At the Table

A Look at Texas’ Breakfast Taco Tradition

By: The Local Palate

The most important taco of the day.

Eggs and cheese folded into a tortilla may not sound controversial, but the humble breakfast taco unleashed a vitriolic food feud between Austin and San Antonio. An ill-fated 2016 Eater article claimed Austin as the birthplace of the culinary mash-up, prompting a cutthroat response from San Antonians and sparking an all-out taco war. Regardless of which claim is more legit, one thing’s for certain: The concept came about by way of Mexican immigrants in the early- to mid-nineteenth century, who fused the foods familiar to them with the ingredients available in their new home. They were the foodstuffs of laborers, whose lifestyle demanded portable meals with cheap ingredients—much like tamales in the Delta. But unlike other Tex-Mex dishes (nachos, fajitas), breakfast tacos are relatively new on the mainstream scene, with their rising popularity only a few decades in the making.

Texans, though, are obsessed with breakfast tacos, with restaurant menus across the state wrapping eggs in tortillas with everything from chorizo to regional specialties like smoked brisket, nopales, and wild game meats—the latter being a specialty of Dai Due Taqueria, a local-focused taco spot in Austin’s Fareground food hall. Chef-owner Jesse Griffith ran supper clubs and classes on hunting and butchering before opening Dai Due’s first brick-and-mortar, a butcher shop-restaurant combo. Griffith likes to be diplomatic when it comes to the Austin-San Antonio taco rivalry. “San Antonio is no slouch; their taco culture is amazing. I’ve taken taco vacations to San Antonio,” he says. “They have a very distinct style, but Austin has its own, slightly different style.” The taqueria’s most popular offering: the migas taco, a play on another popular Tex-Mex way to start the day, which combines crumbled tortilla chips with eggs and pico de gallo ingredients.


Migas Breakfast Tacos

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