I kept hearing people talking about Austin’s “Hippie Church” and imagined some sort of New Age gathering. I had no idea breakfast tacos were involved, and I couldn’t have been more wrong about the vibe. Ten minutes on a Sunday morning at Maria’s Taco Express and I discovered exactly what they meant.
The music? A mixture of amazing blues and gospel, with a classic rock edge. The people? Lots of people who were probably around when “hippies” were something new and controversial. The food? Big servings of classic homemade Tex-Mex served on a mixture of plastic and wood picnic tables.
And the setting? Pure Austin unique. Part dive bar feel, part old west/old Mexico theme (don’t miss the old “village” down the outside wall!), part someone’s backyard patio.
There’s no table service at Maria’s and the line to order is long, but please don’t let that keep you away. You’d miss the chance to dance to blues with some of Austin’s most unique residents. You’d miss some truly amazing tacos, chicken stew and other Maria’s favorites. And you’d miss sitting in a plastic patio chair and listening to some of the very best gospel and blues for no cost beyond your breakfast. (Of course, the tip jar beckons, so do contribute generously!)
Space downstairs near the live music is limited, so get there early (the music starts at noon) or be prepared to share a table with some of the other friendly diners (we have, and it’s fun!). There’s more seating upstairs (super hot in summer!) and indoors.
Maria’s is open all week, but so far it’s the Sunday Hippie Church that’s drawn us in again and again. Once we finally do check it out on another day, I’ll update this review.
Pets are welcome on the patio, although it’s crowded so make sure they’re very well-behaved! Prices are low, so this a great place to go with little kids — there’s lots to choose from without breaking mom and dad’s budget.