Matt’s has been serving some of Austin’s best Mexican food since 1952. It’s rare to find a local restaurant still going strong after 60+ years… especially one that has been run by the same family. Matt Martinez was a golden glove boxer that got his start selling his wife Janie’s tamales from a pushcart in East Austin. They kept expanding the business until they settled into their current location on South Lamar in 1986.
I actually worked at Matt’s for about 2 months in college. Why only 2 months? I quickly learned that driving from my campus dormitory to South Austin during rush hour wasn’t the best plan (or being at the restaurant until 1 am on weekends). However, the thing I remember most about my time there was Matt’s insanely loyal customers. Rumor has it that the restaurant was President Johnson’s favorite place to eat and he would send Air Force 1 to Austin to fetch their famous Chili Relleno.