Six restaurants proving why quesabirria is so hot right now

Quesabirria on the grill at El Garage. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle.

What do you get when you cross a taco with a quesadilla? Answer: a mouthwatering concoction called "quesabirria." It's made by combining queso (cheese) and birria, the traditional Mexican beef stew. Add a cup of chile-rich consommé, or beef broth for dipping and you have a dish that's decadently delicious. When heading out to satisfy your craving, don't get stuck looking for parking! We've found six BARTable quesabirria spots just a quick walk away from the station.

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A Quesabirria taco being dipped into consommé broth at El Garage. Photo courtesy of Eater San Francisco.

El Garage

The biggest thing that sets El Garage’s version apart from the crowd: just how tender, flavorful, and juicy the birria itself is. Make sure you get a side of consommé for sipping or double- and triple-dipping, to complete the experience. Order in advance online for pickup, though the taqueria accepts walk-up orders as well if you’re willing to wait a bit for your food.

Where: 1428 Macdonald Ave, Richmond, CA 94801
Station: Richmond
Walk time: Three minutes
Website: El Garage
 
Veggie quesabirria tacos from Tacos El Patrón. Photo courtesy of Tacos El Patrón.

Tacos El Patrón

Tacos El Patrón also hit the Bay Area quesabirria scene fairly early and is likely partially responsible for the explosive interest in the cheesy, crispy, savory dish. Tacos El Patrón’s quesabirria tacos stand above many competitors because they don’t skimp on the meat — these tacos overflow with tender, tasty meat.

Where: 1500 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
Station: 24th St Mission
Walk time: Seven minutes
 
Quesabirria tacos from La Santa Torta. Photo courtesy of The Infatuation.

La Santa Torta

As notable for its charitable work as it is for its delicious tacos, this was one of the first taco trucks to really popularize beef birria tacos in the Bay Area, before the term “quesabirria” even made it into the lexicon in these parts — at La Santa Torta they’ve always been promoted as “red tacos,” made with Jalisco-style beef birria. It’s a solid version, a little less wet than some of the others around town, so that side of consommé is essential.

Where: 95 Linden St, Oakland, CA 94607
Station: West Oakland
Walk time: 14 minutes
Website: La Santa Torta
 
A michelada and quesabirria from La Grana Fish. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Eater.

La Grana Fish

The wildly popular taco truck is now open at its new digs, outside the Aloha Club bar in the heart of the Fruitvale district. Its claim to fame was as one of the first spots in Oakland to offer quesabirria tacos, but also its menu packed with other crowd-pleasers: seafood items like ceviche and aguachile, loaded baked potatoes, and giant, quesadilla-like “pizza mulas,” which you can also get stuffed with birria if you like.

Where: 952 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland, CA 94601
Station: Fruitvale
Walk time: Two minutes
Website: La Grana Fish
 
Oozing melted cheese in the quesabirria at Akna. Photo courtesy of Akna.

Akna

This new Hayes Valley pop-up, located inside the space formerly occupied by Barcino, mostly serves Mayan-Yucatecan — lots of achiote-marinated meats and bean-stuffed, tostada-like panuchos — but the quesabirria has been one of the most popular items from the start, served, as all their tacos are, on handmade blue corn tortillas.

Where: 399 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Station: Civic Center/UN Plaza
Walk time: 10 minutes
Website: Akna
 
Quesabirria tacos at Aguachiles el Tamarindo. Photo courtesy of Aguachiles el Tamarindo.

Aguachiles El Tamarindo

In its early days, Aguachiles El Tamarindo was best known as a seafood specialist — Fruitvale’s go-to spot for fiery camarones a la diabla, fried fish tacos, smoked marlin, and gorgeous (and gargantuan) seafood towers. You can still get all that, but the truck has also jumped on the quesabirria hype train, selling a respectably juicy, cheesy, and quite photogenic version.

Where: 3053 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601
Station: Fruitvale
Walk time: Seven minutes

Let's taco 'bout it.

Where's your favorite quesabirria spot? Let us know via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable (virtual) events, places to eat (grab take out from) and have fun (outside) around the Bay. 

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