Carnitas Lonja is known for its succulent Michoacán-style carnitas, available by weight or in tacos and tortas. Owner and chef Alex Paredes announced the shutter on Instagram, but notes that the restaurant is “tak[ing] a short break and will keep you posted on what’s next.” What that means is that he’ll be relocating it into his night market Lonja Square, which is actually right on the patio of the restaurant, according to Lovers Pizzeria’s Instagram. As reported by My SA last year, he intends the space to function as a food-filled weekend night market.
Paredes opened Carnitas in 2017 and quickly garnered critical acclaim. Eater named the restaurant one of the best restaurants in the country in 2018. Then-critic Bill Addison called Paredes a “master of carnitas,” and that the ropy, near-greaseless hunks of pork reveal a gamut of textures in every bite: crisp, supple, lacy, chewy.”
Paredes expanded with a seafood-centric menu dubbed Fish Lonja in 2019, seen through dishes like Mexican shrimp cocktails, fish tacos, and fish tostadas. That was named as one of the New York Times’s favorite restaurants of 2021.
Now that Carnitas is closed, Lovers will turn the space into a walk-up restaurant slinging New York-style pizza by the pie and slice, as well as sodas and desserts.