Here’s where to find the best birria in Tucson

A large bowl of birria with onions.

Getty Images, Robert Patrick Briggs

By Stacy Rounds

May 15, 2024

Looking for the best birria in Tucson? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the top crowd favorites based on our recent reader’s poll. Get ready to satisfy your birria cravings with these mouth-watering options, and discover for yourself which one is the best!

Birria ramen, rolled tacos, and a plate of rice and beans on a wooden table.

Courtesy of Rollie’s Mexican Patio

5. Rollie’s Mexican Patio

Rollie’s Mexican Patio dishes out birria that’s been tweaked and perfected by their head chef, Mateo Otero over twenty years. His take on “Sonoran Tucson” cuisine with a twist is definitely worth a try.

At Rollie’s, the birria is served up in imaginative dishes such as Briia Ramen and Birria Sushi. But the star of their menu is the Rollies, rolled tacos with birria, marinated chicken, or a spicy potato filling. Their award-winning birria tacos are a must-have for any newcomer. The meat is so tender it practically melts in your mouth, and it’s stewed in a broth that’s rich with depth and seasoned to spicy perfection.

But what really sets Rollie’s apart is the vibe. That hot pink 1950s rock and roll feel is a backdrop for some seriously good eats and banging margarita buckets.

So, if your birria quest brings you to Rollie’s Mexican Patio, be ready for a true Tucson foodie experience that tickles the taste buds.

A bowl of birria with salsa and veggies on the side.

Courtesy of Aqui Con El Nene

4. Aqui Con El Nene

A gem among Tucson’s birria aficionados that demands your attention is Aqui Con El Nene, This authentic Mexican spot cooks up a flavor punch that’ll knock your socks off. The birria is so tender, it could pass for butter, simmering in a broth made from rich spices and love. Each bite will leave you wanting more. So loosen up your belt, and get ready to try something amazing.

Dining at Aqui Con El Nene is like attending a masterclass in how to enjoy food with generous portions for fair prices. There are two locations serving up amazing tacos, Sonoran hot dogs, burritos, and more. They’ve won several awards and accolades locally and nationally, having been featured on Rachel Ray’s website in a champion round for “best hot dog.”

In a city bustling with birria options, Aqui Con El Nene stands out for its commitment to tradition, quality, and sheer deliciousness. So, next time your birria cravings hit, you know where to go – and don’t forget to bring your appetite.

The outdoor sign at Birrieria Guadalajara

Courtesy of Birrieria Guadalajara

3. Birrieria Guadalajara

Securing the third spot on our readers’ choice poll is Birrieria Guadalajara. This esteemed establishment pays meticulous attention to the art of birria making. Their slow-cooked meat falls apart with a gentle nudge of your fork. The broth has been simmered to spicy, flavorful perfection. This is a must-have birria if you’re in Tucson.

The experience at Birrieria Guadalajara extends beyond the birria. This beloved spot serves up breakfast six days a week and offers a huge, varied menu for people from all walks of life, from picky eaters to traditionalists to modern foodies. Their secret? Serving up simple dishes cooked to perfection without a lot of fuss.

As you find yourself in Tucson, searching for that perfect bowl of birria, remember that Birrieria Guadalajara is a destination where every bite celebrates flavor, culture, and community. And while the birria might be the star of the show, there’s plenty more to savor here. So, make your way to Birrieria Guadalajara or get some takeout the next time you’re scrambling to feed the family.

Outdoor sign that says The Quesadillas.

Courtesy of The Quesadillas

2. The Quesadillas

Your number two choice for best birria in Tucson is The Quesadillas. Now, before you start thinking, “Wait, aren’t quesadillas just about cheese and tortillas?”, let me stop you right there. The Quesadillas, in a plot twist, dishes out birria and other non-quesadilla goodies that command your taste buds’ full attention.

At The Quesadillas, birria is the main event, stealing the spotlight with a bold mix of flavors that will make your kid’s boring quesadilla green with envy. Their succulent, fall-apart tender meat, is steeped in a broth that’s been simmered to achieve a depth of flavor

But because they’re called The Quesadillas, of course they serve birria quesadillas. And no, they’re not your average boring quesadillas: the already mouthwatering birria is tucked between two fresh tortillas mingled with melting cheese, creating a fusion of pure comfort food. It’s the culinary equivalent of hitting the jackpot, in our humble opinion.

By the way, you can buy bulk meat here. So whether you’re in a birria mood, a quesadilla mood, a taco mood, or a whole lot of meat mood, you’ll leave singing their praises. So, as you embark on your birria quest through Tucson, let The Quesadillas be a reminder that sometimes, the best flavors come from the most unexpected combinations.

1: El Taco Rustico

Crowned as our readers’ number one choice for birria in Tucson, El Taco Rustico takes the throne with a flourish. This local jewel serves up succulent meat in rich and robust broth, and homemade tortillas that could easily star in their own foodie fairy tale. Chef Juan Almanza’s devotion to high-quality ingredients and a cooking process that’s been fine-tuned to perfection means every bite of birria here is magic.

El Taco Rustico has an amazing backyard fiesta vibe. You can find affordable and approachable items on the menu for everyone in the family. Plus, it’s a cool place to watch the cooking in progress. You may just catch the chef cooking on an outdoor grill, simmering each meat to perfection. And every one of his signature homemade sauces pairs beautifully with the award-winning tacos.

So, as you chart your course through Tucson’s vibrant culinary landscape, make sure El Taco Rustico is at the very top of your list. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you, your Instagram followers will envy you, and your culinary credentials will forever bear the mark of someone who knows where to find the gold standard of birria in Tucson. After all, when it comes to the best birria in town, El Taco Rustico is in a league of its own.





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