The delicious history of breakfast tacos

You know them, you love them, but where were our beloved breakfast tacos invented? The answer may confuse you.

A close up of a breakfast taco from Cenote.

Cenote’s breakfast tacos are so big, you might need to eat them with a fork.

Photo by @konarik305

Spoiler alert: Austinites love breakfast tacos. But where was the first breakfast taco served?

In short, no one really knows for sure.

Breakfast tacos — a staple meal to residents of Austin, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley, and Corpus Christi — are widely believed to have originated in Monterrey, Mexico in the early 1900s before spreading to Texas around ~1950.

Texas Monthly’s taco editor José Ralat doesn’t believe any Texas city can definitively claim to be the origin of the humble breakfast taco.

Here’s what we do know about Austin’s taco ties:

  • Austin Hot Sauce Contest founder Robb Walsh claims Austin coined the Anglo phrase “breakfast taco,” but did not create the dish itself.
  • Breakfast tacos are a source of competition between Austin and San Antonio, so in 2016, mayors of both cities held the Great Breakfast Taco War to break tortillas — er, bread.

One thing is for sure: breakfast tacos are for everyone to enjoy.

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