Matt’s El Rancho celebrates 65 years

Burrito dish at Matt's El Rancho. (Courtesy: Kristin S. via Yelp)
Burrito dish at Matt's El Rancho. (Courtesy: Kristin S. via Yelp)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With the constant ebb and flow of restaurants closings and openings, Matt’s El Rancho in south Austin has been serving up Tex-Mex for the the past 65 years.

On Thursday, July 6, the restaurant is celebrating its 65th birthday with live bands and even a magician! The restaurant will also be celebrating what would have been restaurant founder’s Matt Martinez’s 100th birthday.

In 1923, at the age of six, Matt started selling tamales from a wooden pushcart around the area of Texas State Capitol. Fast forward a few decades and in 1952, Matt and his wife Janie opened their first restaurant in downtown Austin. The restaurant moved to its current South Lamar Boulevard location in 1986.

The most popular item on the menu? Bob’s Armstrong Dip. The restaurant says they officially filed a registered trademark for the name of the dish to prevent unauthorized use of its name.

The restaurant is still family owned and operated by Matt and Janie’s children. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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