Food

Beyond Birria Tacos: Where to Find Birria Ramen, Pizza, Pupusas, and More

The trendy tacos are inspiring plenty of fusion-y riffs.

Birria ramen from Little Miner Taco. Photograph by Rey Lopez

Birria tacos—stewed meat stuffed inside a tortilla with a side of heady braising liquid called consomé for dunking—are having a moment. Credit the comforting nature of the Mexican dish, and of course, its meaty, sometimes cheesy, deliciously messy Instagram fame. So why stop at tacos? Chefs are riffing on the recipe, native to Jalisco, creating birria ramen, pupusas, pizzas, and more. We’re expecting a birria bagel any day now.

Birria ramen at Little Miner Taco

Little Miner chef/owner Mackenzie Kitburi is a big name in the DC area birria game with a roaming truck and two food hall locations: Mixt in Brentwood, MD and the Block at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda. You’ll find his birria ramen exclusively at the latter—a nod to the food hall’s pan-Asian theme—where soup cartons are packed with braised beef, consomé, springy egg noodles, radish, corn, and cilantro. Order in person or online.

Plus a birria steak n’ cheese

The best of Mexico and Philly rolled into one: a melty birria n’ cheese with chipotle mayo in a toasted hoagie roll. Available in both Brentwood and North Bethesda.

Even more birria ramen at Pakos FreshMex 

The Tex-Mex food truck dishes up a serious birria beef ramen, which you can pre-order for pickup in Silver Spring and Vienna on select dates.

Birria pizza at Montclair Family Restaurant

AVAILABLE TODAY PIZZADILLA DE BIRRIA, SINCE SO DELICIOUS WE MADE MORE AS ONE OF TONIGHT SPECIAL ?❤☝️??COME SEE US TONIGHT OR CALL US FOR PICK UP OR CURBSIDE 7032214097 ?‍??‍???

Posted by Montclair Family Restaurant on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

This family-run diner in Dumfries, Virginia embraces taco Tuesday, birria-style, every week. Keep an eye out for specials like this pizzadilla—a quesadilla pizza—stuffed with stewed meat and cheese, plus consomé for dipping. Order in person or call for pickup.

Birria pupusas from La Eloteria

Sisters Lupe and Vania Gamez channel their Mexican-American roots—and extended Salvadorean family—at their pop-up shop. A perfect fusion: pupusas stuffed with beef birria and mozzarella cheese, served with tangy curtido and salsa (consomé is sold separately). All orders go live on Mondays at noon for pick up in Hyattsville.

Plus birria quesadillas, birria taquitos…

Birria riffs don’t stop at pupusas at La Eloteria, where you’ll also find birria-stuffed quesadillas, pastelitos (pastries), and “TaKetos” (keto-friendly taquitos rolled in crispy cheese instead of carb-y tortilla). For a side, try the Hot Cheetos elote.

Lamb quesabirria at Taqueria Xochi

Sure, these crunchy half-moons fall into the taco category. But former China Chilcano pastry chef Teresa Padilla offers something a little different at her new U Street taqueria—and any DC-area birria list wouldn’t feel right without Xochi. Here, choose from tender braised lamb or the more ubiquitous beef; they’re served inside griddled homemade tortillas stuffed with melty cheese, and sided with a robust lamb broth.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.