Birria is Metro Detroit’s hottest food craze

By: Katie Goncalves | November 17, 2022

Birria tacos from Que Pasa Taqueria

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably heard of or seen birria tacos. This delectable taco from the western state of Jalisco, Mexico isn’t exactly new, but it’s having quite the moment thanks to social media influencers. In the Detroit area, the birria taco craze started years ago with a few taco trucks and sit-down restaurants on the city’s southwest side. Today, there are dozens of restaurants offering their take on birria tacos all across the Metro Detroit area. 

Simply put, birria is traditionally a soup or stew of braised meat. The type of protein varies and it’s unclear which is the bottom-line traditional variation, but you’ll frequently find it with either goat, lamb, or beef. Of course, recipes vary from place to place but the idea is the same: rub the meat in spices and chiles and then slow cook it until the meat is falling apart at the most delicate of touches. The liquid gold in this recipe is the drippings that come off the meat while cooking. The drippings are then turned into a gorgeous, red consomme, or broth, that is later used for dipping your taco. Some places say their consomme is so good you’ll want to just eat it as a soup on the side by drinking straight from the container. 

As for taco assembly, the shredded meat is placed into a tortilla, folded, and then griddled until crispy. The preparation varies with some places adding in cheese, salsas, or other toppings and even turning the whole thing into a quesadilla. But one thing is quite clear: the birria taco is delicious and popular and hopefully won’t be going away any time soon. Here are some of the best places to try their birria tacos, you won’t be disappointed. 

Antojitos Southwest

2100 South Bagley Street, Detroit

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Only open on weekends, Antojitos Southwest is known for its Quesabirrias – served with cheese, spicy salsa, fresh onion, cilantro, and limes. Take your birria obsession to the next level and order their Birria Ramen. 

Burrito King

30950 Beck Road, Novi 

The cooks at Burrito King bring their family recipes to Novi with their extensive menu. Their birria is made with a combination of beef and goat meat and is available as a platter or in one of their many menu options like tacos and tortas. 

Catrina Mia 

5757 15 Mile Road, Sterling Heights 

The Catrina Mia food truck serves up Mexican street food and is 100% Halal. They have been voted the best birria tacos in the area, but you can also get their birria in a burrito, torta, or quesadilla. 

Detroit Loves Tacos

1444 West Fort Street, Detroit

Located inside Happy Liquor Store, Detroit Loves Tacos is putting its homemade birria into the most delicious tacos. Served simply with either just meat or meat and cheese and connsome for dipping, this place is not to be missed. 

Courtesy of Detroit Loves Tacos

Mezcal Mexican Bar & Kitchen

201 East 9 Mile Road, Ferndale 

Newer to the scene, Mezcal’s menu is inspired by many trips to Mexico and the homemade food they have there. Their birria tacos are an a la carte option, so be sure to order at least three to get the connsome for dipping. 

Courtesy of Mezcal Mexican Bar & Kitchen

Que Pasa Taqueria

33874 Dequindre Road, Sterling Heights 
If you go to Que Pasa Taqueria, you’re looking to order the Red Tacos if you want birria. But the real stunner is the Birria Pizzadilla, which is an entire quesadilla filled with birria and cheese and cut into slices like a pizza.