NYCReview

photo credit: Adam Friedlander

Birria-Landia review image
8.9

Birria-Landia

$$$$

77-99 Roosevelt Ave, New York
Earn 3X Points

In order to mine gem-quality red beryl, you have to make a pilgrimage to the Wah Wah Mountains of Beaver County, Utah. We mention this not because we particularly care about gemology, but because there’s a truck in Jackson Heights we consider to be our own mythical mountain range. It’s called Birria-Landia, and it’s where you’ll find the city’s best example of a precious rust-colored commodity known as birria.

This isn’t the only place serving birria in NYC (there are a few others, including another spot in Jackson Heights), but it is the only place that specifically focuses on this Tijuana-style stewed beef. And it shows. The menu here is brief, and you get the impression that Birria-Landia calculated the maximum amount of love they could pour into each of the few dishes they make, then added a bit more.

Adam Friedlander

Birria-Landia review image

The birria here is cooked in a tangy, mildly spicy, and mysteriously deep consome, and that’s the glue that holds this place together. You can get it on its own in a small or large paper cup - but its presence is felt throughout the four-item menu. When you order a taco, for example, you’ll notice the tortillas are crisp and orange. They were dipped in the consome, then crisped on the griddle, experiencing a degree of personal growth on par with someone who just climbed Everest. And when you eat a tostada, a copper-colored liquid will drip down your fingers. It’s consome. Don’t waste it. As for the mulita, it’s a little less juicy - but just take your crunchy disc of beef and melted cheese, and dip it in your cup of consome. What happens is a sea change. The word “delicious” seems somehow inadequate.

Birria-Landia is a New York City landmark. Like the Statue of Liberty, except it’s under a set of subway tracks in Queens, and it’s actually worth visiting. Bring at least $13, get one of each item on the menu, and lean against the counter on the side of the truck while your brain attempts to process the scope of what you’re eating. Once you’re finished, you can tell your friends that you’ve been to the top of birria mountain, looked down, and found most other food lacking.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.


By signing up, I agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Food Rundown

Birria-Landia review image

Consome

If you don’t get a cup of consome here, you’re a fool. Eat it straight with a spoon while you wonder how such a thin broth can pack so much deep, tangy flavor. Or dip your tacos and mulitas in it. Actually, do both of these things. And fish out all the chunks of tender beef hiding in the bottom.

Birria-Landia review image

Tacos

It’s essential that you get at least one taco here. The orange tortillas dipped in consome should be standard-issue at all other taco spots, and the juicy beef leaks broth over your hands. Dip your taco in additional consome, and embrace your new life with orange fingers.

Birria-Landia review image

Mulita

Crispy, covered in cheese, and packed with beef and plenty of mozzarella, this mulita (pictured on the left) is a perfectly engineered dish. You want it - somehow even more than you want the tacos. Dip it in consome, eat, repeat.

Tostada

At any other truck (or full-service restaurant), this tostada would be a star. People would whisper about its audibly crunchy tortilla and dripping mound of beef. But here, this near-perfect vessel of meat plays third fiddle to the tacos and mulitas. Order it once out of curiosity, then resume your consumption of everything else.

Featured in

The Best Tacos In NYC guide image
Guide
The Best Tacos In NYC

Where to eat exceptional birria, unforgettable suadero, and fish tacos that rival the ones on the West Coast.

The Best Mexican Restaurants In NYC guide image
Guide
The Best Mexican Restaurants In NYC

Our 29 favorite Mexican restaurants in NYC.

The 24 Best Restaurants In NYC guide image
Guide
The 24 Best Restaurants In NYC

Meet our 24 highest-rated restaurants.

8 New Things To Do & Eat In NYC Between April 26th-May 3rd guide image
Guide
8 New Things To Do & Eat In NYC Between April 26th-May 3rd

Check out these limited-run restaurant pop-ups & new dishes all around NYC from April 26th to May 3rd.

Suggested Reading

Lhasa Fast Food review image
Review
Lhasa Fast Food

Lhasa Fast Food is a tiny Tibetan restaurant hidden behind a cell phone store in Jackson Heights. Stop by for a quick meal, and order some momos.

Phayul review image
Review
Phayul

Phayul is a Tibetan restaurant hidden up a flight of stairs in Jackson Heights, and it’s an excellent spot for some casual soup and momos.

Cositas Ricas review image
Review
Cositas Ricas

Cositas Ricas is a Colombian restaurant in Jackson Heights with a huge menu, some neon lights, and plenty of TVs for watching sports.

Khao Kang review image
8.6
Review
Khao Kang

Khao Kang is a counter-service spot in Elmhurst where you can get some of the best Thai food in NYC.