The birria taco craze has hit Austin Texas hard. Birria originated centuries ago in Jalisco, and it’s been popular in the United States for a while now. But it only recently took off in Austin. And I’m so glad about that, because these tacos are one of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth. Stewed meat in a spicy broth, corn tortilla griddled to a satisfying crunch, and lots of warm, melty cheese? It’s a pretty easy sell. No wonder they’re one of the most popular foods in Austin right now!
In this guide, I’m going to share my 7 favorite places to find Birria tacos in Austin. I’ve been frollicking around the city for the past month eating birria, photographing food trucks and taco plates, and sharing my findings with you on instagram. I’m puting it all in this one handy blog post so you can reference it the next time you’re craving birria!
Table of Contents
What Is Birria?
We’ll start with a really simple definition of birria. Traditionally, it’s goat meat that is marinated in a combination of chiles and spices and then cooked in a broth until it’s soft and flavorful. It’s served as a stew, often with cilantro and onions and tortillas.
But, as we find with most food, there are endless variations. Different types of meat can be used, like sheep or beef, and the seasonings will change depending on who’s cooking. (That’s why it’s so fun to try lots of different birria places in Austin – they’re all just a little bit different!)
What Are Birria TACOS?
This is where things get a little bit fuzzy, because different sources have different definitions. I like to try to remember that good food is good food, meaning it doesn’t have to fit in a box or fit into any particular definition.
However, birria tacos are basically any tacos that are filled with birria meat! Most places here in Austin will also dip the taco in the fat skimmed on the top of the stew and griddle the tortilla so that it gets a nice crunchy exterior. Some places even use a thin layer of cheese on the outside for an extra bit of crispiness.
You might occasionally see them on a menu as quesabirria tacos. These tacos are filled with lots of melty cheese, so they end up tasting similar to what you might define as a quesadilla.
Consomé is the rich, spicy dipping broth that comes with the birria tacos. Not all birria tacos in Austin are served with consomé, but I definitely recommend ordering a small cup for either eating with a spoon, or using to dip the tacos into.
Where can I find birria tacos in Austin?
Ok, let’s move on to the fun part! Here are my 7 favorite places in Austin to eat birria tacos.
1. Pepe’s Tacos
A clear winner, and it shows by the steady stream of customers at this little food truck on North Lamar. Pepe’s Tacos has a small menu that is 100% about birria. If you’re looking for the cheesiest birria tacos in Austin, try this place. The soft, melty cheese is literally oozing out all sides of the corn tortilla. There are 2 small picnic tables outside the food truck, and I recommend staying to eat your tacos on site – if you wait until you’re home, they’ll steam in the container and lose the crunch. They’re definitely best fresh!
What to order: the single tacos don’t come with consomé, so order the taco combo (3 tacos + consomé.) Another fun item is the quesadilla, which is birria inside a flour tortilla (instead of corn.)
2. La Tunita 512
When you ask local Austinites “where can I eat birria in Austin,” there’s a good chance they’ll point you to La Tunita 512. It’s an unassuming food truck parked outside a gas station in east Austin. They have a a small menu, but here are the two items to pay attention to: the birria tacos, which are corn tortillas full of birria meat, onion, and cilantro. The stewed beef is crazy flavorful, and these tacos are filling and delicious…not too heavy, either! You could totally eat these and then go back to work and be a-ok. The second menu option to notice is the phenomenal quesotaco. The traditional tortilla is replaced with a shell of griddled monterey jack cheese, filled with birria meat and lots of melty cheese, and then the entire thing is served on another tortilla. It’s incredibly decadent as it is, but take it up a notch by dipping it in a cup of their consomé.
What to order: the quesotaco and a side of consomé. I like getting the consomé without meat and using it as a dip, but you can also get it with meat as a side dish of soup.
3. Taquito Aviles
This is an AMAZING taco food truck parked in far north Austin. Birria Tacos aren’t clearly listed on the menu, but they can make them for you. You can also request a small cup of consomé for a couple extra dollars (highly recommend.) They use traditional goat meat in their birria, but it’s simmered with such a delicious recipe of spices that it doesn’t taste gamey at all.
What to order: 2 birria tacos and a small cup of consomé. Also, a big bowl of their birria would be the perfect rainy day comfort food.
4. Lechuza Birria Tacos
This one is a walk-up window on south Lamar (literally right next to the iconic Broken Spoke dance hall.) It’s actually a pizza restaurant that started a birria taco shop within the same kitchen…I guess they heard about the demand and jumped at the opportunity! They have a really easy online ordering system where you can order ahead and then show up and pick it up to go. There’s also a giant outdoor patio here, so social distancing is really easy if you’d prefer to eat them on site. PS: putting this one 4th on the list because I believe the three listed above are far superior, so try those first.
What to order: taco combo, which is 3 tacos + consomé. There are a few meat options, but the barbacoa is definitely the juiciest and most flavorful!
5. Jamie’s BBQ And Mini Tacos
If you live in the Slaughter/I35 area of South Austin, Jamie’s BBQ and Mini Tacos is in your ‘hood! The little food truck has a full bbq menu AND a full taco menu, so it’s perfect for an indecisive crowd.
The birria tacos were stuffed with lots of smoky meat and melty cheese, but they were lacking the contrast of texture that I found at some other top places, like La Tunita 512 and Pepe’s Tacos. They were essentially birria meat + cheese wrapped inside two soft corn tortillas…so, still super tasty.
What to order: there’s only one birria plate option, which comes with three tacos + consomé + beans; no options for a la carte tacos.
6. El Borrego De Oro
A super old school and classic Austin Mexican restaurant on South Congress, El Borrego De Oro does birria in the more traditional way: a bowl of stew served at lunch. Order it as an entree, scoop the stew into the corn tortillas (provided with the meal), and dip the entire drippy mess into the bowl of broth. YUM.
What to order: birria soup with onion, cilantro, limes, and 2 tortillas.
7. Tejas Birria (Buda)
Ok, this food truck is not quite in Austin, but Buda is just about 15 miles south. Tejas Birria needs to be included in my guide to the best birria in Austin! It’s a fun little food truck that serves, well…a lot of birria variations!
Let’s start with the tacos, because they’re listed as “quesibirria” which means these babies are crammed full of SO much cheese, griddled to a crunchy perfection, and full of lots of contrasting texture. But Tejas Birria sets themselves apart by offering birria ramen, a birria melt on Texas toast, and birria kids menus. They even did a collaboration with local Austin pizza chain Toss and did a birria pizza!
What to order: go crazy with the birria melt! It tastes like birria tacos, except it’s served on Texas toast instead of corn tortillas.
2390 FM2001, Buda, TX 78610