A few weeks ago I found myself following and commenting on a Facebook conversation thread of Bangkok foodies about birria. Apparently, this is one of the newest crazes to hit the Big Mango’s food scene. One of the strongly supported places in Bangkok for birria turned out to be Sunrise Tacos (official Facebook page). I was a little surprised by that–and I said so.
The founder and owner of Sunrise Tacos, Greg Lange, read my comments and invited me to visit to see what all the hoopla was about. Though my expectations had already been built up by the positive comments of many, once tasted, their birria still wowed me. I knew I wanted to write about it after that very first bite. At the end of the visit, I asked Greg if he’d be up for me writing an article focused on their birria offerings.
But the 9-item birria menu that they offer is a bit much for my gal and me to tackle–and we both hate to waste food. No problemo. For our next visit, Greg assembled a great crew of birria enthusiasts to join in the feast. Some folks we knew and some folks were new–but it’s easy to make friends over good food!
One of the great things that came from having a crew of many different tastebuds was that I got a range of feedback on the presented dishes which was really helpful writing this article.
Without further ado, let me give you a tour of their birria menu. Get ready to drool…
Something for everyone…
There are 9 different birria items on this menu–but you’ll note that some of them have some overlap. As an example, #4 and #5 are essentially the same dishes. One is just larger (a 12-inch pizza versus a 6-inch “personal size” pizza).
In the case of dishes overlapping, I will just mention the dishes and overlap without giving the other dish full repetitive coverage.
Let’s begin with the very first menu item, the Quesa Tacos with small Consomé.
Tacos tacos tacos!
The Quesa Tacos with small Consomé (270 baht) is a great choice for the solo diner with an appetite wanting to experience birria. There are 4 options of fillings that you can choose from, beef birria (+30 baht (pictured)), chicken birria, vegetarian hibiscus, and vegan hibiscus (+60 baht comes with vegan cheese).
Each taco is made with Sunrise Tacos’ homemade crunchy corn tortilla, coriander, onion, and is loaded with cheese and the filling of your choice. All taco fillings has its own signature birria consomé sauce–this sauce is key to enjoying this taco. These tacos are tasty on their own. But once you dip it–WOW!
My personal preference is beef. The consomé is so good you can’t help but sip it on its own.
Tasty vegetarian options!
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, Sunrise Taco has a quesa birria taco just for you with their hibiscus filling option. The vegan version is an additional +60 baht because it comes with a more expensive vegan cheese.
For me, I enjoyed the savory hibiscus filling. I thought it was pretty tasty and I’d happily order it again on those days when I’m padding my diet with meat-free meals. But in the group, it was not everyone’s cup of tea. I suspect that’s because it tastes nothing like meat, nor does cooked hibiscus have a meat-like texture.
That may have put some folks off who might have been comparing it to meat. Don’t compare it to meat and I think you’ll dig it. Dip it, and you’re even more likely to dig it!
The second menu item, Two Birria Tacos with small Consomé (195 baht) has a lot of overlap with the first item. It is very similar except that it comes with one less taco, is without cheese, and the corn tortillas are first fried in birria chili oil. If you are averse to cheese and have a smaller appetite, this would be my recommendation!
For smaller appetites…
But for a budget-friendly/small appetite option, I recommend the third item on Sunrise Tacos’ birria menu, Sunrise Mullitas (125 baht). You’re basically getting a quesa taco with your filling of choice, but sandwiched between two corn tortillas. This is then quartered and served (pictured is the chicken birria). It’s nearly the equivalent of two tacos but with less filling, mess, and expense.
Not for the weak…
Unless you’re training to become a sumo wrestler, this fourth menu item is not for the solo diner. In fact, it’s meant to feed 2 or 3 people. It contains two 12-inch flour tortillas fried in birria oil, then layered with 250 grams of a gooey mixture of mozzarella cheese and gouda, 250 grams of your birria filling of choice, and 125 ml of consomé for dipping.
This was actually the dish that had me loving Sunrise Tacos’ birria menu. This Birria Mexican Pizza (12″/450 baht) is my #1 recommendation for their birria menu–if you can handle all that meat, cheese, and deliciousness.
But for the solo diner that wants this pizza without taking home leftovers, the fifth menu item is the 6-inch Birria Mexican Pizza Personal Size (295 baht).
The sixth item on Sunrise Tacos’ birria menu is their Birria Quesadilla (295 baht). This 12-inch flour tortilla is grilled with mozzarella cheese, coriander, red onion, and your choice of beef, chicken, or hibiscus birria filling. It’s then folded in half and served with wedges of lime, radish slices, and consomé dipping sauce.
The seventh menu item, Birria Golden Sunrise (195 baht) is essentially the same thing except that instead of a 12-inch flour tortilla it comes with two 6-inch flour tortillas.
For the broth addicted…
The birria broth served with all of these dishes is downright addictive. For this reason, it’s no surprise that there are some birria dishes that are basically broth-based. When it comes to Sunrise Tacos’ final two birria menu items you’ll find yourself doing a lot of slurping. The eighth menu item is their Birria Ramen (290 baht).
Birria Ramen is a recent marriage of Mexican and Japanese flavors created by Chef Antonio de Livier as the centerpiece dish for his “Animo” Mexican City restaurant chain.
Sunrise Tacos’ ramen noodle dish comes with your choice of beef, chicken, or hibiscus birria broth. Additional tender chunks of beef, chicken, or hibiscus are in the broth. It also comes with noodles, coriander, red onions, and hard-boiled eggs (without for vegan). This ramen has a rich broth but DO NOT compare this to Japanese-style ramen. This is something completely different–but it works.
The ninth and final dish on Sunrise Tacos’ birria menu is their Birria Bowl (295 baht). It’s another brothy dish, essentially the same as the bowl of ramen, but instead of noodles, it is served with three 6-inch corn tortillas, coriander, onions, and lime. Build your own bites–but I know you just wanted the broth!
Bonus Birria Item!
Okay, if you’re like me you might be wondering why didn’t they even out the menu and make it 10 items? Well, guess what? There actually is a tenth birria item, but you won’t find it at a Sunrise Tacos restaurant and you won’t see it on their birria menu.
The mystery birria item is the Birria Pizza (450 baht/large or 295 baht/personal size). Not to be confused with the Birria Mexican Pizza, this pie uses pizza dough instead of tortillas. The pizza is topped with mozzarella, gouda, and white cheddar. Once that’s melted it is topped with birria meat and popped back into the oven. The pie is then taken out, the edges are brushed with birria oil and then put back into the oven until it’s nice and crispy.
Topped with coriander, red onion, radish, and lime slices, it’s ready to eat. But like the other birria dishes don’t forget to dip it in the consomé!
To experience the entire Sunrise Taco birria menu, plus the bonus tenth birria dish, you have to visit Margarita Storm, Sunrise Tacos’ sister restaurant!
A chat with the chef and owner…
During both visits, I met with Sunrise Tacos founder/owner, Greg Lange. It may be hard to imagine today with all of the delicious Mexican restaurants dotting Bangkok’s foodscape, but it wasn’t so long ago that if you wanted a good taco there were very few options for you. That’s how Sunrise Tacos began. Greg and a few of his friends were missing Mexican food and after some research, Greg felt he could obtain what he needed locally to make a go of it. In April 2007, Sunrise Tacos opened its doors to the public.
All quality, all natural…
The mission was simple, give comfort food at a great price and provide big portions using quality natural ingredients from scratch. Greg afforded me access to their production kitchen which services their various branches. There I watched as they grilled tomatoes and peppers for their salsas and sauces, pickled their jalapeños, blended peppers for their chipotle adobo sauce, and trimmed and sectioned their New Zealand grass-fed and Australian grain-fed beef tenderloins.
There was no inferior palm oil used or MSG shortcuts. Greg also took the time to explain to me how they daily made their own 100% corn tortillas by nixtamalization as well as making their flour tortillas by scratch.
Making a beef birria…
Of course, I wanted to see how the birria is made. Using a blend of spices and guajillo and pasilla chilies they marinade thick chunks of chuck steak overnight. This is then slowly simmered for 5-6 hours with veggies and more spices until the meat is perfectly tender and the broth rich and addictive.
I spoke with Chef “Cheke” Ezequiel. Chef Cheke is originally from the state of Michoacán in Mexico but has worked in kitchens throughout Mexico and overseas. He landed in Bangkok 7 years ago and worked his first year at the former Señor Pico (now Mexicano) at the Rembrandt Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 18 before joining the Sunrise Tacos team.
Over the past handful of years, access to quality ingredients of both meat and produce has exploded in Bangkok. This has enabled Sunrise Tacos to further improve the quality and flavor of their menu items as well as introduce new and exciting menu items, such as this birria to the Bangkok community. If you’ve been craving birria I highly recommend checking out their extensive birria menu!
When COVID-19 hit Bangkok it severely affected the workers in the disadvantaged neighborhoods who were dependent on daily wage jobs. Greg’s friend from Dinner in the Sky was forming a group of volunteers called Dinner from the Sky to provide basic need assistance to areas that desperately needed help and was looking for a kitchen to operate from. Greg was happy to let them operate from the Sunrise Tacos production kitchen.
After helping with the food aid, Greg noticed the conditions that folks were living in and felt further inspired to help. He formed an initiative called Bangkok Community Help. The community initiated various projects which renovated, re-painted, and cleaned areas of the Klong Toey neighborhood as well as provided donated food, clothes, and toys to families, and educational assistance.
Many of these projects have been fully funded by Sunrise Tacos, including the transformation from garbage heap to playground pictured above. If you have time or resources you’d be happy to donate to a worthy cause, please consider volunteering for Dinner from the Sky or Bangkok Community Help. They are really making a difference in these communities and would certainly appreciate your help!
I’m hungry. Where is it?
As Sunrise Tacos is a restaurant chain in Bangkok, I recommend checking Google Maps for the one nearest to you. For this particular visit, I went to the branch that is located on the 4th floor of the Terminal 21 shopping mall. It’s very convenient to reach by MRT (Sukhumvit Station) or BTS (Asok Station).
From my experience, I’d certainly recommend this outlet!
I want to hear from you!
Should you decide to experience Sunrise Taco’s or Margarita Storm’s birria menu I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below, directly to me, or via message on either the Chow Traveller Facebook page or Chow Traveller Instagram (and feel free to like/follow these pages if you want to learn about more foodie gems). However you choose to reach out, I’d love to hear from you!