Zocalo Back Bay
Zocalo Back Bay

Zocalo Back Bay

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.zocalobackbay.com/
  • Phone: (617) 456-7849
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday 11:00AM-10:00PM
    Mon-Wed 3:00PM-10:00PM
    Thurs-Fri 11:30AM-11:00PM
    Saturday 11:00AM-11:00PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Jaime Castillo
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch

Getting there

  • Cross Street: between Berkeley Street and Clarendon Street at the corner of Cahners Place
  • Public Transit: Orange Line to Back Bay Station
    Green Line to Copley Station or Arlington Station
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street Parking & Parking Garage at 100 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA. Nightly Rate: 5 pm- 7 am $10, Daily Rate: 2 hours or less $18
A word from Zocalo Back Bay
Contemporary Mexican cuisine based on traditional culinary recipes. The outstanding food, impeccable service & vibrant decor offers an unforgettable experience for all.
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Zocalo Back Bay reviews from OpenTable diners
86 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelEnergetic
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (40)neighborhood gem (37)great for outdoor dining (31)fit for foodies (24)hot spot (20)vibrant bar scene (18)great for lunch (13)great for brunch (13)romantic (10)special occasion (7)late-night find (6)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • Menu changed
    Kenneth
    Dined on 11/26/2014
    My first experience at Zocalo was terrific, with attentive service and some tough decisions to make regarding a solid menu. But this time around, I think the menu changed and I had a tough time scrambling to understand these new dishes. While the service was fast, the server rarely came around to refresh our drinks, which was a real bummer. So overall, the meal could've been better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Taco Night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    We happened to be there for "Taco Night" - $2/$3 Tacos which were delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Option
    dcl23VIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We started with the grilled fish tacos, which were a little disappointing. The menu indicates they have a chipotle mayo and cilantro pesto, but they were very mild - I wanted a little more heat from the chipotle. There also seemed to be a third sauce - like a dark mole. The three sauces together on a small taco was much too much and I could barely taste the fish. The radish provided a nice texture. The complimentary chips and salsa were good - a smoky salsa with a nice combination subtle heat and sweetness. For an entree, I really enjoyed the grilled shrimp marinated in chimichurri sauce. The shrimp may have been a tad overcooked, but were well seasoned and a sufficient portion (8). The guacamole paired well with the rice, and the black beans were wonderfully seasoned. Mexican staples of rice and beans - when done right - can really elevate a dish, and Zocalo nailed these. A reasonably priced option for this part of Boston.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Mexican
    njgalinwtVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We loved our mexican meal here. Large menu. It's a good restaurant for groups. For parties of 2 it's very noisy so it's hard for conversations to flow easily over the noise (and the restaurant wasn't crowded when we went). Service was pretty good, a bit slow at times, but nothing terrible. Would go back again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not bad, but go elsewhere.
    KRRKVIP
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    I enjoyed the food. I hate writing bad reviews so I'll just leave it at this: I was very disappointed by nearly everything and it was clear the restaurant doesn't know what they're doing and doesn't really care to fix it. Don't be fooled by the location.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Was a nice dinner
    Star
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    This was a nice Mexican restaurant. The food was decent and the service was alright. The tables for two people though are way too close together. We were on top of a date table and it was uncomfortable for both parties.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • noisy but fun
    Lindags
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Not a place for quiet conversation. Extremely noisy. But the Mimosa brunch is a gteat deal!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mimosa Brunch
    YumE
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    This is a great spot for an inexpensive brunch with a group. The pitchers of Mimosas are fun, the food is flavorful, fresh, and very nicely presented, and the service was quick and efficient. My only complaint was the noise level-- it was way too loud. The breakfast burrito was fantastic!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent brunch
    karls
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The brunch scene was comparable to those found in big east coast brunch cities like NYC and DC. $10 carafes of mimosas and reasonably priced, tasty food is definitely something I will be coming back to Zocalo for. Can't recommend enough!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great guacamole!
    outandabout
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Food is good, guacamole outstanding and great location! Make a reservation.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tryall3
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    I think that the food was alright. It didn't taste very authentic, rather an Americanized version of Mexican food but not bad. The service was very good. A bit too loud for romantic dinners, so if you are thinking of taking your partner there just be aware that it might be hard to hear. The place had a nice ambient though.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great for pre-show dinner
    NotSoFitFoodie
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We went here at 6pm before an 8pm show at the Lyric Stage Company. The food was delicious and the drinks were superb. It is definitely a bit pricey for mexican and margaritas, but it was good. Our server, Caesar, was great. Overall I would definitely recommend this place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun
    JohnnyG
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We got there on the early side (530ish) on Saturday eve and it was fairly empty. Was with another couple, had a couple drinks and enjoyed the chips and awesome salsa prior to ordering. The place started to really fill up after 6:00 and then the vibe started. Food is excellent traditional Mexican fare. They've got some nice boutique tequila drinks. We all had something different to eat and drink, and we all left happy. Will return.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hip, not mexican
    INPRboston
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Great inhouse made chips. Thats it. The guacamole has too much lime(lime keeps it green preventing avocado to turn brown a few drops should be enough). Salsas are sweet!! Whatever they serve, definitely not Mexican food. Nice decor, too loud hiphop music.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious
    solomona152
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    The food was some of the best I've had in Boston. The menu had the steadfast favorites (like enchiladas and tacos) and some surprising twists (roasted corn-- which sounds simple but seriously blew my mind). I definitely recommend getting any sort of sample plate just because it's all so good, you'll want to try it all! Could use a little extra spice-- but better to add spice afterwards than get something inedible. We went late on a Tuesday evening and it was still really busy though so I'd recommend making a reservation. VERY lively atmosphere despite being a small space.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food
    southiefoodie
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    This was a great find, thanks Gilt City! The entrees were "normal" food with a mexican flare, not just tacos and nachos. I was impressed. The margaritas were also very strong. Did not care for the environment. Just one big room with a lot of tables, you kinda feel like you're on top of the people next to you. There was a nice little outdoor seating area as well. I would recommend this place for dinner with friends.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good find
    Kelnot1030
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    We were visiting Boston and was in need of dinner. We found this gem and was thrilled. The food and margaritas were amazing!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Mexican Food
    FloridaTricia
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    Having lived in Texas most of my life and eating Mexican food every week, this place ranks with the best. The corn appetizer stole the meal. Fajitas were also very good. Highly recommended!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Mexican!
    Madz
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We went here for my husbands birthday and it was great - good drinks, exceptional food, great service. The chiles rellenos are out of this world. Try the guacamole as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bottomless Brunch in Boston
    ME87Foodie
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Almost. Being from NYC and a brunch enthusiast I was determined to find a great brunch option in Boston, and we found it. The restaurant is no longer doing bottomless, but they have a deal thats almost the same thing. I also enjoyed all the pitcher options with the flavors
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • pretty good, guac not worth it
    lilly4
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I loved my entree, (small dish steak quesadilla was more than enough for one) however the guacamole was underwhelming, especially for $11.50 a bowl. The complimentary chips and salsa were also very good! Service could have been quicker, it wasn't too busy a night but maybe there weren't a lot of servers working on a weeknight.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Pre theater drinks and apps. Not impressed with the margarita, the too sweet salsa, the tiny apps, or the service...I really wanted to love this place as I have gone to their other restaurants and liked them and we are doing a subscription at the lyric theater. We were the first ones there and then it got busy. Server was totally inattentive and had to be tacked down for the check.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Kman25
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    V quick service by friendly wait staff. Food was average. Some people take that as a negative. - it's not meant to be - just pretty box standard Mexican food - nothing amazing about it but not bad either.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great guacamole - okay food.
    FoodieBos
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Had the pork carnitas and it was 6 small cubes of pork on guacamole. It came with rice that was dry and beans that taisted as if they came out of a can. It was very disappointing for $22. My friend had the chicken enchaladas with mole sauce and it was dry. Rather a disappointing experience given all the good reviews. I am not eager to come back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great, fun Mexican place
    Bonce
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    I really enjoyed my meal here - better than many other Mexican meals I've had in Boston. It was quite a noisy restaurant but not too much to the detriment of our conversation. Friendly staff and quick service. I'd happily go again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very good Mexican's
    BohioKid
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Nice place, very good food and great service. Terrific Guacamole.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice gem
    Ilia
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The family wanted to try a different atmosphere, we chose a table outside the servers were very accomidating. Notice there was no ice in our waters, apps were delicious, and filling (amazing guacamole & sampler)my husband and I ended splitting our meals which was told to the server but she did not have the meal split for us which was ok if she would have brought us an extra side plate so that we could share the meal. Small details go a long way. Thank you for a really nice meal. We can see us going back for a second try.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, late-night find, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just okay...
    EpicureanVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Food was pretty good, but the service wasn't. We kept having to try and get our waitor's attention, just to get water. He was not very attentive.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great place!
    KSpoChicago
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    There's nothing traditional about this Mexican restaurant - from the food and drinks to the service and atmosphere. I was only in Boston one night and I'm so happy I found this place.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kmacjp
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    This is my go-to spot for dinner and drinks before seeing shows at The Lyric Stage, which is right across the street. The food is very fresh and service is professional and quick, but not rushed. For pre-show dining, I would recommend making a reservation, just to be on the safe side, because it can get crowded. It's a little loud in there, but it's a fun, festive kind of loud. The clientele is usually a nice mix of couples, dates, groups of friends and families.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food, Loud, Loud and crowded!
    Teater
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We were looking for a weekend lunch/brunch spot for our multi_age group! We liked the friendliness of the staff, the colorful interior space and everything we sampled from the brunch menu was good. This place was so loud it was hard to think and near impossible to talk. It seems that they serve bottomless pitchers of drinks at brunch, which is why it is that loud. Good for some , but not for us.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 55 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 31, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 269 reviews are from the Zocalo Back Bay reviews archive.
  • Very Good Mexican
    TorontoVIP
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Very good neighborhood restaurant. Consistent Mexican food, friendly staff provides good service. Some outdoor seating.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My first visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    I really enjoyed Zocalo -- the service was fast and friendly, and the food was good! Also, the sparkling sangria is delicious and made with the right proportions. I will be back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Mexican in Back Bay
    Meghan
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Ambiance was fun, trendy and the service was excellent. Food was even better -- your typical Mexican staples like guac and enchiladas with the option to go bold with some fun dishes like the chipotle chicken. (Highly recommended!) Good cocktails too and it wasn't too busy right after work -- great happy hour spot as well!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food and fun!!
    Luv2zocalo
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We just love zocalo! The food is amazing and the staff are incredible, especially Antonio, he makes us feel so special every time. We have been going to zocalo for about a year now, we have recommended it to all our friends and not one person has been disappointed. It is our favorite place to have a special night out.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food but bad service
    Laur
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Our food was great. However, it took forever for food and drinks to arrive. Our waiter also: forgot to bring us chips for our guacamole and forgot to bring a spoon with the soup that one person ordered. He also didn't check in with our table, so when we wanted more drinks (or chips. Or a spoon.) we had to spend a long time trying to flag him down.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good place
    BackBayRob
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Food, especially the salad, was excellent. The place was really hopping on a hot summer Wednesday night.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sunshine
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    We had a large reservation at 7:30 but ended up going an hour early to watch the soccer game. They were happy to get our table together early for us! Very accommodating!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Noisy
    anonymous
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    It was so noisy that even after we moved tables I could not hear the person sitting next to me.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mixed Bag
    meeating
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    We made a reservation through Open Table, and at first the maitre de tried to seat us at a bar table in the middle of the room, with high chairs. I found this unacceptable. I know they were busy (it was father's day), but still. Then, a table opened up near the front of the room, close to being outside, and they were going to give it to someone else who hadn't had a reservation. BECAUSE I WAS ASSERTIVE I got that table, and not for any other reason. Enchiladas with mole sauce tasted like milk chocolate. Cuban sandwich was great. Mixed mixed bag -- not sure it's worth another visit.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic