SXSW travel: The best tacos in Austin

Hordes of geeks, film snobs, and indie rock gods are migrating south to this year’s SXSW festival in search of one simple thing — the holy grail of TexMex culinary delight: the beloved taco.

Ex-Gadlinger and Weblogs, Inc. wonder boy Jonathon Morgan (he runs GreenDaily and StyleDash now) has called Austin home for the past few years, so I asked him to share the love and tell everyone where he goes for some warm taco goodness. Here are his top picks:

Jonathon says: “Average Tex-Mex, but absurdly popular hangout.”
Yelp rating: 3/5. Favorite review: “Seven words: Tamales covered in queso and Luke Wilson.”
Distance from the action: 1.3 miles. Get directions.

Jonathon says: “It’s a local chain, but the food is good.”
Yelp rating: 3.5/5. Favorite review: “If you love their ‘big as your face’ burritos but can not finish, order the mini burrito off the kids menu. They don’t care how old you are and it still come with rice and is plenty.”
Distance from the action: 1.8 miles. Get directions.

Juan in a Million
Jonathon says: “5 min drive east of downtown, with best name for taco place EVER.”
Yelp rating: 4/5. Favorite review: “You have not truly lived until Juan gives you a handshake. He winds back like a pitcher and SMACK, hits your hand perfect every time. If the Olympics hosted a handshake event, Juan would be a perennial gold medalist. Plus, he always refers to you as ‘my friend.'”
Distance from the action: 1.9 miles. Get directions.

Maria’s (Taco Xpress)
Jonathon says: “Great tacos, always packed, with a great big statue of Maria atop the entrance.”
Yelp rating: 4/5. Favorite review: “Maria grew a following because of her cheap and generous tacos and her great service. The place was borderline scary but so ‘keep Austin weird’ that it made Leslie look like George Clooney. (Nice pecs George, but no contest.)”
Distance from the action: 3.2 miles. Get directions.

Jonathon says: “A favorite amongst the hipster set. Good Tex-Mex with cool outdoor seating.”
Yelp raiting: 3.5/5. Favorite review: “Whoa! My gut hates me! The food is delectable and I just keep eating! It’s like the sensors in my stomach yelling at my brain controlling the fork-to-mouth motion are not working.”
Distance from the action: 1.9 miles. Get directions.

Is your favorite not listed? Let us know in the comments!