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  • Zocalo

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  • Address:
    201 East Main Steet
    Charlottesville, VA 22902
  • Cuisine:
    Latin American
    Price: $30 and under

Zocalo Details

  • 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 (434) 977-4944

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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "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!!!"
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "Very good food, great wait staff, friendly and professional. We had a great time."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "We have had several business dinners there and every experience was wonderful for us and our visitors."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Portions are very good, you won't leave hungry. Food arrived hot and seasoned spot on. Will certainly be back. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Boring decor. The best part of the meal was the roll and olive oil. Pricey for food that is oddly seasoned and unappetizing."
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "Zocalo consistently provides tasty, innovative Latin food, excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Excellent food all around. Everyone had a great time"
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "We enjoyed the Chili Releno and Duck entrees along with the grilled asparagus and the Gazpacho soup. All dishes were well prepared and presented."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "Everything was great - from the dirty spicy martini to the scallops and chili relleno."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Artisan Cheese App was very good. Rockfish was very bland and mushy. One of my guests had Scallops and developed gastro-intestinal problems that night preceding a very long drive home the next day. Noise level increased as restaurant filled up. Lighting was very subdued, causing many of my nine guests to use the flashlights on their cell phones in order to read the wine list and menus."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Again, Zocalo proved to be an excellent dinner and atmosphere choice for a celebration. The food is excellent...certainly one of the top restaurants in Charlottesville."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "This was my second time dining at Zocalo, and their food was delicious. They brought out a water bowl for my pup before I even had a chance to ask, and were very willing to accommodate and field questions on preparation as two individuals in my party had allergies. The cocktails were lovely, and I don't think we found a dish we didn't enjoy!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Our group had traveled to Charlottesville for a business meeting and Zocalo was recommended by our local colleagues. The restaurant had prepared our table and reservation time was accurate. Our waitress rushed our meal from the beginning. She seemed more focused on getting our food and drinks to the table and removing them as soon as possible. All of us believed she lacked the experience to manage fine dining (offering no wine suggestions and later quickly pouring the wine in glasses). The food was cooked correctly and appearance was amazing. I would rate this dining experience as average."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "The atmosphere and food we're amazing. The only downside was that the service was a little slow. We sat at our table for at least 5 minutes before someone brought water, and then another 15 minutes before the drinks we ordered arrived."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Consistently good; great aides including green chile goat cheese couscous; braised meats are excellent here"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Food is pretty solid. Scallops were a tiny bit over salted. Tartar is great. There is plenty of room so it doesn't feel cramped but it does get very loud during busy hours due to the cavernous room. No complaints about service."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "We stopped in for dinner and it was a really fun atmosphere, friendly wait staff, and the food was amazing! We will go back!"
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "This is one of my favorite restaurants in Charlottesville. I always order the arugula salad and salmon. both have wonderful flavor and texture. The salmon is always cooked perfectly!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Zocalo is a puzzle. The chef can clearly cook quite well and the place has a fairly hip vibe that attracts attention. But the menu has remained almost unchanged for nearly a decade. The food is tasty, well prepared and presented. Service varies from highly attentive and professional to kind but a bit disorganized. Our most recent meail convinced us to keep Zocalo on our list of good places to dine, but unless they start offering at least a little more variety, we'll probably continue to limit ourselves to once or twice a year. On our most recent trip the Rockfish was a high point, and the Chile Relleno was a spicy indulgence. Our waiter neglected to bring the delicious bread or my asparagus side until he was asked. Up and down."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Zocalo is a classic in the downtown mall scene for a reason: they consistently deliver exciting and delicious food that fits the theme of the restaurant and comes in well-sized portions. A real highlight is the cocktail list, which features latin american spins on classic drinks, such as my personal favorite, the mezcal old fashioned, which is made even more unique by its inclusion of the perfect amount of heat via its chili-infused bitters. Other favorites include the cheese fritters (whose raspberry chili glaze again perfectly toes the line between sweet and heat), the mussels, the NY Strip, and the Sea Scallops. I highly recommend this restaurant for friendly dinners as well as dates. You can't go wrong choosing to dine at Zocalo!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Been here many times; never had a bad meal. The clientele tend to be on the younger side with a busy bar in the middle of the restaurant. It can get a bit noisy, but that is just the result of people enjoying themselves. Appetizers are well presented and tasty; main course portions are generous. I rarely have room for desert but they are excellent as we'll. I recommend the sea scallops as a main course."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "this was my first time going to Zocalo and it did not disappoint! the food was excellent and the service was prompt, we were in and out in less than an hour and had 3 courses for restaurant week!!"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "If you love good food with great service & atmosphere, this is the place for you! The food is so incredibly innovative and delicious, it's one of my favorite all-time restaurants!! Every item was not only beautiful, but amazing, from appetizers to desserts!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Zocalo is consistently a great dining experience. LOVE the blood orange margaritas and the mojitos~"
    Dined on 1/30/2014
  • "Everything that all three of us ordered was outstanding. We'll be back soon."
    Dined on 1/30/2014
  • "Nice job on everything we ordered,as we have visted before and definitely would come back again!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "We had a reservation. They saved the prime table for us, right next to the fireplace. Service was brisk but friendly and perfectly attentive. The waitress was there when we needed her but not overwhelming. The food was delicious! Very nice portion sizes, larger than average for restaurants in this range. It came out extremely fresh and hot, which is always appreciated. I'm getting married in Charlottesville in June. Of the 4-5 top restaurants we've tried so far, this will be #1 on our list of recommendations for guests."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Way to pricey for the small size dishes, specially since flavour of them was nothing over the ordinary. Child menu was the poorest of them all, fairly disappointed."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We dined at Zocalo on New Years Eve and, though we had a reservation, were seated at a cocktail table next to the bar. We had to sit next to, instead of across from, each other, and the table was much too small for both of us to sit and eat comfortably. The bar was busy and loud, and our table was directly next to the front door, so that gusts of cold wind blew over us every time it opened. That said, the food was great and the service was attentive, if a little slow. All in all, a nice experience, but I would have wished that a dinner reservation actually gets you a dinner table."
    Dined on 12/31/2013