Zocalo
Zocalo

Zocalo

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.zocalo-restaurant.com/
  • Phone: (434) 977-4944
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
    Please call for reservations of parties larger than 8.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American, Southwest, American
  • Executive Chef: Andrew Silver/Ivan Rekosh
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Zocalo is available to meet and surpass the needs of private event hosts. It is available for rental for large gatherings such as weddings, rehearsal dinners, university events, and corporate recruitment. Zocalo can accommodate up to 350 people standing for cocktails receptions, or up to 200 for a seated meal. For smaller, more intimate celebrations, the room can be divided into three sections to allow for more privacy. Let the unsurpassed atmosphere and unbeatable service of Zocalo help make your special evening a night to remember.
  • Private Party Contact: Andrew Silver/Ivan Rekosh 4349774944

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 2nd Street NE and East Main Street
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street Parking Available.
A word from Zocalo
Zocalo Restaurant is located in the center of Charlottesville's historic downtown pedestrian mall. We serve contemporary, Latin inspired cuisine in a warm, modern setting. Flavors are drawn from Spain, South America and Mexico, and our dishes are prepared using traditional French techniques and the highest quality ingredients. Zocalo’s cuisine has just the right amount of boldness and spice to excite your palate without overwhelming it, and we strive to get it right every time. Pair your meal with a glass of wine from Zocalo’s extensive wine list, which features a broad selection of Spanish, South American and local Virginia wines. Zocalo’s large patio is a regional hotspot where guests enjoy sipping a signature cocktail, such as the Mango Borracho or a traditional Mojito, as they catch up with friends or relax and watch the endless parade of people strolling the downtown mall. Come and see what has made us a favorite with locals and visitors alike for the past decade.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Zocalo reviews from OpenTable diners
71 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (51)good for groups (35)great for outdoor dining (32)hot spot (27)special occasion (22)neighborhood gem (22)vibrant bar scene (19)notable wine list (18)romantic (15)late-night find (13)scenic view (4)great for lunch (3)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • A favorite!
    acm4h
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Zocalo has a fairly small menu that rarely changes, but each dish is prepared to perfection and I love everything there! The drinks are great and the service has always been excellent! Been going for years and have never had a negative experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Went with a group of 8 and was seated immediately due to our reservations. The noise level is a tad loud but it didn't bother me that much as it sort of adds a bit of energy to the place. Within my party we ordered the pork shank, duck breast, NY strip, chicken, and the rockfish. Everybody thought their dish was fabulous. The chicken I had was perfectly seasoned and tender. Best I've ever had!!! The NY strip was amazing as well. The rockfish wasn't anything great. We ordered a bottle of wine which paired perfectly and was the perfect cap on the meal. Definitely will be returning on my next trip to Charlottesville!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BellaLover
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Always good food and attentive service. Loud noise level indoors is usually my only negative, especially if you are 4 or more and want to have conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lots of layered tastes-
    LCdines
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I ordered the scallops and was pleasantly pleased at the size. 4 large scallops were plenty. Each bite produced lots of taste sensations- all compatible but perhaps a little rich.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Keep cooking it
    DiningKingVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Delightful menu choices. Great combination of fresh ingredients with meticulous preparation. Artful presentation with emphasis on how the plate looks and how the meal tastes!! Fish, poultry and steak all cooked to perfection. Vegetable aides well prepared and well priced. Nice but limited selection of international and local wines. This place would do really well in Manhattan, such is its quality. Excellent service too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • lovely latin dinner
    DCWahooVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Enjoyed a great dinner with our son and his friends. Everyone enjoyed their entrees and appetizers. The service was friendly attentive and knowledgeable
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good spot
    89Hoo
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Went with friends. Nice spot on downtown mall. Good appetizers, entrees, cocktails and wine. Would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Homecoming
    David
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Very creative menu, would eat everything on it - good wine list - Very good service
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Some chefs know how to take usual fish and meat and create unusual dishes and combinations. This was our delicious experience at Zocalo. Our ratings speak to the rest.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Rushed service, high noise level
    Silvia
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    While we really enjoyed the food and thought the presentation was very good, we felt like all the wait staff were rather rushed. It was a busy night, and we got seated at our 7:45 reservation time, so no complaints there. The scallops and the relleno were delicious. Waiters who brought dishes out seemed very rushed. Ambiance and decoration are great, but with high ceilings, concrete floors and brick walls, the noise level of a full restaurant was very high, almost felt like a cafeteria. Some acoustic tiles and carpet on the floor would probably go a long way toward quieting things down. We were there for an anniversary dinner, so we were hoping for a quieter evening. Otherwise, if we'd been with a group, we might not have minded so much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious
    Tamibee
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    This was my second visit to Zocalo. I love the NY Drunken Steak and it's amazing. I wish the drinks were better, however- the food is great.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Big thumbs up!!
    Wishfulfoodie
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Zocalo = Awesome!! Mussels, rockfish and salmon...what's not to love! Everything was wonderful, including the service!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food & Service
    FoodieAtHeart
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    They surprised us by including a Happy Anniversary note on the menus which made the evening special. The pork chops with Brussels sprouts was amazing but one of us had it butterflied and the other didn't and the one that didn't felt the meat was not cooked enough. Everyone enjoyed the food immensely though! The mixed drinks need work. None of us enjoyed those and switched to beer. Would definitely return during our next trip to Charlottesville.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome food
    Hammer57VIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    The menu is quite small but the quality of food was terrific. The flavors all came together and presentation was beautiful. The restaurant was very busy--but we still received great service. The margarita was unique and refreshing and my scallops had incredible flavors accompanying them. I will definitely go back. (If you are looking for a quite place, you may want to sit outside.)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I will be back!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Our server was amazing - and went the extra mile to help us with little things. Delicious food! I will have to go back a few times so I can try one of everything!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Neighborhood gem
    AlexandriaLocalVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    This was a pleasant surprise find. We had a wonderful evening out on the terrace; great service, tasty food, nice selection of wines, and a fun atmosphere. The food had some great fusion twists: cheese fritters, lamb loin, and seared duck breast were creatively delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We will go back!
    food4thought
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    First, the pros-food was excellent! Great flavors and wonderful presentation! We had the steak, the grouper and the scallops as entrees- ALL were amazing! For apps we tried the tuna tar tar and the watermelon salad. The tuna was fabulous! The watermelon salad was different but I wasn't a fan of the mint that was in it. For dessert- lemon creme brulee and chocolate bread pudding. Both were good- neither were great. The mango martini was awesome! The atmosphere was great! There is only one "con" to my review- the service! Very little attention was paid to our table. Our water sat empty for a while- more than once. Could've just been our waitress but it wasn't good:( We'd still try again though!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rumi
    Foodieforlife
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I made a reservation for a Thursday night for 4 people. Food was great, our server was attentive and professional, bar service was a little slow, and outdoor atmosphere was just ok- there was a man walking outside near the outdoor eating area who was shouting. Loud mouths shouldn't be able to hurt a restaurant's atmosphere. The menu has a diversity of choices and everything we tried was delicious. Our server was very polite, new the menu well, and clean in his appearance. The bar was quite crowded which is why our drinks took a little while but our server apologized for the slowness. I would highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dining on the walking mall
    D1969
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    A very attentive staff coupled with a refined menu selection and a great presentation made for a very nice dining experience. We sat indoors, between the bar and the outdoor seating, and it was a bit of a high traffic area for the staff but not too distracting. The main portion of the dining room did not suffer from this. Overall, a great spot on a weekend night in a vibrant part of Charlottesville.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Place in Charlottesville!
    LaurieVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    We are foodies from New York City and were visiting UVA. If you want advice, here it is: THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE I WOULD GO TO. I searched diligently for places to eat being rather picky. I saw their menu and read all of the reviews of every place. We made a reservationi and can unequivocally say this place is EXCELLENT. Every meal was absollutely delicious and equalled or exceeded some of the best meals we've had in NY. The gazpacho was delicious with a bit of shrimp etc in the center, the roast chicken, the steak and the salmon were all abssolutely divine and rich in flavor. The chocolate bread pudding was also delicious. If you are in Charlottesville, THIS is where you should eat. Period.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great spot.
    Brian
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Best meal out in months. Brilliant cocktails (the house margarita and pineapple express martini made us repeat offenders with the bartender), salads, entrees (the chili dusted sea scallops and the rockfish were both outstanding) and desserts (ginger & blueberry creme brûlée and flight of sorbets). Our server was gracious and efficient. We had an 8 pm Saturday seating, so the bar was busy and the groups were energetic. The open warehouse decor, concrete and metal, definitely makes for difficult acoustics, but the classic C'ville eclectic crowd provides a lively, positive vibe. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Food; Great Atmosphere
    Foodee
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We've eaten at Zocalo 5-6 times; it seldom disappoints. The location, in the midst of the downtown mall, is ideally situated near various parking garages. If you want to dine outdoors, Zocalo is a great spot for watching the world go by while drinking a delicious mojito. If you want to eat indoors, the interior has a warm, welcoming ambience. Service is excellent; the wait staff is very knowledgeable and cordial. One caveat: on our last 2 visits, we've noticed that the chef has noticeably increased the heat even in dishes that are described as "mild." If you like lots of jalapeno, etc., that's great. For those of us who prefer dishes, such as Zocalo's outstanding relleno, on the somewhat milder side, it can be a bit daunting.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never fails to impress
    Lulu618
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We have been dining at Zo ca lo for years and the food is always superior. On our last visit, we tasted key lime chicken, duck and the tuna special. They were all top of the line. One in our party had the sorbet dessert, which consisted of three. They tasted as if they were just made and were not overly sweet. We ate outside on our last visit but inside it can be a bit noisy. The warehouse decor that is so popular now, at least in C'ville, creates loudness and echos. For us 60-somethings, it can be a challenge. It would not stop me from going there though!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Favorite restaurant
    Shannymac
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Zocalo is my favorite restaurant in Charlottesville. The food is amazing and I never can eat there without ordering the black bean chili relleno! The jack cheese fritters are also a must! Don't miss out!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 47 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 29, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.4
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 65 reviews are from the Zocalo reviews archive.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Very good food, great wait staff, friendly and professional. We had a great time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful establishment to eat at.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    We have had several business dinners there and every experience was wonderful for us and our visitors.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I love Zocalo
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Longtime, HUGE fan!!! Still my absolute favorite! Great place to fine dine and catch up with an old friend, or have an exquisite and intimate date!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    GimmeFood
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    We want on a Sunday night. We ate inside, enjoying the AC. Outside was vibrant, while inside was very quiet. Our table of 4 had 2 orders of the scallop special, key lime chicken and the chile relleno. All were excellent, as were the watermelon cosmopolitan and watermelon mojito.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too Loud, Expensive and Overcooked
    FoodieOnSkates
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    I am from the DC area and am used to paying a bit more on average for just about everything. I appreciate the efforts of this place, but it was so loud I couldn't have a convo with my friend. It was also more pricey than a DC restaurant with food that was over cooked.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Central
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Visited for the first time. Food was fresh and delicious, and cooked perfectly. Lots of great flavor. Chef Andrew Silver came and and talked to guests, and clearly loves what he does. This restaurant is a real gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top notch food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Portions are very good, you won't leave hungry. Food arrived hot and seasoned spot on. Will certainly be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exquisite food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The chef creates some amazing dishes. You will not find typical boring plates with meat, starch and veg. The combinations of flavors, textures and visual appearance are some of the best I have seen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner at Zocalo
    travelfoodie
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Food was as always fantastic! But we were a party of 2 couples celebrating an anniversary and were seated next to a boisterous party of 20 with kids and another party of two with baby. Not exactly good atmosphere for chatting over dinner. There were plenty of other tables available away from these parties. They need some help with seating properly.... Service was very slow too considering the volume.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    LeslieavaVIP
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    Boring decor. The best part of the meal was the roll and olive oil. Pricey for food that is oddly seasoned and unappetizing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food and service
    Foodee
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Zocalo consistently provides tasty, innovative Latin food, excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Client dinner
    rjp555
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Excellent food all around. Everyone had a great time
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Enjoyable
    Sams1stUncleVIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    We enjoyed the Chili Releno and Duck entrees along with the grilled asparagus and the Gazpacho soup. All dishes were well prepared and presented.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Experience
    DaveinCville
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Everything was great - from the dirty spicy martini to the scallops and chili relleno.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Atmosphere, Unremarkable Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Ambiance was nice, but the food was nothing to write home about, especially for the price tag. Duck dish was good but with cranberries and greens with bacon you'd have thought we were coming up on Thanksgiving. Grouper was tasty and polenta fries were good once the server brought out a honey-lime dipping sauce (initially served alongside nothing). Service was a little amateurish: the party next to us went to have their drink outside (informed their server), but when their food was ready it was served to an empty table and left to sit for at least a few minutes. Given that the restaurant is Latin American-inspired, I also found it strange to be served bread and olive oil. All in all, there are better places to go in Charlottesville.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food. Good service. Our
    lacda97
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    Good food. Good service. Our family of 4 ordered lamb, scallop, steak. and salmon. Our son was not very impressed with the salmon dish. However, the other three dishes are good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet