201 East Main Steet
Charlottesville, VA 22902Neighborhood:
Latin AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.zocalo-restaurant.com/
- Phone: 4349774944
- 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
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Zocalo reviews from OpenTable diners
59 reviews since June 23, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (37)fit for foodies (37)good for groups (26)neighborhood gem (24)special occasion (22)hot spot (18)notable wine list (15)romantic (12)vibrant bar scene (11)late-night find (8)great for lunch (5)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (3)great for brunch (2)Show More
- Rushed service, high noise levelOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/18/2014While 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:
- Big thumbs up!!WishfulfoodieDined on 10/14/2014Zocalo = Awesome!! Mussels, rockfish and salmon...what's not to love! Everything was wonderful, including the service!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent Food & ServiceFoodieAtHeartDined on 10/11/2014They 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:
- Awesome foodHammer57VIPDined on 9/27/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I will be back!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/20/2014Our 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:
- Neighborhood gemAlexandriaLocalVIPDined on 9/13/2014This 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:
- We will go back!food4thoughtDined on 9/13/2014First, 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- RumiFoodieforlifeDined on 9/11/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dining on the walking mallD1969Dined on 9/5/2014A 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Place in Charlottesville!LaurieVIPDined on 8/28/2014We 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:
- Great spot.BrianDined on 8/16/2014Best 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:
- Good Food; Great AtmosphereFoodeeDined on 8/1/2014We'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never fails to impressLulu618Dined on 8/1/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Favorite restaurantShannymacDined on 7/29/2014Zocalo 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 7/13/2014Very good food, great wait staff, friendly and professional. We had a great time.Special Features:
- Wonderful establishment to eat at.OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 7/8/2014We have had several business dinners there and every experience was wonderful for us and our visitors.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I love ZocaloOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/4/2014Longtime, 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great foodGimmeFoodDined on 6/29/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 61 reviews are from the Zocalo reviews archive.
- Too Loud, Expensive and OvercookedFoodieOnSkatesDined on 6/20/2014I 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:
- CentralDined on 6/14/2014Visited 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Top notch foodOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/7/2014Portions are very good, you won't leave hungry. Food arrived hot and seasoned spot on. Will certainly be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Exquisite food and serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 5/31/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dinner at ZocalotravelfoodieDined on 5/24/2014Food 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointingLeslieavaVIPDined on 5/21/2014Boring decor. The best part of the meal was the roll and olive oil. Pricey for food that is oddly seasoned and unappetizing.
- Great food and serviceFoodeeDined on 5/9/2014Zocalo consistently provides tasty, innovative Latin food, excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere.Special Features:
- Client dinnerrjp555Dined on 5/8/2014Excellent food all around. Everyone had a great timeSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently EnjoyableSams1stUncleDined on 5/7/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent ExperienceDaveinCvilleDined on 4/26/2014Everything was great - from the dirty spicy martini to the scallops and chili relleno.Special Features:
- Good Atmosphere, Unremarkable FoodOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 4/25/2014Ambiance 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.
- Good food. Good service. Ourlacda97Dined on 4/13/2014Good 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:
- More than adequateRogerDined on 4/12/2014Artisan 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.Special Features:
- A Top Charlottesville RestaurantGoodFoodThatIsGoodForUDined on 4/11/2014Again, 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DeliciousStephanieDined on 4/4/2014This 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- RushedDaveDined on 3/27/2014Our 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.Special Features:
- Great FoodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/21/2014The 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.Special Features:
- Consistently good; great aideskatarinaDined on 3/1/2014Consistently good; great aides including green chile goat cheese couscous; braised meats are excellent hereSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food loud atmosphereNolaDined on 3/1/2014Food 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great time at Zocalo!JennDined on 2/21/2014We stopped in for dinner and it was a really fun atmosphere, friendly wait staff, and the food was amazing! We will go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- This is one of my favoritezocalofanDined on 2/15/2014This 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tasty Meal and Decent ServiceRipUVaDined on 2/15/2014Zocalo 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.