One of Austin’s best taco trucks is set to open a new brick-and-mortar. Co-owner Miguel Cobos tells CultureMap that Vaquero Taquero have nearly completed renovating the former home of North University’s Go Go Gourmet at 104 E. 31st St., and should be open by November.
The new eatery marks the pinnacle of two years of rapid growth for the taquería. Cobos and his brother Daniel began operating in 2016 from a tiny converted paleta cart parked outside of downtown's Mexic-Arte Museum. In 2017, they opened a food truck at 4301 Duval St. and quickly became a Hyde Park neighborhood favorite.
Cobos says Vaquero Taquero is “here to preserve the culture of the border.” Born to Mexican immigrants and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, the brothers use traditional cooking methods for their tacos. The al pastor is made on a trompo (vertical rotisserie) and the carne asado is grilled on a charcoal asador.
Vaquero also makes both its corn and flour tortillas by hand — a rarity in Austin despite its high concentration of taco joints.
The new storefront will keep the same minimal menu as the truck. In addition to the carne asada and al pastor, the restaurant will offer nopales and marinated tinga de pollo in tacos and quesadillas. Breakfast tacos like machacado (shredded dry beef) with eggs, black beans, and queso fresco will also be available.
Cobos says the new location will have a couple of exclusive items. The brothers plan to make barbacoa on Sundays and will have raspas for dessert.
If all goes according to plan, Cobos says Vaquero Taquero will be ready to welcome its first guests by early November. “Ojalá,” he hedges, meaning roughly “fingers crossed.”