New Southwest Austin taco spot focuses on traditional tacos al pastor

Taco Margarita co-owner Christian Stoopen prepare tacos al pastor the traditional way with a vertical spit. (Courtesy Christian Stoopen)
Taco Margarita co-owner Christian Stoopen prepare tacos al pastor the traditional way with a vertical spit. (Courtesy Christian Stoopen)

Taco Margarita co-owner Christian Stoopen prepare tacos al pastor the traditional way with a vertical spit. (Courtesy Christian Stoopen)

Taco Margarita, owned by Dripping Springs resident Christian Stoopen, opened Nov. 21 with breakfast offerings and expanded to include the full kitchen at the start of December.

Stoopen, who is from Mexico City, opened the restaurant at 12005 Hwy. 290 E, Austin, with his mother-in-law, Betty Gilmore, who has been working in restaurants for 20 years, he said.

Stoopen was living in Mexico City and working in public relations and customer service in 2019 when his wife’s mom said they should open a restaurant here in Austin.

“Everyone told us in Austin they love actual real Mexican food, not just Tex-Mex,” Stoopen said.

Stoopen said his staff focuses on making tacos and a few other menu items in a traditional style with fresh ingredients daily rather than an expansive menu with quicker recipes.


Stoopen said in Mexico, pastor is always cooked on a vertical spit called “el trompo,” but in Austin he has found many pastors heated with oil in a pan, which changes the consistency and flavor. Taco Margarita’s signature dish is tacos al pastor slow cooked in the traditional manner with over 20 ingredients for flavor and finished on the griddle without oil, Stoopen said.
By Maggie Quinlan

Reporter, Southwest Austin/Dripping Springs

Maggie joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July 2021 after a year spent covering crime, courts and politics at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, near the border with Idaho. In Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs, Maggie covers education, business, healthcare, transportation, real estate development and nonprofits. Prior to CI, she graduated from Washington State University, where she was managing editor of the student newspaper and a section editor at her hometown newspaper based in Moscow, Idaho. Maggie dreamed of living in the Austin area for years and feels honored to serve the communities of Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs.