We can thank Tiktok for the so-called birria boom that’s swept the country but, as we reported at the beginning of the trend in 2021, the birria we know today isn’t really birria. What was originally a slow-cooked goat stew from Jalisco eventually evolved into the modern-day quesabirria taco we see on Aussie menus today: a corn tortilla loaded with beef and cheese that’s then folded, grilled, flipped and dipped into a side of consommé. The oily, rich meat broth softens sections of the shell while other parts remain crisp, creating a messy, texturally rousing dish.

Here – in alphabetical order – are our favourite spots to try a quesabirria taco in Perth.

Al Pastor, Fremantle

The birria tacos coming out of the Al Pastor kitchen are relatively close to those you’d find in Mexico. Inside Fremantle’s The Sunshine Harvester Works, corn tortillas are dipped in fat and fried with slow-cooked beef and cheese before being topped with a generous amount of pickled red onion, coriander and salsa verde. Our tip? Up the heat with the house-made diablo salsa.

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Big Don’s Smoked Meats, Bayswater

Getting your hands on an elusive Big Don’s Smoked Meats brisket birria is quite the feat. Popping up in Bayswater’s industrial area just one day a week, Big Don’s barbeque share packs have local meat lovers jumping online to pre-order and then lining up for hours to pick up the goods. With a rotating range of Wagyu brisket, smoked pork belly, pulled beef, sausages and sides, it’s the brisket birria that has us waiting on the Big Don website at 7pm each Tuesday to get our orders in. Stuffed with up to 250 grams of smoked Wagyu brisket and served with salsa, pickles and consommé, sometimes the birria brisket comes as a valued addition to the meat trays, other times they’re available to purchase separately – but they always sell out, so you’ll have to get in quick.

Don Birria, Mount Lawley

Don Birria started as a food truck in 2020 and is now a permanent and much-loved fixture in Mount Lawley. Don Birria’s famed “quesabirria” – a cheesy beef taco that’s folded, grilled and garnished with coriander – has earned cult status and social media fame. Everything is served on disposable plates in the compact 20-seat venue. Get in early and add a $1 cup of consommé to your order for a more traditional experience.

El Publico, Highgate

The team at Mexican bar and restaurant El Publico has been bringing the heat to Highgate since 2012 as a go-to for tacos, tequila, mezcal and other fresh takes on traditional Mexican dishes. Follow the glow of the neon donkey to get your hands on the part-taco, part-quesadilla “birradilla” – the crispy cheese crust on the homemade tortillas provides an extra crunch. Request a couple more napkins than you think you’ll need for the inevitable mess that comes from the slowly simmered beef and crimson-hued consommé.

Tommy Tacos, Highgate

After popping up all over town, chef Tomas Bidois found permanent digs to serve his LA-style tacos. Bidois uses a slow-cooked concoction of short rib, chuck beef, chicken and beef stock that’s then seasoned with a signature blend of guajillo, mulato and pasilla chillies and spices. The menu is entirely gluten free. A final word from those in the know: if the birria ramen is on offer during your visit, you’ll want to order a bowl. It’s not at all traditional, but it’s absolutely worth a try.