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SFGuide

9 Great Birria Tacos

Birria tacos are all over the Bay Area. Here are some great spots to get some.

We’re always in search of the perfect taco: al pastor, crispy fish, and, birria—the stewed lamb, goat, or beef dish, originally from Jalisco. A ton of birria taco spots have popped up around the Bay over the last few years, and we’re not complaining. We love the juicy beef, the melty cheese, and the crunch you get after dipping each taco in consomé. If you’re also craving this cheesy good stuff, you’re in the right place. Here are some great birria taco spots in SF, and across the bay.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Sarah Felker

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The Mexican restaurant in the Outer Richmond serves everything from breakfast burritos to enchiladas to great carne asada tortas. But you’re reading this guide, so here’s what’s up with the birria tacos—they're excellent, and made with beef that has a nice balance of spices and flavors. They’re also pretty meaty (read: well-stuffed), and are four for $25.99 (or one for $6.75).

Whenever the yearning for fresh aguachile, incredible ceviches, and (of course) quesabirria tacos hits, our internal GPS always leads us right to Chuy’s Fiestas. The Mexican restaurant in the Mission is a great place to come with a group and get into a spread of all of the above—just make sure the quesabirria tacos are on the table. The tender meat is soft enough to easily pull apart with a spoon. You can also get your taco as a plate with rice, beans, and housemade tortillas. Whatever you do, pair your meal with a massive michelada, which comes with a tamarind straw.

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Tacos El Patrón in the Mission makes massive birria tacos that are overflowing with delicious beef. They’re also extra cheesy (because, balance), and taste even better when you dip them in the rich consomé. The best part? Tacos El Patrón has two Bay Area locations where you can get your birria taco fix—the other is in the East Bay’s Pleasant Hill.

Across the bay, La Santa Torta dishes out some of the best red tacos in the area. A trio of three ($12) are stuffed with well-spiced beef, pickled red onions, salsa, and come with a crisp shell with melty cheese. And if that isn't enough, they also mix in birria with egg noodles, cilantro, and onion. To get some, look for their truck, which roams around near Jack London in Oakland.

The former pop-up located near the Richmond BART station specializes in quesabirria tacos, and are serving three for $15 (or three for $12 if you don’t want cheese). And if you love spicy things, make sure to order your tacos with a side of pickled habanero. You’ll want to get it all with a glass of their agua de jamaica, which is the ideal combination of tart and sweet.

You can find El Fuego’s truck parked all around the city—at Spark Social in Mission Bay, Barebottle Brewing in Bernal Heights, at the corner of Carolina and 17th St. in the Mission, and more. They make great birria tacos, which have plenty of cheese and cilantro (a small cup of consomé is included on the side). If you want a bit of everything, El Fuego has a special deal: one crispy quesabirria, one soft birria taco, and one birria mulita for $14.75. Be sure to check their Instagram to find out when and where the truck will be posted.

The colorful Sinaloan truck in East Oakland has a long menu of aguachiles, ceviches, and seafood towers piled high with shrimp, fish, crab, and other mariscos. They also have excellent birria tacos, which you can enjoy in their spacious outdoor seating area. Incredible corn tortillas and a perfectly balanced cheese-to-birria ratio make El Tamarindo’s tacos some of our favorites. They’re $4 dollars each (they’re on the smaller side so order three), and you’ll have to walk-up to order. And heads up, you can only pay with cash or Venmo.

If you want birria on, well, everything, hit up La Grana Fish. The taco trailer parked behind the Aloha Club in Oakland’s Fruitvale makes everything from crispy birria tacos with ramen to delicious birra vampiros to a pizza mula de birria, which is basically a giant birria-filled quesadilla you need in your life this second. If you want a quesataco but with other proteins, you can request asada, chicken, and shrimp.

This Mexican restaurant based in Concord expanded into Alameda, and serves everything from ceviche to burritos and antojitos. They have excellent birria tacos, too. For $5.98, you’ll get a takeout box packed with two cheesy tacos (cheese is a $1 extra), a ton of limes and radishes, and a small cup of broth. Chips and salsa are included on the side. If you’re looking for a solid birria deal, this is it.

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