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  • Zapatista - Northbrook

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Zapatista - Northbrook
Zapatista - Northbrook

Zapatista - Northbrook Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.zapatistarestaurant.com
  • Phone: (847) 559-0939
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Everyday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner; Monday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Mexican / Southwestern, Regional Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Alberto Mendez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Delivery, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Zapatista is a great location for any special event. Our family style menu, "Mesa de Amigos" (Table of Friends), encourages an interactive experience in a casual restaurant seating for groups of up to 250.
  • Private Party Contact: Phil Shanks (888) 320-9627
  • Special Events & Promotions: Monthly Events through the entire year.
    -Tequila Dinners
    -Wine Dinners
    -Beer Dinners
    -Seasonal Affairs

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Waukeegan Rd.
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Zapatista - Northbrook
Zapatista is named in honor of Emiliano Zapata and all his faithful followers, which were called Zapatistas. During the Mexican Revolution early in the 20th century, Zapatistas fought for freedom, equal rights for fair wages and the opportunity to own their own land, much like the American colonists had fought for in the American Revolutionary War. Given the importance of Mexican culture in the United States, we found it necessary to tell this story through our restaurant.

Zapatista is one of Chicago's best authentic Mexican restaurants. Favorite dishes include the made-to-order guacamole and the fajitas which are served sizzling hot in a molcajete or lave stone. The menu also boasts excellent steak and seafood dishes and a seemingly endless list of tequila choices. And our guests will love al fresco dining in late spring through early autumn, with our grand outdoor dining area on the sidewalk.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "Although many tables were open in the main restaurant our party of 4 was seated in a room off the main dining area. We were seated next to a table of 10 people and I was back to back to a member of that table sealing off the aisle. It was sealed off unless a member of the staff decided to squeeze their way through. The food was not up to my expectation. I found it bland and lifeless. This was my third trip to the restaurant and probably my last."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "Lunch was good, but a bit more expensive than I would have expected. We had good service and I'd go back, but probably not too often just due to the high prices."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "it was very loud and noisy and it was hard to hear your companion. The guacamole was outstanding and the other food was just okay for the price. waiter was attentive i would probably only go back from drinks and guacamole."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "I thought (at least was hoping) for some reason, our experience may be different than what other reviewers had... unfortunately, they were all accurate. Our first sign was that no was one there on a Saturday night. Food was ehh, service was worse. My husband and I definitely wont be going back."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "The drinks were well made. I had the special that night, a Cadillac margarita. Very smooth and easy to drink. The Guacamole is made fresh at a table in the center of the main dinning room with a mixture of fresh lemon and lime juice. My wife had the trout special. She said it was delicious. It came with a wonderful chimichurri sauce on the side and pico de gallo. My Carne Asada was a strip steak with nice crust. It came with spicy fries. These fries were real cut potatoes. We will be back again!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "We have been here four or five times before but this most recent visit was very unimpressive. The guac didn't appear to be made to order, the mole had no flavor, and since when does Mexican food need to come with sweet potato fries? The dining room was empty at 6 PM, which considering location, was surprising."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "Zapatista has the right idea, still working on the execution. Good service, good atmosphere. Ordered a guacamole appetizer, awesome for freshness and flavor. Salsa tasted "out of a jar", lacking flavor and substance. Ordered Lamb Enchiladas special. Great presentation, but again lacking in flavor. The subtlety of the lamb was overtaken by the mole sauce. A green chiles (and maybe a touch of mint...sweet and a mild heat?) sauce may have been a better flavor play."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "The title says it all. We went early in the evening and the food was really good but our waiter kept doing a disappearing act. Fortunately the other wait staff brought our drinks, our food and kept our water glasses filled. But the meal didn't flow. We sat waiting for long chunks of time. Dinner lasted 1 1/2 hours and that's just dinner - no appetizers and no desserts. The service might have been understandable if all of the tables were full. I counted; only have the tables were full. And when we left 4-5 groups were waiting to be seated."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "We have had some great experiences at Zapatista but this wasn't one of them. We were with a larger group of thirteen and the orders weren't correct and the food was cold - it was a pretty disappointing evening over all"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "I was really surprised that the restaurant was practically empty on a Saturday evening. The food was what you'd expect at a Mexican restaurant, and although we didn't get the guacamole, I was disappointed to see that it's made at a counter and not at tables. The restaurant was clean and a good effort had been made to give the restaurant a Mexican feel. What I felt was lacking were more booths, it was a bit too dark, and needed a more intimate feeling. Our waiter was wonderful and was there for all our needs. I found it disappointing that my sister's burrito had a melted slice of cheese on top. That seems lazy and inauthentic. My veggie fajitas were very good and plentiful. The best thing was the salsa. I'll come in just for that."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Another great dinner. Service was a bit slow on a not so busy Friday Night but overall another good experience."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We ordered guacamole and the kids making it were not wearing gloves and were touching their hair or nose etc.. Not too sanitary. We watched the cooks and only a few wore gloves. Two of us and the restaurant was not busy and the waitress screwed up my order. Our waitress was nice but was not in the game. My husband ordered the all you can eat fish and she managed to come over at the end of our meal and ask him if he would like more. Went serving water from the ewer it is best not too touch the glass. I don't want someone else's spit in my water."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "They quickly fit our 15 into the restaurant. Thanks for being so accomodating."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "This was our first and last visit to Zapatista. We chose the restaurant because it's convenient location but that was the only good thing about this place. Service was rude and slow and the food was even worse."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Asked what the Guacamole of the day was and the server had to go check????? Food was bland and unappetizing, could have gone to Chipotle and had better service and food for about a third of what it cost."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "We were a party of 4 and had wonderful service. One of the entrees was delayed and they took that entree off of the bill without asking. That was very nice and we will return to this restaurant. Food was very good and reasonably priced."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "I have had good experiences at Z in the past. This time not so much. The margaritas were weak and the queso fundio was watery. Service was good, the tacos were good but overall I wish I had gone somewhere else."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "The food could be prepared a bit closer to spcification. The food we had was good. Not great. I had high expectations."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Suggest using a fish other than Talapia. The off taste ruined what was otherwise great meal"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Zapatista had good guacomole and salsa. Cadillac margarita the best choice. Food was good. Not great. Couple of entrees needed more flavor/spice Tres leches cake was great! Waiter was knowledgable and friendly. Definitely good place for families. We would go back"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The guacamole was fantastic. The servings were HUGE! We thought it was great value for the price."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Being a 1st generation Mexican-American, I truly enjoyed the fresh take on Mexican food. Fun place to watch the World Cup too."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "I've been here several times and actually enjoyed my previous visits more than the most recent one. Perhaps the difference is that I went on a Friday night this time. Noise level was high and I couldn't hear the people at the table I was sitting at. I've had the vegetable burrito before and enjoyed it, I must say it was different this last time and I wasn't as happy with it. Also, the Revolution Salad was just OK and I wouldn't order it again - very bland. Most of our group was very happy with the restaurant."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "I been to Zapatista many times before and the reason I keep on coming back is simply because their food is very good and a great value. Margaritas are very tasty and they have à great selecction of wines and beer. My only comemt hoping they considerate would be to change the recipe for the tortilla soup, any other restaurante in your category has à better recipe for it. Also, corn tortillas need to be heated on a pan or comal, do not put them on a microwave...they are horrible and stick to eachother...not good! Other than that, everything else is good."
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "Lots of good tequila but it doesn't matter if they don't use it in your margarita. And the last few times I've been there, I've had to wait and wait for water and then wait and wait for the check. The food is okay, a little tired. Not sure why they insist on using those GIANT, VOLCANIC CAULDRONS for fajitas - they take up the whole table, are hot as hell, and continue cooking the food so by your second fajita, the meat is dry. I think we're over this place for a while, and by the empty dining room, we're not the only ones. Try El Mexican if you want good Mexican food."
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "I had the camarones borrachos (spicy shrimp). It was quite spicy--almost a little too spicy for me. The number of shrimp provided was good, but there was nothing else on the plate except a tightly-packed scoop of white(ish) rice. The rice tasted a little weird, but I ate it anyway. The chips and salsa were good."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Family members who love mexican food had great things to say. I found the food to be decent, pretty good, but not amazing. Based on my family members opinions I expected more. The staff was quite attentive (but not overbearing). There was some really weird incongruous music overhead. "
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Our family has been coming to Zapatista for a few years now, especially to celebrate bdays. Seems like the food quality has really gone down. My fish tacos were cold, both the tortillas & the fish."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Good place for group outings. Good outdoor area. A bit noisy but not critical. Food is good, but service can be better. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "We love Zapatista and will remain going there always but for the first time i found something disappointing about the restaurant...we brought my in laws there this past weekend and this was the first time my wife could order guacamole because i don't eat it and for $8 not even half of the bowl was filled and barely fed 1 persons craving for it...we had to order 2 orders for the 3 people eating it and it was VERY disappointing! But despite that, the fajitas were as amazing as they always are!!!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Presentation of the food is great, but the food was average. Our booth was closer to the kitchen so the noise level of the plates/spoons,etc was quite high. Was difficult to have a quiet conversation."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "They do a nice job here! I take work groups there often and everyone is always satisfied. Good food, good service and the staff is always great!"
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "This is my 4th time here and I keep hoping the service will improve. It hasn't. The wait staff brings your food and then you don't see them again until he brings your check. 2/2 times, they didn't even ask if we wanted dessert or anything else. The table stayed dirty the entire time we were seated. Or waiter had only 3 tables. I don't know what it is, but they definitely need to improve the wait staff. I would have rated Zapatista higher if the service were better. Chicken fajitas and guacamole are great! "
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "Disappointed in the service the restaurant was not busy and the service was very poor."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We love to have date nights here..we also like to bring friends and family when they visit..on game days we go sit at the bar drink sangria and eat guacamole and share chicken fajitas .. Perfect day<3"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Two exhausted travelers, looking for an early, uncomplicated dinner, chose Zapastista, mostly because it was within walking distance of our hotel. It FAR exceeded our expectations, because of the in-house-made guacamole, the cheerful highly competent service, and the exhaustive menu of genuine Mexican cuisine. I recommend the fajitas, and I'll be back."
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "Very disappointed in oir experience. Our food wasn't verybgood. Service was not great, either."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Another trip to Zapatista and it did not disappoint. Everything was great - especially the service."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "I love this restaurant! My 3rd visit here and I have enjoyed both lunch and dinner. The only problem I have had is getting my steak cooked to the right temperature because it's served on this rock bowls that are super hot and literally your meet would be over done by the time you get to it. I like mine rare or medium rare and it's really hard to get it here. Other than that everything else is tasty and prices are a great value."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Have always wanted to try this restaurant and a friend recommended it. Not sure why. The ambience was terrific with a very friendly and attentive staff. The problem was that the food had no flavor. The chef must have forgotten any type of spices. Gauc appetizer was fresh but bland. Queso was a total disaster. All the cheese was stuck to the sides of the bowl with giant strips of peppers. More of a pepper dish than cheese. Total waste of time. My son had to ask for extra cheese and 2 different sauces to give his burrito some flavor. I think this restaurant has potential if they get a new chef with more authentic Mexican spices in the dishes."
    Dined on 4/8/2014