How many words can there be for true love? While the Midwest may carry the crown for cheese, it is Austin, Texas that carries the torch for best queso in the land. Whether you eat it with tortilla chips or poured over everything, you can never go wrong with this delicious dish. Now open up and say cheese for some of the best queso in Austin.
Photo Credit: Torchy's Tacos Facebook
Torchy’s stays open-minded when it comes to their taco-of-the-month specials; everything from teriyaki BBQ pulled pork to fried turkey mole to crispy waffles have found a home wrapped up in a tortilla or two. But, their tried-and-true queso, topped with guacamole, cilantro, cojita cheese, and their signature Diablo hot sauce, is as ever-present as it is delicious. Try it with their homemade chips, or ask for it on a taco of your choice to make it “trashy!"
Photo Credit: Kerbey Lane Cafe
If the moon is indeed made of cheese, then aliens across our beloved planetary satellite would have had plenty of reason to rejoice after discovering the secret Kerbey Lane queso recipe among the spacecraft wreckage of a failed lunar landing. Luckily for Austinites, the proprietors of the local restaurant staple kept a copy of the famous fromage formula this side of the planet’s atmosphere, which means that Earthlings everywhere can still enjoy helpings of delicious Kerbey Queso 24 hours a day (and 655.72 hrs/day once KLC opens their long-anticipated dark side location).
Like moths to a neon-lit sign apologizing for being open, people flock from all corners of Austin at 7 am, 7 pm, and the hours before, after, and in-between for a taste of Mag Queso. In its original form, it comes with the simple, yet satisfying, additions of avocado and pico de gallo, though plenty of chip-dippers opt for the “Mag Mud,” which builds upon the original dish by adding a sizable portion of black beans to the mix.
1025 Barton Springs Rd
El Alma doesn’t serve appetizers — they dish up “antojitos” (which translates to little cravings). And, once you finish an order of their queso fundido, you’ll develop a true “antojo” for it in the future. Topped with melted jack cheese and served with flour tortillas, and with an option to add chorizo, shrimp, or “rajas” veggies, this is an authentic skillet queso that is not to be missed.
Photo via Facebook
6406 N Interstate Hwy 35
Vivo stands out among other Tex-Mex spots around town for its wealth of vegetarian options. Before you dig into a plate of their excellent enchiladas, tacos, or chalupas, though, you’ll need to consider ordering a bowl of their addictive queso. They also have on offer their appetizer combination plate (“El Trio”) that will give you a taste of their guacamole, spicy bean dip, and queso all in one go. Try them separately, or order a large bowl on the side and mix the three together!
photo via yelp by micayla p.
Cheese. Black Beans. Guacamole. Chorizo. Pico de Gallo. Queso Fresco. Salsa Bruja. Fresa’s “Totally Loaded” queso is appropriately named. A bounty of ingredients, yet balanced in flavor, spice, texture, and (once you add tortilla chips to the equation) it includes all of the major food groups. A queso that your parents would approve of. Go ahead and make them proud!
photo via yelp by sara l.
El Chilito has grown to become an Austin favorite for their diverse selection of excellent tacos. Their queso, however, doesn’t get nearly as much love as it should; the combination of white cheese with roasted vegetables and chorizo or beef picadillo makes for an excellent snack while you wait on a fresh al pastor or migas taco with a watermelon agua fresca in hand.
Photo Credit: Curra's Grill Facebook
614 E. Oltorf St.
Most restaurants want to keep their recipes secret. Concealing that single special ingredient can make the difference between long lines at the order counter and long lines at the grocery checkout as customers clamor to recreate their favorite dishes at home. Curra’s, however, bares for all to see the special element that keeps them serving bowls upon bowls of “Kelly’s Queso.” Mixed in among the black beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole is a hearty portion of Land O’Lakes extra melt cheese sauce, which makes this queso recipe one of the creamiest and most appetizing around.
Photo Credit: Chuy's Facebook
In all likelihood, you’ve had Chuy’s queso. If not, you’ve at least eaten at Chuy’s and seen someone else having queso. If you’ve somehow managed to never find yourself sat in a booth surrounded by colorful marine decor, shining hubcaps, and the King, we're not sure what you’ve been doing up to this point in your life. That said, if you are one of the unfortunate few who fall into that last category, do yourself a favor and search for the Chuy’s location nearest to you, drive/bike/walk/run there, sit down, order their queso compuesto, drizzle their creamy jalapeño dip on top, and ponder your new and improved reality.
Photo Credit: Polvo's Facebook
People come to Polvo’s for the salsa bar and frozen margaritas, but find themselves staying for… well, more margaritas. But! Along the way, they discover the added bonus of helping after helping of Polvo’s queso, which, by serving fixins such as guacamole, peppers, beans, and more on the side, allows for a unique, customizable queso experience.
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