Nixta Al Pastor Taco

Al pastor is one of three tacos you can order during Nixta's lunch service. 

Nixta is making big changes in Botanical Heights. Ben Poremba's acclaimed Mexican restaurant not only has a new chef, but also recently rolled out lunch hours with a menu designed for those looking for a quick bite.

Dakota Williams, who joined Nixta as its chef in June after working under Gerard Craft at several Niche Food Group restaurants for the past five years, says that the decision to open up the restaurant for lunch came soon after he joined the team. After figuring out logistics and staffing, Nixta officially opened for lunch last week.

Williams says that the lunch menu is similar to the dinner menu, but is smaller and aimed at quicker bites. While you can still get favorites like the tuna tostada, tacos de pescado and tacos al pastor at lunch, you won't find other entrees like the crispy octopus or roasted chicken with mole negro. However, you can look forward to a few lunch-exclusive plates, including the torta de pollo, made with chicken tinga and queso, and barbacoa tacos, made with beef, chile mole, onion and lime. 

"Anytime I've ever went out to lunch, I've always craved tacos," Williams says. "They're really quick and easy and super flavorful. So it didn't make sense for us just to be open for dinner."

In addition to the new lunch menu, Nixta plans to open soon for brunch service, with menu details coming soon. 

While not too much has changed about the neighborhood favorite since Williams took over, he has done a few menu flips in order to change the dishes as the seasons change. While Nixta fans can still expect the same flavors they love, Williams is bringing his own spin to the menu.

"I try to elevate everything as much as I can without being pretentious about anything," he says. "Anybody that's willing to go out of their comfort zone can still grasp what we're trying to cook for them and not be intimidated by anything." 

Nixta is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11am to 2pm. 

Nixta, 1621 Tower Grove Ave., Botanical Heights, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.899.9000,