Zapatista - Northbrook
Zapatista - Northbrook

Zapatista - Northbrook

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.zapatistarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 8475590939x
  • 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 / Southwestern, Regional Mexican, 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 8883209627
  • Special Events: 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Zapatista - Northbrook reviews from OpenTable diners
63 reviews since June 26, 2014
Overall Rating3.4
  • Food3.5
    Service3.5
  • Ambiance3.4
    Noise LevelModerate
70% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (27)great for outdoor dining (25)kid-friendly (19)neighborhood gem (15)great for lunch (11)fit for foodies (9)special occasion (5)hot spot (4)romantic (3)late-night find (2)great for brunch (1)notable wine list (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Great dining experience
    elspring
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    We went there on a quite Sunday afternoon expecting to experience good Mexican food. The waiter was polite and professional and took good care of us. The food was served promptly and was well presented. Amazing freshly made guacamole, pretty much everything on the menu is delicious. Overall the experience was great and we were very pleased with the food and ambiance. I will recommend this place for a good dining experience and surely I will go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • TrinkaVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Our table was not as nice as the last time we ate there. We were seated in the back in a less attractive area. Our food was good, but my salmon was a little too sweet.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasantly surprised
    DisappointedVIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    A client suggestion this restaurant chain for dinner. I didn't expect much, but luckily I was wrong. Overall, a very pleasant dining experience. I will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This place is slipping...
    Anonymous
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We've had really good meals at Zapatista in the past, but the last 2 times we've been, the food has been less than tasty and the service has been rushed and not especially friendly. I had shrimp tacos that basically had no flavor. The shrimp were borderline slimy. Margaritas had very little tequila in them. Chips and salsa were fabulous, as always, but with other Mexican options in the area, I would hesitate to come back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • just ok
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Guacamole was too salty and pricey for the serving provided. Shrimp and steak fajitas were fine, not great. Did not like them swimming in all that liquid, peppers strips were pretty much disintegreated and could barely find any in the dish. HUGE onion slice that could have filled the small tortillas on their own. Pare down the onion and beef up the pepper slices so they do not disintegrate before they get to the table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mexican and Margeritas
    love2eat
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Zapatista is location and easy to find. I arrived early and advised the hostess I would be in the bar until the others arrive. She was friendly and said to let her know when we were ready. The bar was active but not overwhelming. Many tequila options with noting b,r,a - for the aging processed for each one. (The bartender had to explain that to me. ) I opted for the house margarita that was very refreshing. They also brought out fresh salsa and chips. Delicious. The menu offers multiple selections from your standard tacos and sopas, a huge kettle served fajita and full main courses. The taco can be served with a lettuce leaf instead of the usual corn or flour tortilla. The food was fresh and presentation was spot on. Great service by all.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Better than I remembered
    Munchkin514VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We had not been to Zapatista for quite a while since our last visit over a year ago had been mediocre. There is some very excellent and authentic Mexican restaurants in the area, but we were nearby and gave them another try. I'm glad we did. The food was much better; tasty and freshly prepared, and I thought my Huachinango Veracruzana was was better than I've had in many other places. We had a pleasant surprise in that the entrees we selected were 2 for the price of 1. I thought the guacamole was pricey for the amount we received, but the chips were excellent, crisp and not greasy.The service was fine and we will probably return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    StevePVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasty but expensive
    ATrainVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • noisy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Listen to the reviews
    KHDG
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Fresh Guacamole
    BenLikesFoodVIP
    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!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • downhill?
    ERB162VIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good, but not great...
    HappyCamper
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, spotty service
    WWWSVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Food Ambience Lacking
    Lindella
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice overall setting.
    AwesomeVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Another great dinner. Service was a bit slow on a not so busy Friday Night but overall another good experience.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cleanliness a problem
    veganstylistVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for work outing
    Wexie2VIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    They quickly fit our 15 into the restaurant. Thanks for being so accomodating.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Never going back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Used to love it
    LucyVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Review July 5th
    Topazasher
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Missed the mark
    DavidVIP
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 39 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.7
    • Food3.7
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 624 reviews are from the Zapatista - Northbrook reviews archive.
  • not the best food.drink was nice
    eatoutoften
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    The food could be prepared a bit closer to spcification. The food we had was good. Not great. I had high expectations.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Suggest using a fish other than Talapia. The off taste ruined what was otherwise great meal
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friday night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    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
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Value
    soVeryWise
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    The guacamole was fantastic. The servings were HUGE! We thought it was great value for the price.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New approach to Mexican food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Being a 1st generation Mexican-American, I truly enjoyed the fresh take on Mexican food. Fun place to watch the World Cup too.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyed my previous visits more.
    CatMama
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • latinfan
    TonyCVIP
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh
    AngieVIP
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Decent service, food. Wanted more..
    MrFussyPants
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    acr1968
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good restaurant for outings
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Fajitas, smallest Guac EVER!
    oddcouple
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    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!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Average Food.
    OkeeyVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Work group outing
    SgmgriderVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • SERVICE HORRIBLE
    lala205
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.