Introducing Caliza Mezcal Bar y Cocina: Manhattan’s Latest Dining Haute Spot In Tribeca

CalizaPhoto Credit: Courtesy of Caliza

Introducing Caliza: a laid-back oasis on the heart of Greenwich Street in Tribeca, serving up authentic, gourmet Mexican food — and, we’re deeming it one of the hautest new dining destinations in lower Manhattan. 

Founded by Josh Lebowitz, restauranter and owner of the popular Wishbone Farms in Southampton, Caliza has recently opened downtown serving as a restaurant and mezcal bar with a fast-casual option. Stepping into the restaurant, guests are transported to a serene, beachy escape in the midst of the city inspired by towns like Montauk and Tulum. An evoking atmosphere is one thing, but the food takes everything up a level. Caliza’s menu, which is developed by Executive Chef Alfredo Vergara, is a modern take on traditional authentic Mexican food. Vergara, who hails from Mexico City, brings his home roots and culinary expertise to the menu – and it definitely showed. After working in restaurants all over the world, including two three-Michelin star restaurants in Spain, Vergara teamed up with Lebowitz, both eager to bring these delicacies to Manhattan. 

The restaurant’s signature items include small and large plates made to share, with a bespoke “make your own taco” concept. In fact, the Suadero tacos (braised wagyu brisket, pickled onions, and salsa) are a menu must-have. Other standout dishes consist of the wild mushroom quesadilla, Denver cut lamb ribs, whole roasted cauliflower, branzino a la talla, and the porterhouse for two. To complement the outstanding food, Caliza has an extensive Tequila and Mezcal selection (all of which are small batches), curated by Chef Daniel Mendoza. Mendoza has also spent time cooking in restaurants, including EMP, Nomad, and Aska. Mendoza has created an agave-forward cocktail menu for the restaurant, which includes the Sangre De Jamaica Tequila (Empirical Ayuuk and hibiscus tea), Morelos (reposado tequila, mezcal, palo santo, smoke oaks), and a Guava Gimlet. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gabo Acr

This summer, Caliza will open its large patio for guests to enjoy a margarita and some sunshine. In addition to the restaurant, Caliza “Next Door” is open, a new fast casual concept attached to the restaurant. This has a service window and a kiosk app to order, serving a selection of tortas, salads, quesadillas, coffee, breakfast items, lunch bowls, and beyond. But, the experience doesn’t stop there. Lebowitz has also paired up with popular Mexican chef and cookbook author Fany Gerson, owner of La Newyorkina and Fan-Fan Doughnuts, to bring her famous ice cream, Paletas and baked goods to Caliza “Next Door.”

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gabo Acr

“I live in the neighborhood and thought this is what the area needed. I have always loved classic Mexican cooking. The cuisine is perfect for all-day dining, from brunch to lunch to dinner, as well as our fast-casual business Caliza Next Door, featuring breakfast burritos, salads, bowls, and quesadillas. People can expect a warm and inviting beachy neighborhood vibe,” Lebowitz shared.