The breakfast taco is a Tex-Mex specialty that originated in Austin (some say San Antonio) probably in the 1970s. In both cities, it is firmly fixed in the breakfast firmament, and a recent trip to Central Texas suggested you could get one in nearly any coffee shop, gas station, or convenience store, usually consisting of a flour tortilla, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and, sometimes, bacon, sage sausage, or chorizo. It's a damn fine way to start your day.
SXSW attendees brought back to New York City a desire to eat breakfast tacos, but the restaurant industry here has been slow in responding. Sadly, breakfast tacos are few and far between in Gotham, and you have to behave like a ferret to find them. Here are my five current favorites in the city.
- Of the two offered at this makeshift warehouse space with a taco truck parked inside, this is the one I prefer, consisting of microfine Mexican skinless sausage fragments scrambled with eggs, thrown in a flour tortilla, and topped with avocado and chipotle salsa. 267 Elizabeth Street, 917-727-0179
- There's really only one breakfast taco available at Whirlybird, but it's a doozy, featuring a corn tortilla, scrambled eggs, rubbery Oaxacan cheese, a homemade tomato salsa, and-odd man out-crumbled jalapeno potato chips. You can add chorizo for an additional fee. 254 South 2nd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-208-8555
- Offered at a sleeper hipster taqueria with mixed drinks on a side street in Crown Heights, the migas taco is a cunning back-construction, made by depositing the Tex-Mex breakfast favorite of migas (eggs scrambled with tortilla chips) in a flour tortilla. Squirt on the orange hot sauce! 605 Prospect Place, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, 718-230-4941
- Scramble up some crisp potato cubes with eggs, cheese, beans, and onions, and, voila! You've got Downtown's masterpiece breakfast taco. And it's actually available at breakfast time.It's important to eat a good breakfast but not everyone has time before they head out the door which is why it's so handy to have these eateries that serve breakfast within easy reach of my office in NYC.