Texas Living

6 of the Best Spots for Elotes in Texas

By Patrick Reardon 6.7.24

There is perhaps no cultural touchstone so thoroughly Texan than stopping at a gas station or a Fiesta Mart parking lot to swap $2.50 for a Styrofoam cup full of roasted sweet corn, sour cream, fresh cotija, and a generous dash of Tajín. To most Americans outside of Texas, it may sound odd. But if you’re hip to the street corn craze (and if you’re from Texas, you know it by its proper name, “elotes” or “esquites”), you know it’s one of the best side dishes there is.

Whether you’re new to this delicacy or your first memory is eating it off the cob, there are countless elotes stands across Texas worth trying. We don’t have room to list all of them, but here are six of the best spots for elotes in Texas’ big cities.

Fuel City, Dallas

You might know Fuel City as the gas station with award-winning street tacos, longhorns, and even a swimming pool, but it’s also a hot spot for some of the best elotes in Dallas. Like most of the best elotes in Texas are served, Fuel City dishes out their corn cups from a little cart on the storefront sidewalk. Their recipe is about as classic as it comes: hot corn kernels soaked in butter, sour cream, and hot sauce and loaded with lemon pepper, cayenne pepper, and cotija cheese.

Elotitos Corn Bar, San Antonio

There are two Elotitos locations, one in San Antonio’s Deco District and another in Government Hill. Both spots have taken elotes — on or off the cob — to new heights by offering several different toppings, from salsa verde to crushed Hot Cheetos to their cheese sauce. You can even order a flight to try all their colorful corns, then wash it down with a glass of chilly, tangy mangonada.

Jose’s Roasted Corn, Houston

Jose Arregoytia has served elotes and esquites to Houstonians for over 30 years. His humble trailer sits in the Fiesta Mart parking lot in Willowchase Shopping Center, but Jose’s killer street corn has put the little lot on the map. While many elotes vendors use canned corn, Jose is old school: He grills maize in its husk, creating an authentic flavor that Texans have loved and devoured for decades. Customers can pile on their own fixins, including Jose’s house-made hot sauce, which is not necessarily recommended for faint-hearted taste buds.

Hay Elotes, Austin

Hay Elotes is a truly authentic slice of Mexico that was transported to Austin. The little roadside stop is one of the only spots (if not the only) in town that makes elotes exclusively with white corn, which some argue is the proper way to make it. Hay Elotes serves their corn in a cup and on the cob, both of which options come loaded with cotija and drizzled in hot sauce. If you’re feeling crazy, you can even order your cob rolled in crushed Takis.

Taqueria La Ventana, Dallas-Fort Worth

There are five La Ventana locations around the D-FW metroplex, none of which are attached to a gas station. But don’t let that deceive you: The elotes at this North Texan taqueria are a hidden gem that stand alongside the best roadside vendors. La Ventana’s elotes don’t veer far from the classic recipe. But before you dig in, be sure to ask for an extra side of their red or green hot sauce for an extra kick.

Los Diablitos Elotes Mexicanos, San Antonio

Los Diablitos serves some of the messiest (thus, some of the best) elotes in Texas. If you order a cup, it comes in a tray to catch the gooey cheese that’s bound to ooze over the sides. Even better, there’s no need to let any of the sloppy servings go to waste: You can also order your elotes to come served on a bed of tortilla chips, creating a second serving in the form of elotes nachos.

If you can’t wait to try one of these elotes spots to get your fix, try making your own elotes with our simple recipe.

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