© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The San Antonio-Austin #TXtacowar

David Martin Davies

It's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it--find out why breakfast tacos are the best here in our humble city of San Antonio. So I went to my go-to taco place: the original Blanco Cafe.

Right away I found mother-daughter duo Jo Mascorro and Hailey Saylor -- clearly taco connoisseurs -- who agreed that the Alamo City is the place for traditional breakfast treats.

"This is a regular pit stop, probably five or six times a week. I come in. I don't place an order, my food appears," Mascorro said with a smile.

"Taco is a Mexican dish," Saylor said. "Austin is not a Mexican name. San Antonio is a Mexican name. It's already said in the name to me."

And San Antonio is a Taco Town, but our colleagues at Austin's public radio station, KUT, seem to think the Capital City has the best breakfast taco on the block.

That tweet prompted a full-fledged (and good-spirited) Twitter war between KUT and TPR listeners and taco fans.

My friend at KUT, Nathan Bernier, talked with Taco Journalism writer Mando Rayo, who couldn't say the breakfast taco comes from Austin but does agree the Mexican roots are strong there too.

BERNIER: "So it's safe to say that Austin invented the breakfast taco?"

RAYO: "Well, you know, I don't know if it actually was invented here. Definitely there's a lot of roots. The whole Texas-Mexico melding of what is Tex-Mex, what is Tejano, is there."

Back at the Blanco Cafe, where homemade tortillas are perfect and mouths start watering when you mention fresh masa, the guys at Danny Martinez's table laughed at me when I asked the question: "Who has the best breakfast taco, San Antonio or Austin?"

Credit David Martin Davies
The best carrying case for tacos? Foil.

"For sure San Antonio!" Martinez exclaimed. "I mean, that's an easy question. Once you go up north, it's over."

In Martinez' estimation, you can't overlook tradition. Here, Martinez says, grandmothers and moms all over town have the competition beat hands down.

"At least for me, growing up here in San Antonio with my grandmother and mom and everybody else making tortillas and tacos, that's just something that you can't give up," he said.

And the taco I can't do without when I sit down to order? Potato and egg, every time.

Most on Twitter agreed that San Antonio and cities to the south are better for breakfast tacos, but Twitter user @YGBSM may have said it best to settle this bet:

And so I shall, right after I finish this taco.

Austin v. San Antonio: The Texas Twitter Taco War on Storify

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.