I love tots a tot. In college, I’ve had many meals of just tots and mustard. It’s a mystery to me why I waited this long to go on an Austin tot tour. But I did it. I researched and crowdsourced, and am happy to present to you my list of best 12 restaurants that pay great tribute to the humble potato nugget. There are food trucks, sit-down restaurants, and sports bars in this tot guide. My hope is that there’s a tot out there for everyone!
1. Be More Pacific’s Longanisa Tots
Locations vary, check social media for daily schedule
The Longanisa (lon-ga-NEE-sa) Tots from Filipino food truck, Be More Pacific was my most unique experience during my tot tour of Austin. Longansia is Filipino pork sausage. According to Be More Pacific’s website, it’s the national sausage of the Philippines. Their Longansia Tots are crispy tater tots topped with melted cheese, crumbled garlicky sweet longanisa pork sausage, and spicy plantain sauce garnished with green onion. The plantain sauce is often called banana sauce. My Filipino bestie has told me about banana sauce but I had yet to experience it until these tots! It tastes like a sweetened ketchup sauce. Tot Tip: Experience the rest of their menu! I recommend their pancit if you love noodles!
2. Luke’s Inside Out’s Tater Tot Hash
1109 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
A long side some of Luke’s Inside Out’s delicious brunch entrées you can get a side of his Tater Tot Hash. I’m so happy his tater tot hash led me to his trailer and brunch offerings! I have my eye on his Szechuan Chicken and Waffles with Brie for my next visit. Tot Tip: Tots are only available during brunch and brunch is only on Sundays!
3. Eastside Tavern’s Brisket and Cheddar Tots
1510 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
I was tipped off about the brisket cheddar tater tots at East Side Tavern and envisioned tots that are topped with cheese and brisket. To my pleasant surprise, these hand formed tots are actually stuffed with cheddar and brisket! Talk about next level tots! They are served with a chipotle aioli.
4. Brass Tap’s Beer Cheese Tots
10910 Domain Dr #120, Austin, TX 78758
Can you go wrong with a jalapeño beer cheese? I don’t think so. These handmade tots is sprinkled with crispy bacon and then indulgently smothered with jalapeño beer cheese.
5. Juniper’s Elegant Potato Puffs
2400 E Cesar Chavez St #304, Austin, TX 78702
I’m so glad Juniper’s brunch menu isn’t readily available as takeout or every Friday and Saturday night, you’d find me on my couch with 3 orders of their Potato Puffs in my lap as I binge something on Netflix (currently Orange is the New Black)! My long love affair with tater tots definitely plays towards my down home and comfortable palate. That said, I can appreciate a sophisticated spin on this classic comfort snack, and these “potato puffs” are an elegant and velvety whipped version of my down-to-earth favorite.
6. Kung Fu Saloon’s Kimchi Tots
We’ve all enjoyed kimchi fries, but have you had kimchi tots? Kung Fu Saloon does brunch now and on their menu is kimchi tots! It was after trying their kimchi tots that I decided to officially embark on a tot tour. Their tot dish has scrambled eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, Korean ribeye, smoky queso, and kimchi.
7. Austin Taco Project Poutine Tater Tots
500 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78701
Austin Taco Project in the Downtown Hilton Hotel has a poutine tot appetizer! It features ribeye cap barbacoa, tater tots, fried cheese curd, poblano gravy, and a sunny side up egg. Now you don’t have to decide between Taco Tuesday and Tater Tot Tuesday. They can peacefully coexist! Tot Tip: They open for dinner starting at 4 pm!
8. Velvet Taco’s Tater Tots
11501 Rock Rose Suite 160, Austin, TX 78758
Speaking of tacos and tots coexisitng, another happy place for both tots and tacos, is Velvet Taco. A few years ago I was in Dallas for a weekend and standing in line at Velvet Taco. I said something to my friends about wanting to try their tater tots and the man in front of me turns around and his eyes bugged out and insisted that they’re amazing. People who light up over tater tots are basically my kindred spirits. Hat tip to Patrick from Velvet Taco line. Lucky for us in Austin, Velvet Taco opened up recently in the Domain in Austin! Their specialty are fun tacos inspired by cuisines around the world, and their tots are spot on. They’re topped with goat cheese, smoked cheddar-basil crema, bacon crumbles and a fried egg. I mean, come on.
9. Posse East’s Queso Chili Tots
2900 Duval Street, Austin, TX 78705
The Posse East is a divey classic on the Univeristy of Texas campus. There’s something about eating greasy and gooey queso chili tots in a campus dive. Get a pitcher of beer, order a few orders of the queso chilli tots, and enjoy the patio! Tot Tip: You can grab jalapeños from their condiment corner.
10. Plucker’s Totchos
Speaking of campus eats, I hadn’t been to Plucker’s in over ten years when I was a student at UT. In the course of this tot tour, I’ve gone twice in a week and ordered their totchos twice. Chicken, barbecue sauce, cheese, on tots! I’m going to be bold and say it. Totchos are way better than nachos! Tot Tip: They have a ridiculous Bloody Mary.
11. PS35’s Pizza Tots
1500 N Interstate Hwy 35, Round Rock, TX 78681
Two childhood comforts smashed into one awesome hybrid, the Pizza Tots at newly opened PS35 literally got me to put on clothes. I was at home determined to stay in my pajamas when my friend Michelle invited me try the new pizza joint PS35. I politely declined and all she had to say was “but they have tots!” Tot Tip: The pizza tots are entrée size but the parmesan truffle oil tots are also delectable and less of a commitment!
12. Melted’s Tots for a Good Cause
Locations vary, check their website
Though Melted’s Sweet Potato Tots and Truffle Aioli are the simplest tots in this round-up, they’re pretty addictive. They also contribute to a great cause as 100 percent of the profits from Melted Truck goes to benefit International Justice Mission.
And there you have it. My tot round-up. Did I miss any of your favorites?
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