Now Open: Torchy’s in Rice Village

As of late last week, Torchy’s Tacos is open, having built out and taken up this corner suite formerly occupied by Gugliani’s at 2400 Times Blvd. in Rice Village. This is the Austin chain’s 3rd location inside the Loop: There’s one on South Shepherd Dr. half a block from the Arby’s that’s becoming a Dunkin’ Donuts and another under construction in the former Harold’s in the Heights building at the corner of Ashland and 19th St.


Photos: Allyn West

23 Comment

  • Can someone pelase explain why this admittedly decent taco faire is so popular? The tacos can be bested by many other establishments around town, so what is the draw exactly? Strong drinks? Cool atmosphere? I don’t see it but I sure am curious as to why folks go here after the first visit.

  • Anybody got the scoop on why they painted over the big red “DAMN GOOD” sign?

  • I happen to love their fried avocado tacos and their queso. Fun atmosphere too. We’ve already had this discussion on this website in an earlier posting.

  • @Mother Hydra – This is expensive “Mexican” food for white people. Lots of sour cream and flour tortillas.

  • Nice home I would never buy a house that faces West Bellfort. Now I would buy a home east of South Post Oak to rr tracks a lot less traffic in this 1/2 to 3/4 mile stretch

  • The queso is good. The tacos not so much. Just like the Breakfast Club…. overrated.

  • The main reason Torchy’s is popular is because it originated in Austin and UT grads flock there to relive their glory days. The Dirty Sanchez is one of the best breakfast tacos in town. The rest of the menu is creative and pretty tasty for what it is (white guy variations on tacos). It is also counter service and fast. I would prefer Laredo Taqueria any day of the week, but the line gets so long there that Torchy’s is a better bet with a squirmy little kid in tow. Can’t wait for the Heights store to open.

  • I thought the Heights location was going to be the second location to open. Was there some delay in the construction or was this a bigger rehab than the others?

  • Agreed with above, Laredo is great and far and away more authentic. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with torchys, great tacos, good queso and chips, and real sugar ie Dublin Dr. Pepper makes me happy. Yeah expect beard-o hipsters and absolute hades trying to park your car, and their taste in music is awful (metal/cock rock) — but the food for what it’s worth is quite good probably better if you go on off hours.

  • Matter of discussion:
    Is Houston the best breakfast taco major city in all of Texas?
    My opinion is yes. While San Antonio is the padre of the practice, I find their choices limiting and basic when I go. Chorizo and egg, potato and egg, etc.
    Austin’s b.taco scene is more varied but lacks any real authentic nature. The Don Juan is great and all, but not necessarily authentic. College!
    Dallas doesn’t do breakfast tacos. Too ethnic for their tastes. Major league brunch, though. Bread winners FTW.
    Houston has a great balance of basic, varied, and authentic b.tacos. Plus, getting beans (and even rice sometimes!) on any choice of b/tacos seems to be more exclusively a Houston thing. I love that.

  • Is there a good taco place in midtown?

  • Mmm… Bread Winners. Great concept, great waldorph wrap.

  • Just what fat a$$ Houston needs, another Taco Stand…seriously?!!!

  • Best taco place in town is in a “roach coach” next to W. Alabama ice house.

  • Rex – try Tacos-a-GoGo on Main St. by the Continental Club. Also agree with the comment on Breakfast Klub, could never see the big deal – average food, slow service.

  • I agree with most, Torchy’s is pretty terrible. But they do well, because there are so many ex longhorns here. It’s a shame that the get so much hype, with so little substance. I don’t think they would be missed at all, if they packed up and moved back to Austin. Good riddance.

  • Like anything else it’s a subjective matter (as well as the words “overrated”, “underrated”, “hype”, etc). I’m not sure how explaining will change your opinion if you don’t like it. I like Torchy’s tacos and I like more authentic tacos. They’re not mutually exclusive in my book and there’s plenty of room for various Mexican cuisines (Mexican isn’t just one type of food despite what many seem to think), Tex-Mex and fusion or whatever you want to label Torchy’s.

    If you don’t like ’em don’t go there. Nothing in life is one-size-fits-all.

  • Torchy’s is not popular because it allows UT grads to “relive their college days,” unless you’re just talking about really young people. The first one only opened in 2007 or thereabouts.

  • @heyzeus: I am talking about really young people. The trailer opened in 2006 and two brick and motor locations up around UT and 6th street (6th street eventually closed). Both are hugely popular with UT students. Go to the Shep location at 10:30 am on a Saturday and you will see what I am talking about.

  • Midtown, not really — but you could always get a killer bahn mi?

  • Exactly! I attended UT in the 90’s and it was all about Chuy’s and Texadelphia, I’ve never heard of this glorified Taco Stand–Anybody for a stomach pump

  • Meh, I’m down with authentic and love walking down to Tacos a Go Go. I also love torchys. I love La Mex, Berry Hill, Melagro, and several others all over the ‘authentic’ spectrum. The only mex place I really don’t like around here is El Real but that might have to do with their served-warm salsa (eew!) or their margs (honestly they have the only margs in town I don’t like)
    I don’t think people that don’t like Torchys think the food is bad. My feeling is people don’t like it because others do. It becomes too “hip” or something. It’s and odd way to go about viewing places (IMO).
    If the food is good, or you like the atmosphere, then right on. And if it’s not for you — lots of other options. For example, just because I don’t like El Real, it doesn’t puzzle me why others do. I can see the attraction — its just not for me.

  • Okay, I know I already said this somewhere else but the whole idea that something is better because it’s more authentic is ridiculous. Like one place over another for the flavor, service, atmosphere, nostalgia or whatever but when someone says one place is “better” than another because it’s more authentic I say “So is amoebic dysentery, what’s your point”?