We all know, fresh is better. Calavera Empanadas and Tequila has not only found themselves a fresh location, but is bringing even more freshness to Raleigh’s food scene with their innovative processes.
Previously housed on East Davie Street, Calavera Empanadas and Tequila has now moved into what used to be Moonlight Pizza on West Morgan Street. With the wide open patio space and the great big kitchen, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to expand.
Calavera closed temporarily in February after more than six years in business. They had originally planned to move into the old home of Tasty 8’s on Fayetteville Street, but things did not go according to plan, and aren’t we glad it happened that way? Things started to fall into place with the new space and now when you sit outside at Calavera under the patio lights, it couldn’t be more perfect. One thing that makes Calavera quite unique compared to other Raleigh restaurants can be seen by simply walking by the front of their location. Right in front of their doors are garden beds where they are growing their own ingredients! It is a growing trend for restaurants to use locally sourced ingredients from within Raleigh and NC, but how many restaurants can say that they proudly grow a selection of their very own?
Hyper-local food sourcing, or when a restaurant grows its own ingredients, is the number one concept trend this year among restaurants and this is one urban trend we are very happy to support. Urban farming plays a huge role in the wellbeing of our city. A city growing as exponentially as Raleigh, produces more and more waste as it grows, and urban farming can help to turn urban waste around into something great, and in this case, delicious.
Not only does urban farming and hyper local sourcing help our city’s environment, but it also ensures the highest quality. Chefs and owners will never have to worry about recalls or what may have been used to grow the produce. Calavera currently has 4 different gardens that are all growing lettuce, jalapenos, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and other fresh herbs and vegetables used in their amazing tasting offerings. You can taste the freshness one bite into the guac! Their menu is simple, which as someone who always has a hard time deciding what to eat, I adore. Each menu item has a simple list of its ingredients and it was so fun to see the ingredients and then head over to the garden beds to see which items would have the most urban farmed.
They specialize in, you guessed it, empanadas and tequila. Their cocktails are made with house made mixes and garnished with herbs fresh from their garden. As their website reads, “No syrupy lime juice from a plastic bottle. Check out the guns on those bartenders, everyday they squeeze a lot of limes to make sure that you are getting the best.” Know that when you visit Calavera, you are hands down getting the best quality available.
Another fantastic part about Calavera is its location. This space is right in the Boylan Heights neighborhood making it a hot spot close to so many family homes. Funny enough, it is equally as close to Raleigh’s new coworking space, WeWork.
When you are sitting outside on the patio you can literally see the WeWork sign and its building, making Calavera not only walkable from home, but also from the office. Whether you’re craving empanadas for lunch or want a post work cocktail, this is the perfect spot.
We hope to see other local restaurants hop on the urban farming trend! We will always be keeping an eye out to share. Give Calavera a try and take a picture on the picturesque patio (there are string lights). If you share on social media, tag us on Facebook, @UrbanMJblog