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Closeup of two meaty birria tacos, garnished with red onion, cilantro, and lime
Taqueria el Barrio’s birria tacos
Taqueria el Barrio [Official Site]

Where to Find Birria Tacos in Boston and Beyond

Meaty, juicy, and often cheesy, these Tijuana-style tacos have been enjoying a big moment in the spotlight on the West Coast

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Taqueria el Barrio’s birria tacos
| Taqueria el Barrio [Official Site]

Birria — a hearty meat stew — originated in the Mexican state of Jalisco, where it typically features adobo-marinated goat (or beef or lamb, but most traditionally, goat). Over the past decade or so, it has become increasingly prevalent farther north in Tijuana in the form of tacos, often smothered in melted cheese and served with a cup of savory reddish broth on the side for dipping (or drinking).

Even though they’ve been around for years, birria tacos — sometimes called quesabirria tacos, if cheese is involved — have been enjoying a spike in popularity in the last couple of years, thanks in part to social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. The visibility and availability of these juicy, meaty, messy Tijuana-style tacos is on the rise, spreading from Mexico to Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and beyond.

Boston isn’t immune: Here are 10 local(ish) spots at which to try them.

Note: A number of Boston-area restaurants have resumed dine-in service, and the level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in the area, please visit the Massachusetts coronavirus website.

Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Aaron's Taco Cart'el

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8 Central St
Stoneham, MA 02180
(781) 435-4118
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This Stoneham taqueria uses braised beef in its cheesy birria tacos, which appeared on the menu over the summer. They come in an order of three, served on corn tortillas with a side of consomé.

Aaron’s Taco Cart’el is currently open for takeout.

2. Estefani's Restaurant

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106 Union St
Lynn, MA 01902
(781) 842-1441
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Estefani’s opened in early 2020, just weeks before the pandemic started wreaking havoc on the Massachusetts restaurant industry — give it some love. The restaurant and bar has roots in Guatemala and El Salvador, but the menu provides a broad view of Central America and beyond — including birria tacos with melted mozzarella. The birria consomé is also available on its own.

Estefani’s is currently offering takeout and delivery, as well as indoor dining.

3. El Vaquero Mexican Taqueria

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478 High St
Medford, MA 02155
(781) 391-3030
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This West Medford taqueria serves a wide range of tacos, including borrego (roasted leg of lamb) and choriqueso (chorizo with Oaxacan cheese). The birria tacos are made with beef and served on pan-fried corn tortillas with cheese, onions, and cilantro, along with a side of consomé.

The restaurant, which is closed on Saturdays, is currently offering takeout and delivery via Grubhub.

4. Rincón Mexicano

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99 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 776-1200
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Chef Lorenzo Reyes’ popular Somerville restaurant, Rincón Mexicano, recently added quesabirria tacos to the menu as a limited-time special, so get there quickly. (The restaurant confirmed on October 20, 2020, that they’re still available.) They’re made with beef.

Rincón Mexicano is currently offering takeout; call (617) 776-1200 to order.

5. Taquería Jalisco

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291 Bennington St
Boston, MA 02128
(617) 567-6367
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Taquería Jalisco, an East Boston favorite, started serving birria tacos a few months back; they’re made with beef and come with a side of consomé. Here’s a closer look via TikTok user @shell_rodd.

The restaurant is currently open for takeout and local delivery (East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, and Chelsea); call (617) 567-6367.

6. Cósmica

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40 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 313-7878
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Beehive and Beat Brew Hall sibling Cósmica, a fairly new addition to Boston’s South End, is located at the Revolution Hotel. Chef Colton Coburn-Wood has been enthusiastically making tacos for quite some time, having previously worked at Yellow Door Taqueria and Ken Oringer’s now-defunct Fenway taqueria La Verdad, and is continuing to do so at Cósmica. The restaurant’s quesabirria tacos are made with lamb, onions, and chile rajas.

Cósmica is currently open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery (Uber Eats, Grubhub), but the takeout and delivery menus are abbreviated and don’t currently include the quesabirria tacos.

A crispy, cheesy taco sits on a white plate with a small bowl of reddish broth for dipping. In the background, cocktails and a plate of sliders are visible.
Cósmica’s quesabirria tacos
Cósmica [Official Photo]

7. Taqueria el Barrio

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401 Park Dr
Boston, MA 02215

Taqueria el Barrio, which recently relocated from the Boston University area to Fenway’s Time Out Market Boston, serves birria tacos on a choice of local Mi Tierra corn tortillas or the taqueria’s house-made flour tortillas, garnished with onion and cilantro. The beef is made in an adobo of dried chiles, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and spices.

“Birria is a staple dish for Mexicans who love tacos and our country’s gastronomy,” says co-owner Servio Garcia, noting that while birria has roots in Jalisco, every state has its own version, and Taqueria el Barrio’s recipe is inspired by the Sonoran one. “We are super excited to have the opportunity to honor our gastronomy by serving it in an authentic way and introducing it to the guests that visit us at Taqueria El Barrio at Time Out Market.”

Time Out Market vendors such as Taqueria el Barrio are currently open for indoor and outdoor dining (contactless ordering is available via the Time Out Market app), takeout, and delivery via DoorDash.

Closeup of two meaty birria tacos, garnished with red onion, cilantro, and lime
Taqueria el Barrio’s birria tacos
Taqueria el Barrio [Official Site]

8. Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

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412 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127
(617) 917-5626
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In the mood for tacos and oysters? Head to Loco in South Boston. Executive chef Mike Sanchez and sous chef Juan Flores are serving birria tacos, three per order and gluten-free, made with Jalisco-style braised short rib, onion, and Oaxaca cheese, served with broth for dipping.

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar is currently open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

A hand holds a beefy taco over a reddish dipping broth with onions and cilantro
Birria taco at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar [Official Photo]

9. Dora Taqueria

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112 Stoughton St
Dorchester, MA 02125
(617) 322-5353
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Dora Taqueria is pretty new to Boston’s Mexican food scene, having opened in early 2020, and it serves a wide range of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, flautas, and more. The birria tacos come in an order of three, with onion, cilantro, cheese, and dipping broth.

Dora is currently open for takeout, and delivery is also available via several third-party platforms.

10. Pearl & Lime

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1440 Hancock St
Quincy, MA 02169
(617) 302-2582
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New South Shore hotspot Pearl & Lime, sibling to the Townshend, is offering a porky take on birria tacos, served on local Mi Tierra tortillas.

“Our birria uses carnitas that sits in an ancho and guajillo chile brine for twenty-four hours and then gets our proprietary ‘green rub’ prior to being wrapped in banana leaves and being cooked overnight,” says co-owner Palmer Matthews. “The stock and liquid that the carnitas was cooked in is then set aside and further infused with beef marrow bones. The tortilla is dipped in this liquid before going on top of the plancha, and then is covered in queso Oaxaca and queso Chihuahua before the carnitas is added. It is then served with a side of the carnitas consomé.”

Pearl & Lime is currently offering takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining, as well as delivery via the major third-party platforms.

A hand pours a thin brown broth from a small white sauce cup onto a meaty taco that sits on a silver tray. The tray is on a table, with two small succulent plants in the background.
Pearl & Lime’s birria taco
Nick Gianetti

1. Aaron's Taco Cart'el

8 Central St, Stoneham, MA 02180

This Stoneham taqueria uses braised beef in its cheesy birria tacos, which appeared on the menu over the summer. They come in an order of three, served on corn tortillas with a side of consomé.

Aaron’s Taco Cart’el is currently open for takeout.

8 Central St
Stoneham, MA 02180

2. Estefani's Restaurant

106 Union St, Lynn, MA 01902

Estefani’s opened in early 2020, just weeks before the pandemic started wreaking havoc on the Massachusetts restaurant industry — give it some love. The restaurant and bar has roots in Guatemala and El Salvador, but the menu provides a broad view of Central America and beyond — including birria tacos with melted mozzarella. The birria consomé is also available on its own.

Estefani’s is currently offering takeout and delivery, as well as indoor dining.

106 Union St
Lynn, MA 01902

3. El Vaquero Mexican Taqueria

478 High St, Medford, MA 02155

This West Medford taqueria serves a wide range of tacos, including borrego (roasted leg of lamb) and choriqueso (chorizo with Oaxacan cheese). The birria tacos are made with beef and served on pan-fried corn tortillas with cheese, onions, and cilantro, along with a side of consomé.

The restaurant, which is closed on Saturdays, is currently offering takeout and delivery via Grubhub.

478 High St
Medford, MA 02155

4. Rincón Mexicano

99 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

Chef Lorenzo Reyes’ popular Somerville restaurant, Rincón Mexicano, recently added quesabirria tacos to the menu as a limited-time special, so get there quickly. (The restaurant confirmed on October 20, 2020, that they’re still available.) They’re made with beef.

Rincón Mexicano is currently offering takeout; call (617) 776-1200 to order.

99 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02145

5. Taquería Jalisco

291 Bennington St, Boston, MA 02128

Taquería Jalisco, an East Boston favorite, started serving birria tacos a few months back; they’re made with beef and come with a side of consomé. Here’s a closer look via TikTok user @shell_rodd.

The restaurant is currently open for takeout and local delivery (East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, and Chelsea); call (617) 567-6367.

291 Bennington St
Boston, MA 02128

6. Cósmica

40 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116
A crispy, cheesy taco sits on a white plate with a small bowl of reddish broth for dipping. In the background, cocktails and a plate of sliders are visible.
Cósmica’s quesabirria tacos
Cósmica [Official Photo]

Beehive and Beat Brew Hall sibling Cósmica, a fairly new addition to Boston’s South End, is located at the Revolution Hotel. Chef Colton Coburn-Wood has been enthusiastically making tacos for quite some time, having previously worked at Yellow Door Taqueria and Ken Oringer’s now-defunct Fenway taqueria La Verdad, and is continuing to do so at Cósmica. The restaurant’s quesabirria tacos are made with lamb, onions, and chile rajas.

Cósmica is currently open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery (Uber Eats, Grubhub), but the takeout and delivery menus are abbreviated and don’t currently include the quesabirria tacos.

40 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116

7. Taqueria el Barrio

401 Park Dr, Boston, MA 02215
Closeup of two meaty birria tacos, garnished with red onion, cilantro, and lime
Taqueria el Barrio’s birria tacos
Taqueria el Barrio [Official Site]

Taqueria el Barrio, which recently relocated from the Boston University area to Fenway’s Time Out Market Boston, serves birria tacos on a choice of local Mi Tierra corn tortillas or the taqueria’s house-made flour tortillas, garnished with onion and cilantro. The beef is made in an adobo of dried chiles, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and spices.

“Birria is a staple dish for Mexicans who love tacos and our country’s gastronomy,” says co-owner Servio Garcia, noting that while birria has roots in Jalisco, every state has its own version, and Taqueria el Barrio’s recipe is inspired by the Sonoran one. “We are super excited to have the opportunity to honor our gastronomy by serving it in an authentic way and introducing it to the guests that visit us at Taqueria El Barrio at Time Out Market.”

Time Out Market vendors such as Taqueria el Barrio are currently open for indoor and outdoor dining (contactless ordering is available via the Time Out Market app), takeout, and delivery via DoorDash.

401 Park Dr
Boston, MA 02215

8. Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

412 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127
A hand holds a beefy taco over a reddish dipping broth with onions and cilantro
Birria taco at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar [Official Photo]

In the mood for tacos and oysters? Head to Loco in South Boston. Executive chef Mike Sanchez and sous chef Juan Flores are serving birria tacos, three per order and gluten-free, made with Jalisco-style braised short rib, onion, and Oaxaca cheese, served with broth for dipping.

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar is currently open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

412 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127

9. Dora Taqueria

112 Stoughton St, Dorchester, MA 02125

Dora Taqueria is pretty new to Boston’s Mexican food scene, having opened in early 2020, and it serves a wide range of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, flautas, and more. The birria tacos come in an order of three, with onion, cilantro, cheese, and dipping broth.

Dora is currently open for takeout, and delivery is also available via several third-party platforms.

112 Stoughton St
Dorchester, MA 02125

10. Pearl & Lime

1440 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02169
A hand pours a thin brown broth from a small white sauce cup onto a meaty taco that sits on a silver tray. The tray is on a table, with two small succulent plants in the background.
Pearl & Lime’s birria taco
Nick Gianetti

New South Shore hotspot Pearl & Lime, sibling to the Townshend, is offering a porky take on birria tacos, served on local Mi Tierra tortillas.

“Our birria uses carnitas that sits in an ancho and guajillo chile brine for twenty-four hours and then gets our proprietary ‘green rub’ prior to being wrapped in banana leaves and being cooked overnight,” says co-owner Palmer Matthews. “The stock and liquid that the carnitas was cooked in is then set aside and further infused with beef marrow bones. The tortilla is dipped in this liquid before going on top of the plancha, and then is covered in queso Oaxaca and queso Chihuahua before the carnitas is added. It is then served with a side of the carnitas consomé.”

Pearl & Lime is currently offering takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining, as well as delivery via the major third-party platforms.

1440 Hancock St
Quincy, MA 02169

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