Queso is not exclusive to Texas, but we like to say we have our own brand of Mexican food in Texas. We call it TexMex. It’s a unique blend of Mexican seasonings and local staples. In Austin, we have our own blend that make our TexMex Queso particularly flavorful. The number one ingredient (aside from cheese)? Peppers.
We like our peppers hot and full of zest. Go to any restaurant worth mentioning, and you’ll have an option of chips and queso as your appetizer or main dish. While all are good, the one thing they have in common is their heat. A good queso provides heat that bounces off the tongue and down the throat. The best ones allow the cheese to coat the mouth, thus turning down the immediate burn, but turns up the heat after a good swallow of tequila or Margarita.
One of the best queso’s available to Austinite’s is at Torchy’s Tacos. Their queso is hot and the chips are crisp. Get the large. You’ll eat it all.
Alamo Draft House also offers an exceptionally good queso. Order it before the movie starts. It’s so good, you’ll eat it quickly, so you’ll want to lean over the table to preserve your good jeans.
Kirby Lane Cafe also offers a good queso. If you’re a vegan or just don’t want any cheese today, they have a good vegan queso. I, too, sometimes want to stay away from a lot of cheese, and their vegan queso provides a good substitute. It does not replace the goodness of real queso, but it is good.
I can’t list all the places that offer good queso here. All I can do is offer the ones I’m most familiar with. It’s safe to say I have yet come across a bad queso in Austin. Outside of Austin, yes. I’ve had bad queso. Spicy queso is just another reason to visit Austin.