In 1999, even in Austin, street tacos weren't yet trendy. But for Mexico City native Roberto Espinosa, they were a passion. He found a 700-square-foot spot that business partner Eric Wilkerson now says "to find it, you really have to be looking," and began serving up tacos with a difference. The flavors were largely descended from recipes he learned from his Yucatecan colleagues during his time cooking in Cancun at a hotel that did everything in-house, from butchery to bakery. 

The menu has grown significantly since then, and so has Tacodeli itself. The original location on Spyglass Street in Austin still stands, but when the first Houston Tacodeli opens today, it will be the seventh in the chain. 

Just don't make dinner plans. Tacodeli is open from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Why? Espinosa and Wilkerson say they're committed to their staff having an excellent quality of life. It also allows the owners to have dinner anywhere they please when they travel from restaurant to restaurant, informing new taco creations. And we're all for taco creativity, especially when those tacos are prepared with ethical meats and mostly local and organic vegetables.

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Tacodeli

$ Mexican/Tex-Mex 1902 Washington Ave.

Austin's famed taco shop specializes in Mexican flavors made using Texas products. Meats are ethically raised, while veggies are mostly local and organic, in...

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