Why Austin is Obsessed with Queso (And How to Incorporate It in Your Catering)

Why Austin is Obsessed with Queso (And How to Incorporate It in Your Catering)

Posted by Austin's Elite

If you’ve spent even a smidgen of time in Austin, Texas, you’ve likely encountered the city’s love affair with queso. This gooey, cheesy delight is more than just a dish; it’s a cultural icon that defines Austin’s culinary landscape. This blog post will explore why Austinites are obsessed with queso and how you, as a caterer, can incorporate this beloved dish into your offerings.

Why is Austin So Obsessed with Queso?

Queso, the Spanish word for “cheese,” refers in Tex-Mex cuisine to a warm cheese dip often served with tortilla chips. Austin’s love for queso can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Cultural Fusion: As a melting pot of Mexican and Texan cultures, queso is the perfect culinary representation of the city’s diverse influences.
  2. Social Experience: Sharing a bowl of queso is an inherently communal experience, a perfect match for Austin’s friendly and social atmosphere.
  3. Versatility: Queso can be a dip, a topping, or even a main course. Its flexibility makes it a staple in Austin dining.
  4. Local Pride: Many Austin eateries have their unique queso recipes, contributing to local pride and a sense of community.
  5. Comfort Food: Finally, the warm, gooey nature of queso makes it the ultimate comfort food, resonating with the city’s laid-back vibe.

Iconic Austin Places to Get Your Queso Fix

  1. Kerbey Lane Cafe: Their Kerbey Queso is an Austin legend, combining guacamole, pico de gallo, and queso in a glorious medley.
  2. Torchy’s Tacos: The Green Chile Queso here is an absolute must-try, with its smoky, spicy kick.
  3. Magnolia Cafe: Open 24/7, this café offers queso that’s perfect any time of the day or night.

How to Incorporate Queso into Your Catering Menu

As a Starter:

  1. Classic Queso Dip: Serve with an assortment of chips and freshly chopped vegetables.
  2. Queso Fondue Station: Guests can dip skewers of meat, bread, and veggies into a pot of molten queso.

Main Course Accents:

  1. Queso Mac & Cheese: Elevate the classic dish by integrating a spicy queso blend.
  2. Queso-Smothered Burritos or Tacos: Add a Tex-Mex flair to these favorites by dousing them in rich queso.


Daring Pairings:

  1. Queso & BBQ: Believe it or not, a drizzle of queso can give a tangy twist to traditional Texas BBQ.
  2. Queso-Stuffed Burgers: Make your burgers stand out by adding a gooey queso center.

Desserts (Yes, really!):

  1. Queso and Fruit Skewers: A blend of mild queso fresco with pieces of fruit can be an unexpected yet delightful palate cleanser.
  2. Spiced Queso Ice Cream: A daring dessert for the adventurous eater, mixing the creaminess of ice cream with the kick of queso spices.


Queso is not just a dish; it’s an Austin institution. The love for this cheesy delight is deeply woven into the city’s culinary and cultural fabric. Incorporating queso into your catering offerings isn’t just an option; it’s practically a requirement if you want to capture the true essence of Austin, Texas. Whether it’s a casual event or a formal gathering, a bowl of queso on the table is always a welcome sight.

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