They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and when it comes to breakfast, that certainly seems to be the case. Morning meals in the Lone Star State are all about supersized cinnamon rolls, hearty Southern classics like biscuits and gravy, and above all, the breakfast taco. The concept is simple, but delicious—and thanks to Ladybird Taco, it has finally made its way east to the Birmingham.
Ladybird Taco, a breakfast and lunch restaurant specializing in—you guessed it—tacos, got its start in Nashville in June 2020. Almost three years later, in February 2023, Ladybird debuted a second location in Birmingham. Though Nashville is home base for Ladybird Taco, the idea for the restaurant originated in Austin where longtime musician and Nashville native Gabe Scott grew his love for breakfast tacos. After years touring in the state and dining on breakfast tacos whenever he pleased, he found himself missing his morning ritual when he returned home to Nashville. Determined to fill the void, he partnered with Andrew Wisenhart and Ben Edgerton, who owned several restaurant concepts in Austin, to bring a taste of Texas to Tennessee.
The store opened in the 12 South neighborhood of Nashville in June 2020 and was takeout-only during its entire first year due to the pandemic. During the restaurant’s early days, it was struck with another major setback when Scott got meningitis in the brain and had to be hospitalized for three months.
“It’s kind of a crazy story,” says Brooks Veazey, a Birmingham native and Ladybird’s fourth partner. “Our mission is to enable life-giving community and that means a lot of things to us, but it’s really born out of that whole experience where Gabe’s community came around the store and ensured that it survived while he was in the hospital. Now we want to take that love and care that Gabe received and give it to our customers.”
Veazey joined the company in June of 2021, when Scott was still recovering from illness. He knew immediately that he wanted to bring the concept to his hometown of Birmingham. His dream became a reality when Ladybird Taco opened in Mountain Brook’s Lane Park development in mid-February.
The menu at Ladybird is simple. All tacos are served a la carte on 6-inch corn or flour tortillas. The offerings are divided into two categories—breakfast and lunch—though the entire menu is served all day from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional options include salads, as well as homemade chips, queso, salsa, and guacamole. Beverages include coffee from local roaster June Coffee and a few Southwestern inspired beverages like hibiscus tea, honey limeade, and watermelon agua fresca. Cocktails like mimosas, margaritas, and ranch water are on the horizon.
Brooks says a big part of what makes Ladybird’s tacos so special are the tortillas, which are hand-pressed in house daily. “Not many people in town are making their own tortillas in house,” he says. “And I don’t think anyone in town is doing breakfast tacos.”
Ladybird’s best sellers are the #1 Breakfast Taco, which includes Tenderbelly bacon, scrambled egg, and Monterey jack cheese, and the #7 Lunch Taco, which is filled with house-smoked brisket, potatoes, rajas, and queso.
In only a few short weeks, Ladybird has already integrated itself into the Birmingham community, which was a major goal for Veazey and one of the main reasons they chose a location in Lane Park. “We wanted to be in a place where people are living and working in close proximity” he says. “On weekends, we know we’re going to be busy, and that’s been really cool to see. But what we care a ton about is our regulars—that Monday through Friday crowd that comes every day and gets the same order. That’s something that’s really special to us.”
In addition to chowing down at the Lane Park location, folks can also pick up tacos from Ladybird’s three Birmingham outposts, June Coffee, Cala Coffee, and Prevail Coffee. In fact, June Coffee was the first place in Birmingham where you could buy Ladybird tacos. They hosted several breakfast pop-ups during the fall and winter leading up to Ladybird’s opening this February. “Jimmy [Truong of June Coffee] has been abundantly generous to us to help us get our name out there in Birmingham,” Veazey says. “It would be hard to overstate what he’s meant to us.”
Veazey says the plan is to open several other Ladybird locations in both Nashville and the Birmingham metro in the coming years. “We really just want to be a place where people can have community and experience community, and I think that will shine through in this store and any others,” he says.