Austin’s busy taco bar continues to expand with 2 new locations

Taco Flats isn’t a place, it’s a state of mind. Here’s proof: On July 25, Austin’s taco purveyors announced plans for two new locations, after buying Riata Bar and Grill in northwest Austin and Castro’s Bar & BBQ in Lakeway.

The Northwest Austin site will open first on August 5, followed by the Lakeway site in mid-September.

“This northwest section of the city has dense neighborhoods, tech, fintech and general office etc, making it a perfect neighborhood for our neighborhood bar concept,” said the founder and Taco Flats owner Simon Madera of the Riata site in a press release.

The Riata Bar and Grill, located at 183 off McNeil Drive, had been in the area since the early 2000s, one of many bars in the mall with pool tables and drop ceilings.

Madera continues, “I never thought Lakeway would be an option for future expansion, but the city’s rapid growth made the decision to go west possible. I feel like the families moving to Lakeway are getting younger, which is a clientele that over the past few years has embraced the Taco Flats brand.

Of course, Taco Flats will continue to serve tacos, 17 of which are advertised in a long online listing. The “original” combines a somewhat unusual choice of picadillo and American cheese, and even the most standard offerings come with upgraded ingredients; El Hippie is accompanied by homemade escabèche and the barbacoa is sprinkled with fried garlic.

The local chain is also expanding the brunch menu for weekends, and full bars in the two new locations will make spicy margaritas — and beer and wine on tap — a major part of daily operations. The Riata location expects to serve “routine” customers going about their daily lives where they live and work; at Lakeway, the restaurant will also entertain lake lovers and golfers.

More information about Taco Flats and links to order are available at

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement