San Diego, CA

Where is the best birria in San Diego?!


Alright guys, today we are talking about the luscious, the flavorful, the juicy slow cooked meat that’s taking California by storm……..BIRRIA! Birria trucks and restaurants are popping up all over the place in the bay, LA and San Diego, and if you haven’t tried it yet, IT’S TIME TO. With a new birria place popping up every month, you have a myriad of choices! I’m here to break down some of the top spots I’ve visited in the past couple years to help you decide! Please note that this isn’t a definitive list of ALL the places in San Diego, as it’ll probably take a few more years for me to accomplish that….

First, let’s talk a little bit about what birria is. At its core, it’s slow cooked meat (typically goat or beef) that has been marinated in spices before being simmered for hours. It originates from the state of Jalisco, though there are many styles of birria now, hailing from regions such as Tijuana or Guadalajara. Birria can come in many forms, such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and other creative options that we will discuss further below. I typically get two standard things when judging birria places: first being quesatacos (where there is a layer of cheese either inside or outside the taco). These are SO trendy right now- you will find people in massive lines all around California hoping to get their hands on these cheesy things. The second item is birria en caldo, which is birria in it most stripped down form (simply the meat in its own broth). The way I eat it? I squeeze at least one lime into it….so that it’s EXTRA tangy. Some other classics you’ll find at birria places include the taco dorado (with a crispy corn tortilla) the mulita (two corn tortillas with the birria in between) and the vampiro (two CRUNCHY corn tortillas with the birria in between). Alright, enough talking, LET’S BREAK THIS DOWN.

1. Birrieria La Loteria

THE BEST BIRRIA OF THEM ALL (according to me). Birrieria la Loteria (say that three times fast, I struggled even typing that one out) is a family owned food truck out in the Lemon Grove area. Their birria is INCREDIBLY popular, and they sell out of hundreds of pounds daily! So make sure to get there early. I got the classics, the birria en caldo and quesataco, and then a wild card item- A BIRRIA GRILLED CHEESE! Now I LOVED this item. It has been the best birria ‘fusion’ dish I’ve had so far; perfectly executed and flavored. They grilled it just right, and the meat to cheese ratio and flavoring was on point. Moving on to the birria en caldo, OH MY WORD. The broth was silky, beefy, umami. The meat was falling apart, melting in my mouth, carrying me to nirvana. The perfect balance, of herbs, spices, and cilantro. I have crowned it my favorite birria en caldo in San Diego! The quesataco was a good standard taco, perfect for dipping in to the broth (this is the quintessential Instagram shot that you’ve probably seen a million times). I would highly recommend getting the grilled cheese and birria en caldo here.

2. Birria Kings

Birria Kings is another local food truck that hails in Chula Vista. They truly push the envelope when it comes to traditional birria dishes- they have a birria torta, birria ramen, birria quesadilla, and even a birria pizza. While I was not a huge fan of the pizza or the torta (execution was a little off for me) the ramen and the caldo were definitely a hit. The ramen uses noodles that you would find in instant noodle packets. What I liked about their broth was how meaty it was compared to other spots- it had a very clean flavor profile. The tacos were also very loaded and overflowing with birria juices (hopefully that’s something you like!)

3. Tuetano Taqueria

I have to pay homage to the birria spot that started it all- Tuetano Taqueria. They’re essentially a San Diego legend, and even received recognition from The Michelin Guide as a ‘New Discovery’. While their menu isn’t quite as extensive, they have all the classics, as well as a few other taco options as well. They have the quintessential ‘tuetano’ which is a thicc piece of bone marrow you can add into your taco! Tuetano Taqueria is where I first fell in love with birria. Their broth is a bit more herbal vs meaty in comparison to other places, but just as delicious. They are also a women run business!

4. Mr. Birria

Yet another new spot that has recently opened! Mr. Birria is a joint out in Santee that has quickly risen in popularity. I was not a huge fan of their birria en caldo for one reason- it had a lot of fatty meat in it, and I personally don’t like chewing on fat chunks. That is a personal preference however! My boyfriend was a fan. What I DID love was their birria burrito! When I tell you it was thicc and overflowing, I mean it. I made the mistake of holding it in one hand while I tried to take pics and leaked birria juices all over the place. I might have lost a few chunks of birria as well...just don’t tell anyone. The sauce it came with was FIRE. Not literally, it was just super delicious. (PS: You can watch me mukbang this on youtube! Find me at worldventurewithanna)

5. 664 TJ Birrieria

An honorable mention to a city heights staple, 664 TJ Birrieria! While I didn’t get much here, I did love the consume and quesataco I got. Consume is birria broth without the meat in it! Theirs was quite tasty and addicting. I regret not getting the caldo….. but will be back!

Side note: When the taco is so thicc that even your phone censors it....

6. Ed Fernandez

Need to give a shout to the OGs of San Diego birria. They've been around for eleven years! Serving breakfast birria to the masses. I remember the last time we visited we waited around an hour for their birria- they are SUPER POPULAR! While they are amazing, they're not quite my favorite- I would recommend them to those looking for a broth a bit on the lighter/less salty side. Still one of the best options down south though!

That’s it friends! I hope you enjoyed my first article. Let me know what you think below! Do you have a favorite? Do you agree? DISAGREE?! I’d love to know. Follow me on Instagram for more reviews and photos- foodventurewithanna!

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 8

Published by

Covering the latest and greatest in San Diego! Follow me on instagram for more food porn! My food page is foodventurewithanna, my personal is worldventurewithanna. You can also find me on youtube under worldventurewithanna :) Thank you for your support!

San Diego, CA

More from foodventurewithanna

San Diego, CA

Best Hidden Gems of San Diego Part 2

Hello friends! It’s time for the continuation of the best hidden gems in San Diego :) Now I go much more in depth about Soup Du Jour in another article, but to sum it up, SDJ is a cute hidden gem that serves soups and other dishes from around the world. It’s nestled in an apartment complex and has a beautiful patio with a fire pit! Every soup I’ve had from there is amazing, and you can tell how much effort they put into perfecting each dish. I often come here on rainy/cold days or when I need a bowl of soup to cheer me up. My favorites include the albondigas (Mexican meatball soup) and their vegetable udon (in a beautiful low sodium dashi broth!). If you’ve never had udon, it’s a thick bouncy Japanese noodle that’s actually my favorite type of noodle! I’m addicted to the thick juicy texture. My boyfriend’s favorite is the spare rib daikon- it reminds him of the soup his Taiwanese mom would cook for him growing up. I pair their soups with the spiced street chicken (Taiwanese popcorn chicken) and homemade taro chips. Their street chicken is as good as any boba shops’ on Convoy, which is saying a lot! And their taro chips are SO addicting, but without any of the additives or artificial flavors of chips at the supermarket. Anything you get from here will be a hit. Some of their other dishes include braised beef pot roast, scallion bread, chickpea cauliflower curry, roasted duck wraps. You can even get local beers/kombucha on tap here, as well as boba! If you miss Souplantation and are looking for a replacement for their soups, look no further!

Read full story

Comments / 0