If you just finished the birria episode of Taco Chronicles on Netflix and sprinted to the internet in a hungry rage to find out where to get some nearby, get comfortable. You’ve come to the right place for birria, the stewed goat, lamb, or beef with broth, originally from Jalisco, Mexico.
For years, you could find birria at taquerias in Austin, sometimes served in taco form, and sometimes served as a stew, with tortillas on the side for a DIY taco experience. But what we’ve seen popping up all over town recently is something a little newer - fried birria tacos, AKA tacos dorado de birria - that’s made its way over from Southern California and Tijuana in the last few years. Often served with a cup of the accompanying consomé for dipping and sipping - a clarified broth made from the meat, roast chiles, onions, cilantro, and other spices - these tacos usually end up with a reddish-orange color as a result of being coated in consomé before hitting the griddle. And the quesabirria takes it one step further by adding cheese to the mix before frying.
There are a lot of variations, and asking us to pick our favorite would be an impossible task. Whether you’re looking for consomé to sip on, birria tacos, their fried cousin, or their fried-with-cheese other cousin, Austin has plenty of options. Here are ten of our favorites.
If you’ve ever found yourself on Instagram, mesmerized by videos of rich, birria-filled tacos being dunked into a steaming bowl of consomé, there’s a good chance you stumbled across a video taken at La Tunita. That, or you’re in a very vivid daydream that we’d love to be a part of. La Tunita’s popularity has taken off in recent months, and for good reason - the tacos here are excellent, and the consomé is so good that we’ve debated if it’s socially acceptable to carry around a small flask of it. They usually have a limited menu of rotating specials and tortas here, but most of the people anxiously lined up are here for the birria tacos or the quesabirria, the latter of which adds a signature spin on things by frying the cheese directly on the griddle before going into its tortilla blanket. The end result is truly something to look at, and even better to taste. And that line we mentioned? It’s real - we recommend getting there right when they open.
Sabor Tapatio has been making great tacos out of a food trailer in South Austin for a couple of years now. Here, you’ll want to order the tacos barbacoa estilo Jalisco - with a double layer of utra-crispy tortillas that will hold everything together through even the deepest of plunges into the rich consomé. The flavors in the consomé here are a bit more concentrated than some of the other spots, making it good for sipping, but even better for dipping. And if you’re still hungry for more after, they have a whole menu packed full of great options - try the al pastor or suadero tacos.
El Borrego de Oro has been serving Michoacan-style Mexican food in South Austin for over 15 years now, in that time developing a loyal fanbase across the whole city. The birria tacos here are made with lamb, with just a hint of gamey-flavor, on house-made corn tortillas. And we devoured them all in our car before we even left the parking lot. But if you’d rather sip on something, they also make a great lamb or goat stew - served with a side of tortillas - perfect for cold, rainy days (or really, just about any day).
Taqueria Los Jalicienses
At Taqueria Los Jaliscienses on Airport Boulevard, you can get birria de chivo, a goat stew that also has chickpeas. The broth is rich and vivid with chiles, and while the stew is certainly higher on the gamey funkometer scale of things than others we’ve tried, a quick squeeze of limes brightens everything up. Both their flour and corn tortillas are homemade (and very good).
Taco More has been around for over a decade - now with three locations in the Austin area - and in that time, they’ve developed a bit of a following for their goat stew. So when they recently added quesabirria tacos with consomé to their menu, it wasn’t a huge surprise - though certainly a welcome one. Taco More is one of the few places we’ve seen in Austin making quesabirria with goat - something we really enjoyed and hope to see more of. The consomé here is served as just that, with no onions or cilantro - though they are included on the side.
Jamie’s Barbecue And Mini Tacos is a newish trailer in a dusty lot in South Austin, and as the name implies, they do in fact make mini tacos and barbecue, including brisket and enormous smoked turkey legs. They also have delicious quesabirria tacos made with beef, and crisped up on a flattop. The consomé is bright and rich, and you’ll want to tell anyone who will listen how good it is.
Taquito Aviles, on the corner of North Lamar and Braker, makes very good tacos and breakfast tacos, and they’re perhaps most well-known for the consomé de chivo, their bright red goat stew. The goat is tender, the broth is rich and spicy, and the corn tortillas that come with the consomé are handmade (the flour tortillas are store-bought). It may not get very cold in Austin very often, but when it does, we head straight to Taquito Aviles for some consomé to go.
Pepe’s is a bit of an Austin newcomer, with a food trailer near 7th and Lamar. The menu here is small, but focused - birria tacos, quesabirria, birria quesadillas, tortas, and consomé. We enjoyed the birria tacos and quesabirria here - the meat was tender and well-spiced, and the tortillas were crispy. The salsas here were not our favorite, but then again, we don’t usually find ourselves needing a whole lot of salsa on a taco that’s just been through a warm consomé bath.
It’s hard to miss Machetes Doña Leova on North Lamar, what with the brightly colored, hand-painted signs proclaiming they have machetes, the oblong gordita/quesadilla hybrid made with corn masa that’s cooked on a flattop. While they don’t have birria tacos or consomé, they do have machetes filled with birria, that’s slightly flavored with allspice. There are only a few places in Austin doing machetes, so a birria machete is a pretty rare crossover event. It’s almost like a unicorn, except here it’s served on a long plate with radishes, cucumber, and pickled red onions.
Lechuza Birria Tacos
Lechuza was opened recently by the same team (and in the same space) as Phantasma Kitchen - a spot that recently made our list of The Best New Pizzas In Austin for their excellent, thin crust Roman-style pizza. Interestingly, they decided to focus on birria for their second venture, and have done a pretty good job at it. The tacos here come stuffed with cheese and your choice of filling - beef cheek barbacoa, chicken thigh, or avocado and black bean - before being soaked in chili oil and crisped on a plancha. We tried the beef cheek barbacoa here - an already rich cut, made even richer by its chili oil plunge - which should satisfy a quesabirria craving for most.