Wow, are we EVER glad to say “Welcome!” to Choza de Margarita — here at long last!!!
Choza de Margarita (originally announced as Choza Tequila) is the brand new outdoor margarita bar opening TODAY right next to Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion. Once upon a time, we could all pick up a margarita — or two 😉 — at the small, thatched roof Mexico Margarita Stand during a World Showcase stroll. But when the neighboring Norway Pavilion expanded to add new Frozen-themed attractions, we were saddened to learn that the humble little kiosk would be closed to accommodate construction in that area.
The operative word in that sentence, of course, is “WERE.”
Because CHOZA IS OPEN!!!
Choza de Margarita is located directly adjacent to the Pavilion’s pyramid. And its design details are fitting to its location. If you remember the ol’ Margarita Stand, then you’ll recall the little thatched roof placed atop a kiosk that held just a couple of Cast Members at any given time.
Well, the thatched roofing still sets the scene at Choza de Margarita, but this new spot can definitely hold more than a few people at once!
There are multiple registers for ordering.
And there’s plenty of room for the many cast members to dispense drinky drinks for the masses.
And that’s great news… because the masses were lining up for Opening Day, and this is a trend that’s not going to slow down any time soon!
This picture, taken pre-opening, will give you an idea of how the area is set up.
They’re prepared for the inevitable lines, y’all!
Note that there’s currently no seating available at Choza. It is, like the original Marg stand, a stand-and-imbibe kind of thing…. except there are a few “high top” tables that you can kind of spot built into the walls. I’m kind of hoping they’ll add more actual high tops eventually.
Mayan gods such as Acan — the god of wine (I learned that through Choza de Margarita’s Twitter!) — and others are represented in gorgeous carvings, nicely echoing the scene set through the pyramid.
And another really fun touch… these torches should look especially lovely at night.
Now, it’s time for some of what Choza promises in its name… Margaritas!
You’ll find frozen and hand-crafted margaritas, Mexican beers, non-alcoholic options, and specialty eats here at Choza. The Margarita menu is the star here.
Guests have a choice between Three Mexican beer options: Dos Equis Ambar, Cerveza Pacifico, and a Michelada.
The Conga — a Non-Alcoholic Mexican Fruit Punch made of orange, pineapple, and grapefruit juices with a splash of grenadine is pretty delicious. Definitely worth getting!!
But since Acan embodies the spirit of this spot, I couldn’t wait to try his drink: the Acan Grapefruit Margarita. It’s comprised of Casa Noble Blanco Tequila, Grapefruit Liqueur, Elderflower Cordial, Lemon Juice, Cardamom Bitters, and Ginger Beer. AAAAH! Doesn’t that sound amazing? If you’re thinking this sounds super interesting, I agree. The Elderflower Cordial and Cardamom Bitters are particularly unusual, but the combination is delicious and refreshing. Especially with the Grapefruit Liqueur.
And this is something I’m finding in a lot of Choza’s drinks — there’s a “hey, what IS that?” element to all of them, but in a good way. In a “that’s-interesting-and-I-really-kind-of-like-it” way. But these are the same mixologists that created the goodies at La Cava del Tequila, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
The Lime Cucumber Margarita features Avión Blanco Tequila, fresh cucumber, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave nectar. It’s super refreshing and very subtle. This is a good one for folks who aren’t comfortable with stronger flavors. A great one for summer! But note that you may get a batch that’s reeeeallly heavy on the cucumber, so if’ you’re not a fan, let that be a warning.
The Guava Pink Peppercorn Margarita ingredients include Zignum Mezcal Reposado, guava nectar, grapefruit liqueur, lime juice, Peychaud’s Bitters, and pink peppercorns.
This one is unique and powerful, sweet and tart. It’s served with pink peppercorns in the mix, and you’re encouraged to get one and chew it up while you’re sipping — it actually enhances the flavors! This one is a DFB team favorite.
So let’s move on to the frozen drinks.
Devotees of the former Margarita kiosk will fondly remember (that is, IF they can remember at ALL) the super strong Fiesta Margarita, a combo of the three flavored Margaritas at the kiosk. For many years, this was an iconic part of “drinking around the World” for many folks.
Well, Choza is bringing back the Fiesta Margarita!!! But rest assured it’s a leeeeeetle bit different. The Classic Lime has a depth to it, the Wild Strawberry has prickly pear puree, and the Mango actually has a little bit of Passion Fruit in there! Lime and Strawberry are definitely my favorites.
Think of it as a Fiesta Margarita that grew up and traveled the world a little bit…there’s a depth to the flavors that just wasn’t there before, and I really, really enjoyed that.
And here, my friends, is the VERY FIRST FIESTA MARGARITA EVER POURED AT CHOZA DE MARGARITA!!!!! I was pretty pleased to have that honor!
Let’s look at it again, shall we?
And here they are individually, because… well, why not? Here’s the Classic Lime Margarita on its own.
The Wild Strawberry Margarita…
And the Passion Mango Margarita!
But it’s not only Margaritas at the Choza! The Michelada (as a reminder from the menu pictured earlier) is draft beer served with a mix of Clamato (that’s tomato-clam), lime, and orange juice, Maggi, Valentina, and Worcestershire and soy sauces.
Personally speaking? I’m not a fan. But, you will probably love it if you are a beer and Bloody Mary person! The Bloody mary flavors are prominent at first, but the aftertaste is pure beer — malty and sweet.
And now, onto eats… ‘cuz Choza has more than the bags of chips you could find at the old kiosk!
The bites at Choza de Margarita are small and reminiscent of Mexican street food — which is some truly fabulous street food when done well.
The Tacos al Pastor are grilled pork on homemade corn tortillas with green tomatillo sauce, onion, pineapple, and cilantro. The serving of pork is generous, and the seasoning was awesome. Great flavor, particularly in contrast the fresh pineapple. (Don’t worry — I picked off the cilantro because yuck. But if you like it, it’s there for you.)
Oh, and those esquites that accompany the eats at Choza…THOSE ARE AMAZING. You know I’m a Mexican street corn fan, but these are at another level. I’ve already asked them if I can just get a giant bowl of them, so I’ll keep you updated! Not sure what esquites are? This version is sweet corn topped with queso fresco and chipotle mayo and OMG.
The Empanadas de Barbacoa are filled with beef and topped with chipotle sauce, Mexican cream, and queso fresco. These are fat and fresh and everything you want from an empanada, folks. The crispy fried dough was golden and tasty!
The Fresh Guacamole comes with mango chutney and pumpkin and pomegranate seeds. It’s served with fried chicharrones and salsa Valentina (a hot sauce!). The combination of textures is a real hit here. The guac is fresh tasting and fruity, while the seeds on top add some toothsomeness. And unlike traditional chicharrones, which are made from pork skin, these are vegetarian and made from flour. The golden brown color befits the unexpectedly awesome flavor.
The salsa Valentina contrasted perfectly with the cool, creamy guac.
Nosh or Not?
Choza de Margarita is for you if:
- Margaritas are your thang, but you don’t want to go inside the pyramid to La Cava
- You’re drinking around the World and only have limited time for Mexico
- You’re into Mexican street food and want to try a great version
You can probably skip Choza if:
- You’re not a margarita or Mexican beer fan
- You’ve got kiddos pulling you toward Future World
- You’d rather head inside the pyramid to the air conditioned oasis that is Cava del Tequila
Choza is everything we wanted it to be…except for the no real, true seating thing. The drinks are well crafted, intense, and complex. The eats are fresh and, though simple street food, are done very well (THOSE ESQUITES THO!!!!!!). I already have another visit to Choza on my schedule for tomorrow. So yeah…it was worth the wait.
That said, the not much in the way of seating thing is a drawback, but it shouldn’t keep you from trying out the menu here. Make it happen!
Headed to Epcot and planning to try out Choza de Margarita? Let us know in the comments below!