Austin Signs | Taco Restaurant Signs

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Torchy's Taco illuminated pylon sign

Austin is known for many things, but one of my favorites is the breakfast taco.  The word breakfast taco is a bit of a misnomer.  Really breakfast tacos are smaller versions of burritos since most are made with soft tortillas.  The key ingredients to a great breakfast taco are fresh salsa, crispy bacon and fresh tortillas; already I am beginning to salivate.  Due to the popularity of breakfast tacos, the competition is fierce.   Here are a couple of my favorites along with their respective signs.  I have ranked the signs starting with the best.

Torchy’s has my favorite sign.  The sign is made up of aluminum faces with printed vinyl graphics.  Exposed neon is added to the sign for night illumination.  Torchy’s also has a unique logo, I believe it is a baby devil.  Torchy’s has a unique sign and great breakfast tacos.  My favorite is the Monk Special.

Maria's Taco Express Restaurant Sign

Maria’s Taco Express is a local legend.  Not only are their breakfast tacos legendary, but their sign is as well.  When trying to give directions to Maria’s the default answer seems to be drive down Lamar until you see a giant woman with open arms.  Maria’s uses a wow factor for their sign, it is iconic and effective.  Their breakfast tacos are fresh and tasty.

Guero’s Taco Bar Illuminated Restaurant Sign

Guero’s is an Austin institution and probably Austin’s most famous taco bar.  Guero’s has also been a popular venue for shooting movies as well.  Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino both have shot movie scenes are Guero’s.    Their sign is a simple aluminum faced sign with exposed neon.  As you can see exposed neon is a theme.

restaurant banner sign

Nueva Onda has by far the least effective sign.  Currently they have a simple banner and that is about it.  Unless you know where this restaurant is you will never be able to find it (perhaps this is what they want).  That being said, they also have the best breakfast tacos.  Not only do they have breakfast tacos, but my favorite a breakfast gorditas.  The breakfast gordita consists of a corn meal shell stuffed with your breakfast taco ingredients and then fried.  While it is not healthy, it is very tasty.

While the themes are similar the signs are not.  When you have a lot of competition it is smart to use signage differentiate yourself.   Effective signs attract more customers and make it easy for your customers to find you and come back.

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