Choza Brings Solid Tacos To Deprived Downtown

I am hardly ever in the area where the Open Air Cafe is, at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge and next to the gigantic 1 Centre St. building. Two of the four kiosks that make up the cafe had opened a while back, and I ate a delicious sandwich at The Pantry. Choza Taqueria was not yet open when I went over there (and neither was the now-open Sauced that serves pastas and pizza), which totally bummed me out since I really wanted tacos that day. Well, I am happy to report they’re open serving tacos, burritos, salads and a few side items (there’s also another location opening in the Flatiron soon) Let’s take a look at what was nestled in the corn tortillas, shall we?

I was prepared for disappointment as I walked toward the two kiosks next to the bridge entrance, as you can’t tell until you cross the street whether they’re open or not. I have been burned twice before. Thankfully Choza was open, and there was no real line.

I thought about getting a burrito, but had just eaten a monstrosity from Chipotle the night before and didn’t really want to be in another food coma.

Instead I ordered tacos filled with carnitas (three in double tortillas for $6). And for good measure I also ordered some chips and guacamole ($2), although you can also get guac on any of the items for an extra charge.

It’s not like at the assembly line burrito chains where you watch them put everything together. Instead they call your name when the order is ready, so if you’re a control freak about what goes into your tacos or burritos, this might not be the best place to go. The tacos come with a standard salsa and chopped up tomatoes, onions and cilantro. As far as I know there’s not even a salsa option, but hey, they’re $2 tacos.

I was handed a little box containing the tacos, a paper bag with hot chips in it, and a small container of guac. I was a little concerned about the size of the taco container, but when I opened it up I discovered they were nestled in there in order to keep the filling intact. Nice!

This was a tasty taco and I liked the tortillas a lot. You know how sometimes you get crappy tortillas that disintegrate while you’re eating them? These did not do that, and they held the filling in quite nicely. I wouldn’t say the pork was the best thing ever, as I couldn’t taste much seasoning on it.

The only let down of my lunch was the guacamole. Yes, the chips were hot, salty and plentiful (I’m not sure if these were homemade or came from a bag), but the guac was bland and made me wish I had gotten salsa instead. Anyway, for $2 it wasn’t a bad deal.

If you work way downtown and don’t have time to walk here (or to any of the Open Air kiosks), they do deliver. Actually, you could do quite a mash up lunch as all four of the eateries are run by the same people, and therefore you could conceivably order from all of them in one go. Does a meal of pizza, fries, a lamb merguez sandwich and some beans and rice sound good?

I’m betting these kiosks will close once the weather gets cold, but I’m pretty happy Choza brought some decent tacos near the FiDi. If anyone else has tried the chicken or steak varieties, or the burritos, chime in in the comments.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • You get three tacos for $6, which is pretty cheap.
  • It’s less shameful than eating at Taco Bell.

THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • It’s outside, and I don’t want to breathe fresh air.
  • I’d rather go get a taco for 89 cents.
  • The guacamole is kind of bland.

Choza Taqueria, part of the Open Air Cafe on the south side of 1 Centre St. building, (212) 528-1433



  • Soo I went today and had the Asada tacos. The salsa was nice, and agree with you on the tortilla. This taco considers the eater. The meat was ok, I’d like a little more aggressive seasoning, and a tad overdone. But hey, $6? Not bad at all. Esp, since the Mexicue Truck didn’t really show today…. :(

  • The chicken tacos, weren’t as good as the pork tacos. The chicken at La Esquina is by far more succulent/tasty/and juicy. Choza is good for what is essentially a barren area for decent lunch. I must say that i recently tried Mexicue’s short rib tacos, and unlike Choza, Mexicue’s tacos do indeed fall apart once you pick it up.

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