open Platypus Brewing in our building.”

A rendering of the new Tacodeli, which will share a building with Australian beer concept Platypus brewing.

While there’s no shortage of taco eateries on the city’s restaurant scene, Tacodeli introduces a unique approach to the Houston market through its focus on holistic ingredients.

Heartbrand Ranch Akaushi beef, certified organic and humane pork, antibiotic-free chicken, organic eggs, responsibly sourced seafood and non-GMO, 100 percent masa corn tortillas and chips are mainstays of the Tacodeli menu (gluten-free tortillas are also available).

Then there’s the restaurant’s nearly 50 menu items, including breakfast and lunch tacos, soups, salads, sides, beverages and specials.

Order the Cowboy taco, made of dry-rubbed beef tenderloin topped with grilled corn, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, guacamole and queso fresco; or opt for one of Tacodeli’s famed vegan or vegetarian options like the Papadulce, a taco filled with roasted sweet potatoes, grilled corn, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, toasted pepitas and chipotle camote (sweet potato) sauce.

Tacodeli was founded in 1999 by Mexico City native Espinosa (co-owner Eric Wilkerson later joined the team). The first Tacodeli opened near Austin’s Barton Springs Greenbelt, and Espinosa’s team now operates five locations in Austin and one in Dallas.

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