Where to Get the Best Birria Tacos in Boston

By Jacqueline Cain
Credit: Chris McIntosh

Whether it’s morning or midnight, tacos are one of the world’s most satisfying comfort foods. Eminently adaptable, tacos also represent lasting traditions, like birria tacos, a street food originating in central Mexico. A long-simmered stew meant to be savored, birria has ascended to trend status here in the U.S., where it’s typically made with beef and often oozing cheese, frequently griddled into a crispy handheld tortilla served with a decadently drippy dip. Next time you’re craving this meaty treat, here’s where to order birria tacos in Boston.

Brian Samuels Photography

As the name implies, Lone Star Taco Bar takes cues from Tex-Mex. So it might have been the likes of molten Chile con Queso and Dallas Spicy Beef tacos that put these two taquerias on the map—but the Allston and Cambridge spots aren’t limited to the cuisine of the Texas borderlands. See: Veracruz- and Baja-style fish tacos, and of course, Beef Birria. Lone Star makes a cheesy grilled Tijuana-style version of the taco using corn tortillas filled with subtly smoky braised beef and spicy consommé on the side. Now, we’re not sure where the Mugarita originates, but the refreshingly boozy half-liter is a perfect quencher for this bold plate.

Exterior of Taqueria Jalisco | Where to Find the Best Tacos in Boston
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

The proximity to Logan Airport makes Taqueria Jalisco a convenient pre or post-flight dining option, but the authentic tacos and Mexican eats make it worth a journey on their own. The successful formula at this East Boston spot is simplicity: Pliable corn tortillas filled with flavorful meats, sprinkled with chopped onion and cilantro, liberal use of house salsas encouraged. The Tacos de Birria up the ante with cheese and a crisp-making turn on the griddle. Goat would be more traditional in the state of Jalisco, but here the birria is tender morsels of cost-saving and crowd-pleasing beef. The bright and fresh toppings are served on the side, along with a dipping broth enriched with chilis.

Taqueria El Barrio

We usually opt for corn tortillas when it comes to our tacos, but we’re here to tell you that flour is the move at Taqueria el Barrio. Helmed by Servio Garcia and chef Alex Saenz, the taco shop inside Fenway’s Time Out Market presses the best flour tortillas we’ve ever tried. (Pick some up to-go to amp up your own Taco Tuesday at home!) The soft wraps take up a nice char on the griddle to develop toasty flavors well-matched with the beef and Taqueria el Barrio’s rich bichi, or broth. Make sure to ask for a cup of this luxurious consommé; tacos and the stew for dipping are sold individually. Birria lovers, try a birria quesadilla, which encases the shredded meat inside flour tortillas with melted Mexican cheese. 

Credit: Chris McIntosh

We have yet to find any menu items we don’t like at Chilacates, but the Birria Tacos are a real treat. They break the mold of the mix-and-match menu at the Jamaica Plain-born Mexican street food empire: Look for the Birria taco plate as a “specialty item” in a separate section of the online ordering portal or as a posted special inside one of six locations around Boston. It’s always available, however—and always delicious. Half-moon-shaped corn tortillas are crispy and just the right amount of greasy, and three tacos are served with rice and beans. Gooey cheese, finely diced onions and cilantro, and a savory broth for dipping come standard. Treat yourself.

At its most elemental, Birria is a celebration of stew, cooked low and slow all day before being portioned into tortillas and shared among family and friends. Southie’s party-ready Loco Taqueria gets it: Birria Tacos here come with perhaps the most delicious slow-simmered consommé on this list. After the short rib is braised until meltingly tender, a variety of aromatic vegetables like carrots, onions, and radishes are left swimming in the rich broth. Between the slurpable dipping sauce and liquefying Oaxaca cheese that’s perfect for cheese-pulls, napkins can only help you so much when it comes to this decadent dish.

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