While Texas itself is heavily steeped in hispanic culture, the city of Austin is a particularly interesting cross-section of cultures and heritages – which is arguably what makes this city so fantastic! Whether it’s regal monuments or vibrant murals, Austin’s hispanic influences can be seen, heard, tasted and felt on every corner. And Hispanic Heritage Month is one of the best times of the year to stop, look around and appreciate all the unique latino nuances that shape Austin’s identity and make it a truly singular city. So from Tex-Mex to Tejano tributes, here are 6 fun ways you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Austin.
Load Up on Breakfast Tacos
We all have a late-night or early-morning hankering for cheesy, potato-y breakfast tacos now and again – some people more often than others. And, lucky for us, these handheld snacks can be found just about everywhere in a plethora of forms! But it turns out the original breakfast taco hails from Austin! That’s right…Austin reigns supreme as the OG breakfast taco spot. In a way – a very delicious way, breakfast tacos represent the ideal blend of Mexican and other cultures. A taco can be stuffed with anything from BBQ to beans to bulgogi, making it one of the most versatile and uniquely Austin foods out there! So what better way to honor Austin’s hispanic heritage than to sample the best breakfast tacos that this city has to offer! Build your own breakfast behemoth at Tacodeli, try the handmade tortillas at Veracruz All Natural, marvel at the Machacado masterpiece at Mi Madre’s or keep it simple with a massive breakfast taco from TacoJoint.
Visit the Mexic-Arte Museum
The Mexic-Arte Museum is known for its stunning Latino-based art exhibits and art shows all year round, and Hispanic Heritage Month is no exception. A Taste of Mexico is a yearly event at Mexic-Arte Museum that brings local Latinx vendors together for their Changarrito Program. Derived from the Mexican slang term for “small store”, the Changarrito Program gives local artists a chance to showcase and sell their work. So if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece to add to your collection, be sure to check out Mexic-Arte’s pop-up Changarreados. This Mexican-influenced art gallery is also a great place to learn more about Texas’s rich hispanic heritage through colorful artwork and storytelling.
Take a Stroll on the Tejano Walking Trails
Popular for its deep hispanic roots and Latinx culture, Austin’s east side is brimming with breathtaking art, historic landmarks and spectacular local cuisine. Street names, shops, sites…all paying homage to the city’s hispanic heritage. But if you want the real inside look at Austin’s hispanic history, head to the Tejano Walking Trail located in East Cesar Chavez. This 4.9 mile historic trail boasts over 20 landmarks and sites ranging from the post-Civil War expansion to the Cesar Chavez statue. The slightly longer 5.9 mile Trail of Tejano Music Legends also makes for a very interesting drive or bike tour. Along the way you can stop and grab a bite at Cenote, Flat Track Coffee, Oyseyo, Eastside Tavern, Capital City Bakery, Juniper or Launderette. Or enjoy an adult beverage at High Noon or Drinks tavern. The trail can be completed on foot in about 2 1/2 hours, but you’ll need more time than that to truly soak in all the fantastic sips, snacks and sights that east Austin has to offer!
Check Out the Tejano Monument
Texas’s legendary state Capitol is a must-see for anyone new to Austin. But what few people know is that this historic landmark is also home to the Tejano Monument, one of the largest monuments on the Capitol grounds. This majestic monument includes a twenty foot granite base with ten statues depicting the original Tejanos (Spanish and Mexican settlers in Texas) and five bronze-relief plaques. The scene is comprised of a vaquero atop a mustang, a mother and father ranchero with their infant and longhorns. And the grounds surrounding the Tejano Monument are also carefully landscaped to feature south Texas’s most beautiful indigenous flora and fauna, so visitors can get a glimpse at Tejano ranch life in its original form.
Browse the Latin America Market
While you don’t have to look far to find decent mercados or tiendas in Austin, Hispanic Heritage Month does present a unique opportunity for local shoppers and farmer’s market fans to snag artisanal goods and hand-crafted treats. From mid-September to mid-October, keep an eye out for pop-ups and markets around the city that host some of Austin’s most unique Latinx entrepreneurs. One noteworthy event in particular is the Latin America Market in north Austin/Round Rock. Here you can find everything from homemade tamales and tortas to handmade art and kitsch. Whatever chicano curiosity or craft you’re craving, the Latin America Market is sure to have just what you’re looking for this Hispanic Heritage Month!
Sip on Custom Cocktails at La Condesa
To top off the perfect Hispanic heritage tribute tour, head to La Condesa for dinner and a nightcap. This contemporary cantina offers a modern take on traditional latin fare, serving up ceviche, short rib and shishitos with a twist. On the menu you’ll find decadent dishes like Tamal Veracruzano, Huarache de Barbacoa and Queso Flameado. The signature cocktail list at La Condesa is definitely worth a try, with handcraft drinks like the refreshing Watermelon Martini, La Condesa Margarita and the Matador with Silver tequila and Espadín mezcal. And during the month of October you can craft your own custom cocktail to enjoy all the unforgettable flavors of Austin!