After my bike tour with Austin Eats Food Tours a few weeks ago, I’ve had a new appreciation for East Austin. One great gem I recently discovered is Papi Tino’s on East 6th. The atmosphere of a place is very important to me and Papi Tino’s absolutely delivers on this. The restaurant, which serves fresh Mexican cuisine, is located in this adorable old house that, if the walls could talk, I am certain would have some stories to tell. The rustic home still feels like a home, with its wooden walls stripped of many layers of paint and wallpaper, vintage fixtures in the bathroom and the space still divided into separate rooms – you almost feel as if the residents just stepped out for a moment and allowed you to stay a while, relax and make yourself at home. There is ample outdoor seating in the front yard underneath beautiful shade trees and seating in the backyard as well.
Along with the great atmosphere also comes great food. The menu is simple and elegant, not the typical East Austin Mexican dive (which can be great as well, by the way). My husband and I had the guacamole to start, which was fresh and delicious. For the main course, I ordered the Camarones a la Diabla - five or six large shrimp covered with a spicy peanut salsa on top of diced mango and avocado and garnished with baby kale, which was a nice combination of spicy and sweet. Really good. My husband ordered what I consider the gold standard for Mexican food – chicken enchiladas with suiza sauce. The creamy green sauce was one of the best I’ve ever had – after he was finished eating, I scooped up the rest of the sauce with chips!
I also enjoyed their house margarita – not too sweet and very refreshing. Happy hour only runs on Saturdays from 4 to 6pm, but I imagine it is a fun one, especially on a beautiful day. I really liked Papi Tino’s – the food was wonderful and the ambience was fantastic. I don’t think I can get back soon enough.