Piled high, packed with flavor and dripping with deliciousness, nachos make the perfect finger food for the Tex-Mex fanatic on the go. These mouthwatering mounds of meaty cheesiness can be found in endless varieties, from meat filled to vegetarian to fusion nachos. Which is what makes these treats the preferred salty snack for bars and restaurants all over Austin. Whether you like your nachos extra cheesy, extra meaty or just plain extra, here are some bodacious nachos platters in Austin that are larger than life and almost too good to be true!
Bocanachos @ BOCA
BOCA is a small taco truck parked outside the Container Bar on bustling Rainey St. this late night Spanish eatery knew exactly what they were doing when they started dishing out tasty tacos and Spanish sides on one of the most notorious bar streets in Austin. A belly full of hefty greasy street tacos is exactly what you’ll need after hours of dancing inside a maze of shipping containers. Of all the tantalizing temptations on BOCA’s menu, there’s one dish that hungry – mostly likely inebriated – patrons can’t stop gushing over: the behemoth Chicken and Bacon Bocanachos. These Spanish style nachos are stacked with grilled chicken, savory bacon, Spanish pico, rich Gouda cheese and cotija. They’re like your classic ballpark nachos but with a sophisticated Spanish update.
BBQ Nachos @ Slab BBQ
Known for their delicious smoked meats, Slab is an Austin original BBQ joint with two locations around the city. Mixing the various smoking techniques and flavor profiles of Memphis, Alabama, Texas and the Carolinas, the BBQ geniuses at Slab have created a whole new and totally amazing brand of Texas BBQ. Try one of Slab’s famous sandwiches like the Notorious P.I.G., the Tony Montana or the gargantuan TX Trill. Or chow down on one of their specialty items like St. Louis Style Pork Ribs and crispy Country Hash. But for a gut busting BBQ Tex Mex dish that mixes all the best tastes of Texas, try Slab’s sensational BBQ nachos, made with fresh tortilla chips, queso, flawlessly cooked BBQ and all the requisite nacho fixins.
Korean Nachos @ Austin Taco Project
Set inside the gorgeous Hilton downtown, Austin Taco Project is an elevated worldly fusion cuisine spot that excels at specialty tacos and inventive dishes. The eclectic menu offerings here range from North Pacific Poke and Poutine to Baja Tacos and craft beer. Every taco at Austin Taco Project is carefully crafted to turn the idea of the conventional taco on its head! The Oc-Thai-Pus has shaved Thai octopus and cashew green papaya salad, the Dubai Taco has spicy chicken tikka and green curry, and the Bulgogi Taco is packed with ribeye and kimchi. If you’re looking for a unique twist on the classic nacho, then try Austin Taco Project’s colorful Korean Nachos. This brilliant Asian-fusion amalgam is comprised of juicy Kalbi beef tongue, tangy kimchi cabbage and firecracker vinaigrette. Every bite is like a celebration of exotic flavors and explosive tastes in your mouth!
Chicken Nachitos @ Jack Allen’s Kitchen
Founded by esteemed chef Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen is an American grill that offers up a brilliant mish mash of cleverly crafted, Texas-sized dishes. This eclectic restaurant has an great selection of scrumptious southern and southwest sensations like Bacon-Wrapped Texas Quail, Crunchy CatfishnSlaw and Barbacoa Stackers. Jack Allen’s is also famous for their one-of-a-kind “Smashed” Guacamole, which has salty pumpkin seeds and Cotija cheese and homemade tortilla chips. But the appetizer on the menu that will leave you stuffed and satisfied before dinner even hits the table are the sizable Chicken Nachitos. This tremendous tower of crispy tortilla chips is layered with layered with slow-roasted chicken, refried black beans, melted American and Cotija cheese and pickled jalapeños. You might have to pack your delicious Jack Allen’s dinner to go after you’ve had your fill of this heavenly Tex Mex hors d’oeuvre.
Waffle Fry Nachos @ Jackalope
Settled right on e 6th Street, the Jackalope is a beloved Austin dive bar that serves up award winning elevated “junk food” and killer drink specials. This old school dive bar is like an homage to the dive bars of yore, with a huge padded bar, velvet paintings and dim lights. The exquisite cuisine at Jackalope has been featured in countless food and travel magazines, with their big burly burgers being the most famous. Get down to some great tunes while you work your way through the decadent Honey Jalapeño Bacon Cheeseburger, Black and Blue CheeseBurger or the barbacoa filled Chupacabra Burger. Or go all out and get the glorious Waffle Nachos, which the locals can’t get enough of. This cheese-packed platter is literally too big to be contained by any conventional plate. So instead, these finger-licking waffle fries are seasoned to perfection then spread across an entire tray and smothered in hot chili, cheddar, onions and fresh jalapeños. It’s definitely enough for two, but you probably won’t want to share a single bite!
El Duderino @ Lotus Joint
Hidden in a food truck across from Infinite Monkey Theorem, Lotus Joint is a unique Indian Fusion taco truck in south Austin. This exotic eatery is known for their creative take on the traditional taco and their incorporation of middle eastern flavors and spices in their dishes. Foodies have nothing but love for Lotus Joint’s bomb cilantro chutney, and the tacos are all unique and unbelievably good. If you like spiced meats, try the Dude with goat, poblano chutney, feta cheese and cucumber pico. Or if you’re looking for a yummy vegan option try the Walter with mushrooms, tomatillo chutney and jack cheese. But if you want a great way to whet your appetite first, order the epic El Duderino nacho plate. This vegetarian platter is the ideal blend of east and west, with el milagro chips, black bean masala, warm queso, cucumber jalapeño pico and sour cream.
Pancho’s Nachos @ Chuy’s
A beloved Austin institution since 1982, Chuy’s is a classic comfort food Tex Mex chain with several locations sprinkled around the city. Most people love Chuy’s because it’s inexpensive, easy and seriously good! Along with a slew of tempting “Texican” foods, Chuy’s also has a handful of saucy cocktails like the Texas Martini with jalapeño stuffed olives, Chuy’s Brew and Grandma’s Rockin Rita. Favorites from the food menu include the Chuychanga, Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken and Chuy’s famous “Big As Yo’ Face” burritos, which are stuffed inside a giant 12″ tortilla. But if you want the full Chuy’s experience, order a gigantic plate of their speciality Panchos Nachos. These bad boys are enough to feed a family, with chicken, beef or ground sirloin (or all three), freshly made tostada chips, refried beans, cheese and jalapeños.
BBQ Nachos at Savor de Moi
Savor de Moi is a quaint little food truck that serves Tex Mex with a slight twist. This clever cafe mixes BBQ, Cuban, Mexican and Texan influences to create a jaw dropping menu of goodies that includes cheesy quesadillas, smoked meat and tantalizing tacos wrapped in homemade tortillas. Menu favorites include the Steak Al Pastor taco and the original Moi: a delicious platter of hickory smoked sausage and beef fajita blended with secret spices and fresh peppers – Savor de Moi’s signature dish. But the fun doesn’t stop there. You can also order a formidable stack of bbq nachos, piled precariously high with spiced shredded turkey, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, sour cream and a generous helping of BBQ sauce drizzled on top. You can always get the vegetarian option. If you’re not a BBQ fan, but you’d really be missing out on this meaty, cheesy mountain of happiness.
Chicken Nachos @ Julio’s Cafe
Serving hungry Austinites since 1983, Julio’s is a casual brunch and dinner spot that offers Home style Mexican fare for dirt cheap. This unpretentious little cafe keeps it real with a cash-only menu that includes succulent selections like homemade Chicken and Vegetable Soup, Carne Guisada and Beef Quesadillas. You can also find decent happy hour specials here from 2PM-6PM that include $4.50 House Ritas and beer for $2.25. Local opinions on what tastes best vary from person to person, with some preferring the Huevos Mexicano breakfast and others voting for the Chicken Enchiladas. But the one superior dish that everybody seems to agree on is the Chicken Nachos plate, which is rarely finished in one sitting. This imposing platter comes with a more than generous serving of fresh tortilla chips, cheese, basically a whole bird’s worth of grilled chicken, guacamole jalapeños and salsa. Be warned, ordering this dish as an “appetizer” before dinner has never successfully been accomplished, as most who try this get stuffed halfway through the nachos!