Whether local or just visiting, there’s one can’t-miss Austin restaurant for foodies: Taco Flats. The restaurant is serving up fresh takes on classic Mexican flavors and makes all of its tacos and cocktails fresh.

Owner and Founder Simon Madera opened Taco Flats on Burnet Road after placing a call to the original owner of Hector’s Taco Flats, which closed in the 1980s.

“It was an old historic dive that closed in like ‘82,” Madera said. “I grew up in the Mexican food business and reached out to the people who owned it... I wanted to revive the place and the old name.”

The set-up and style of Taco Flats is inspired by Madera’s time in Mexico City and the feel of the old soccer bars in the area. After the initial success at the Burnet location, Madera expanded Taco Flats to other areas and now has locations at Clarksville, Lakeway, Riata and Smithville.

The Smithville location smokes the meats for the restaurants, and the Clarksville location serves as a commissary kitchen.

Madera’s philosophy on food prioritizes freshness and quality, and he said the most important aspect of his business is that after 10 years, his philosophy is still the same.

“We don't own freezers, so we don't freeze our food,” Madera said. “...Our drinks are made with only fresh-squeezed citrus, not jugged or pasteurized lime juice. It's all real stuff.”

The Taco Flats menu boasts a host of fan-favorites, from the tuna tostada that was featured on Food Network in 2015 to the Al Pastor taco, which features spit-roasted pork, onion, cilantro and pineapple. Taco Flats also serves brunch offerings on the weekends including freshly-made pancakes and a chilaquiles taco.

Here are three must-try tacos:
  • Gringa: spit roasted pork, onion, grilled jack cheese, pineapple and cilantro.
  • Pirata: grilled jack cheese, refried black beans, grilled beef fajita, grilled onion and cilantro.
  • Chilaquiles DF: tortilla chips, salsa roja, grilled jalapeño, fried egg, crema fresca, cilantro and queso fresco.
The drink menu is just as beloved, and Madera said Taco Flats is particularly known for its frozen drinks, because they only use high-quality fresh ingredients.

“We make all our own syrups, too,” Madera said. “...We’re pretty pure in that sense. If you have a margarita, it should be made with 100% agave tequila. You shouldn’t add anything unique.”

Some of the drinks include:
  • Spicy Frozen Margarita, which features 100% agave tequila, triple sec, hand squeezed lime juice and fresh jalapeño.
  • Mexico City Sour, with 100% agave tequila, lime, simple syrup, red wine, luxardo cherry and orange peel.
  • Oaxaca Wipeout, made with mezcal, pineapple juice, absinthe, cinnamon habanero syrup and lime.
When customers walk into a Taco Flats location they’ll find a bar in the middle of the restaurant, hand-crafted furniture and cool lampshades, Madera said. Each location offers something different, from Clarksville’s outdoor patio cafe in old West Austin to Lakeway’s long communal tables.

“Everything we do is curated and thoughtful,” Madera said.

Ready for fresh flavors and traditional-style Mexican tacos? Plan your visit to Taco Flats today. For more information about Taco Flats locations and menus, visit the website.

The above story was produced by Senior Multi Platform Journalist Summer El-Shahawy with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of its "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.