Calexico is the brainchild of three California natives who were inspired by the fusion cuisine found near the border of California and Mexico. Unable to find quality replacements for their favorite homestyle dishes, they began cooking themselves and opened the first Calexico truck a few years ago. Since then, the business has grown into a mini-empire with 7 locations scattered throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Luckily for NYU students, the 3 Manhattan locations (food trucks in Soho and Flatiron, and a new stand-up in the LES) are all within walking distance of campus.
The menu varies slightly at each location, but every Calexico serves up traditional Cal-Mex favorites such as tacos, burritos and rolled quesadillas. Standouts include the carne asada taco–tender, grilled beef tucked into soft corn tortillas and topped with fresh pico de gallo–and a vegetarian-friendly black bean burrito doused in the signature “crack” sauce.
The newly opened restaurant location on Rivington offers exclusive specialty dishes like elote, Mexican grilled corn served with sour cream, cotija cheese and chile powder, as well as a selection of salads and enchiladas.
While there may be less expensive options for Mexi-fusion fare, few match the quality, convenience and value of Calexico.
Address (Restaurant): 137 Rivington St (between Clinton and Suffolk)
Hours (Restaurant): Sun-Thu noon-2am; Fri-Sat noon-4am