Everyone knows when you say “YES” to Mexican food, you’re all anticipating the same thing — the CHIPS AND SALSA.
That just-right hint of salt.
That delicious tomato-tortilla chip contrast.
That satisfying crunch.
In fact, that first bowl of chips can make or break your entire experience! And disappointment can make the entire thing go stale… quickly!
We’ve curated a list of reliable places to get a head start on that important part of the meal – chips and salsa.
Here are six places in Austin that are the real deal:
1. BOULDIN CREEK CAFE
Photo by Courtney G. on Yelp. Also shown with Vegan Ceviche.
Bouldin Creek makes everything from scratch, and many of its items are Vegan. All of them are full of natural, organic and pure ingredients. As far as healthy splurges go, you can feel the best about this one.
The Non-GMO Chips and House-Made Salsa make it so you know exactly what you’re eating. No hidden ingredients or preservatives leave plenty of room for pure FLAVOR.
And that’s exactly what every chunky tomato-filled bite will reveal, with a hint of spice.
Why we LOVE them: Free refills, anyone? For just $3.50, you can satisfy your craving until your stomach begs for a reprieve!
What customers have said: That the salsa is peppered and spiced to perfection in an addicting way.
2. VALENCIA’S TEX-MEX GARAGE
If you like smokey, chipotle style salsa with big bold flavor in every bite your tastebuds will go gaga at Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage!
The salsa is made fresh daily in-house and the sweet and smokey combo comes from our unique method of “charring” the tomatoes before blending them with chipotle peppers and green and red jalapeños.
Be ready for chips you can’t put down and a smokey kick of heat. Pair it with their wicked strong jumbo margarita’s and you have the perfect pre-meal treat!
Why we LOVE them: Their zesty blend of tomatoes, peppers and cilantro are made fresh EVERY day. You will always get that incredible just-made taste of freshly prepared ingredients and charred tomatoes.
What customers have said: That they found themselves eating their weight in chips and salsa and not regretting it for a second.
Photo from Chuy’s Yelp.
Chuy’s commitment to fresh ingredients and just-out-of-the-oven serving style make their chips and salsa combo a must-have.
You can expect hot chips fresh out of the fryer and a creamy jalapeño dip that will be completely different than what you expected, and in the best way!
Why WE love them: There’s something about the cilantro, jalapeño and smooth creamy taste combination that makes you want just one more bite… until it’s all gone!
What customers have said: That the creamy jalapeño dip turns formerly well behaved people with table manners into vultures. So get ready to EAT!
Chips at Tacodeli (Credit: Kaleb Fulgham via Flickr CC)
Tacodeli thrives on offering alternatives different than what you expect, and this includes things like letting you make your own tacos!
Your chips and salsa experience will likely be just as uniquely satisfying! The chips are 100% organic masa, an alternative often cited as healthier than corn.
With four different salsas in varying spiciness to try (Verde, Roja, Dona, Habanero), the Salsa Dona is a standout!
Why WE love them: The jalapeño and garlic combo of the Salsa Dona makes for a flavor profile far too tasty to ignore.
What customers have said: This stuff is so good you’ll be want to buy the next size up to get TWO bags of chips and a bigger salsa container… trust them!
5. MI MADRE’S
Photo from Mi Madre’s Yelp.
Often on “best-of” lists for its tacos, Mi Madre’s makes a whole host of freshly made food that’ll likely be loved by the entire family.
The chips and salsa are no different. You can expect delicious traditional corn tortilla chips and equally traditional salsa with the same spice and texture that likely made your mouth water in the first place.
Why WE love them: The chips come out nice and warm in a basket that you’ll likely suddenly find is empty. Don’t worry, just ask for a refill and start fresh!
What customers have said: Even the pickiest of eaters who grew up eating authentic homemade salsa found it to be the same spicy yet comforting flavor profile they were used to.
6. POLVO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT
Photo from Bed Stay Scrapper S. on Yelp
This list features some amazing places for chips and salsa! No matter where we go, though, there’s usually a choice to be made.
What if you really didn’t have to choose between a traditional salsa and maybe something a bit more spicy and even smoky? What if they were all available at the same place?
The salsa bar at Polvo’s offers just that, with three different sauces ranging from mild to HOT HOT HOT.
Why WE love them: Unexpected surprises, like the delicious pickled carrots (who knew!) add some unexpected flavors to the traditional chips and salsa combo that we found especially addicting!
What customers have said: They never knew that different salsas could mix together so well, or that pickled carrots (yep, we’re mentioning them again), could be so delicious!
WHICH RESTAURANT SERVES YOUR FAVORITE CHIPS & SALSA?
No matter which one you try (we recommend all six!), you’re sure to satisfy your chips and salsa craving, so our work here is done… until it’s guacamole time!
Are there any great chips and salsa restaurants we missed? Let us know in the comments and share why they are your favorite!