Photo by T. Tseng / Wikimedia Commons
The Very Best Birria Tacos in LA
Where can you get the most mouth-watering birria tacos in Los Angeles? From the best street tacos in LA to restaurants specializing in birria tacos, we look at where you can find the best birria in town.
So what exactly is birria?
With roots in Jalisco, Mexico, birria is traditional stewed meat, usually goat and sometimes lamb. Yes, goat, and it's absolutely delicious. Though Tijuana-style birria meat is often beef. The meat is marinated in a mix of chilies, herbs, spices, and vinegar. Then it's slow-cooked as a stew. But someone—and we're not sure who—but some brilliant person came up with the genius idea of putting the birria meat in tacos and topping it with the broth.
Birrieria San Marcos
Whether you head to their brick-and-mortar location in Van Nuys or check out their food truck as it makes rounds in North Hollywood, you'll likely have to get in line for delicacies from Birrieria San Marcos. They're worth waiting for. Savor a taste of Jalisco with their beef stew, enjoy a classic taco with consommé broth for dipping, or get decadent with a vampiro—griddle tortillas loaded with cheese and topped with birria de res.
With stops in Riverside, Van Nuys, San Bernardino, and Boyle Heights, the Birrieria Villalobos food truck serves up Tijuana-style tacos to birria-craving Los Angelinos. For just $1 each on Taco Tuesdays! Each Thursday there's a special on their sampler plate: a soft taco, quesataco, taco dorado, and a mulita—two layers of tortillas loaded with meat and cheese. Like your birria in a sandwich? Then just order a big birria torta dripping with spicy consommé.
Tacos y Birria La Única
Take a drive down Olympic Boulevard to Boyle Heights to find out why the Tacos y Birria La Unica food truck has so many fans. Some say it's La Única's unique tomato consommé. Others may point to their wide variety of salsas that are crafted to complement each specific protein. But the Michoacan-style menu probably gets the highest praise for its deep-fried tacos dorados.
Birrieria Los Gonzalez
You have a few locations to choose from if you want to order tacos from Birrieria Los Gonzalez: in East LA, South Central, Compton, and Vernon. Slow-stewed meats are paired with spicy red salsa at this family-run establishment that has both brick-and-mortar locations and a food truck. Don't expect a lot of variety, they only do birria, but their sprawling success serves as evidence that they do some of the best birria in Los Angeles.
Burritos La Palma
This one isn't just limited to LA—Burritos La Palma ships their burritos nationwide. And you can buy packs of their frozen burritos in stores. But perhaps the best way to enjoy birria by La Palma is at one of their locations; they have spots in El Monte and Boyle Heights. Enjoy your birria in a quesadilla or tucked into soft flour burritos with green chile pork sauce. Plus they've also got great tacos, such as their "tinga de hongos" mushroom delight.
Teddy’s Red Tacos
There are lots of spots across Los Angeles to enjoy Teddy’s Red Tacos: Venice, Downey, Inglewood, Echo Park, Whittier, South LA, and East LA. All serve birria with chef/founder Teddy Vazquez Solis's trademark broth, a red-beef consommé with his signature (and secret) mix of chilies, spices, and herbs. Settle down under a bright red umbrella and enjoy tacos, mulitas, vampiros, and quesadillas with Teddy's distinct flavors.
Photo Credit: Teddy's Red Tacos / Facebook.com
L.A. Birria Pizza
Don't want your birria in a taco or quesadilla? No problem. You can order a pizza that's topped by succulent birria meat. With one location in Harvard Heights and one between Jefferson Park and West Adams, L.A. Birria Pizza offers traditional pizzas with toppings such as pepperoni and sausage, along with non-traditional ones including birria and chorizo. But you can also get your birria in tacos, quesatacos, vampiros, and mulitas.
Birria La Tia Juana
You're right if you guessed that Birria La Tia Juana serves Tijuana-style tacos, crunchy deep-fried delights splashed with spicy consommé. Tia Juana's food truck makes stops in Hollywood, South Central, and Lennox serving tacos, burritos, birria ramen, and double-layered birria nachos. They've even got a creation they call a birria pizza, but it looks closer to a cheesy, crunchy birria pie.
Whether you go for the goat or stick with beef birria, some of the best tacos in Los Angeles are waiting for you to get your birria on.
Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.