birria balam matty matheson toronto

Matty Matheson just helped launch a Mexican birria restaurant in Toronto

Matty Matheson launched Birria Balam in Toronto this weekend in the old Jules Bistro space with its pre-order menu of Jalisco's beloved sloppy stew tacos and sides of consomé for dunking.

The new project is headed by Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo—the couple behind Toronto Mexican spots like Kensington's El Rey and Rosalinda—in partnership with Matheson of Matty's Patty's and other appropriately branded ventures

Birria Balam ("balam" is a Mayan word for "jaguar") comes nearly two years after Chomshyn and Guajardo left their lauded contemporary Mexican restaurant Quetzal following a partnership fallout with Grant van Gameren.

The couple has now taken over 147 Spadina Ave. with a redone interior featuring some cool jaguar branding, a cactus corner and a takeout wall.

A "passionate conversation about Mexican food and birria" is what led the trio to create Birria Balam, says the restaurant's website. 

There's only two combos on the menu, including a three soft tacos or three beef birria quesadillas with a bowl of consomé and your choice of drink, for a total just over $27 after tax. 

Birria Balam marks the arrival of yet another restaurant dedicated solely to this hangover food, which is only now beginning to see major popularity in Toronto despite being a staple at Toronto's Mexican restaurants for decades.

Pre-orders for Birria Balam are available on the website starting Monday. Socially distanced pick-ups are scheduled from Friday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Lead photo by

Birria Balam


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