Taco Circus: A Colorful, Spunky Taquería

 In Food, Guide

Taco Circus, the Austin-style Tex-Mex restaurant, first opened in 2015 in a quiet corner of St. Louis’ Bevo Mill neighborhood. Along with offering plenty of cacti and vintage decorations, owner Christian Ethridge nailed the tacos and burritos—creating a large fan base for the restaurant’s fare.

In 2019, the colorful eatery moved to a new, larger location on the border between Southwest Garden and The Hill and expanded both the food and beverage menus. 

The restaurant makes its own flour and corn tortillas, an essential step for true Austin-style tacos. Ethridge works with kitchen manager Cesar Correa—who’s had a hand in other beloved local restaurants like Frazer’s and Atomic Cowboy—to execute a menu that combines regional Mexican classics with Americanized Mexican comfort food. The original burnt tomato, tomatillo cream, salsa verde salsas have carried over with the addition of a salsa matcha. Favorites like the Pork Steak Carnitas and Nachos Supreme remain on the new menu, but guests can now order combination plates, eight-inch chimichangas and the Mexican Flag Burrito, made colorful with salsa verde, queso blanco and salsa ranchero. The breakfast tacos come with scrambled eggs, cheese, potatoes and a variety of filling options ranging from bacon to chorizo to migas to vegan picadillo.

Below the appetizer section (which includes the seven-layer bean dip, street corn and the shareable Hat Dance sampler platter) and past the nachos and fajitas and plates comes the à la carte section. Guests can order a variety of Mission-style (fully loaded) burritos, breakfast tacos and $3 classic street tacos served with lettuce, tomato, cilantro and onion. And right under those are the $5 Kingshighway tacos, with kitschy names from the Willie Nelson (with grilled skirt steak, pico de gallo and sour cream) to the Tower Grove (with chicken thigh al carbon, rice and pico de gallo). 

The new beverage menu offers pitchers of fresh margaritas as well as the Purple Margarita—noted as the “world’s strongest margarita” and limited to two per person—made with over-proof tequila and Plantation OFTD (old-fashioned traditional dark) rum. Diners can also choose from the extensive beer list or opt for Taco Circus’ own horchata, a traditional Mexican drink made with sweet rice and oat milk, Mexican vanilla and cinnamon. 

In warmer months, guests line the benches on the sun-drenched outdoor patio. Inside, the walls, menu and decor are bright and funky, matching the taquería’s name, with art that pays homage to the Southwest.

4940 Southwest Ave.

Featured image courtesy of Amy De La Hunt.

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