Zocalo
Zocalo
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Zocalo

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://zocalochicago.com/
  • Phone: 3123029977
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday thru Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm; Wednesday & Thursday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm; Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Traditional Mexican, Mexican, Contemporary Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Edgar Torres
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Let us host your next social or corporate event. ZOCALO now offers a variety of private dining options for birthday parties, business meetings or corporate events. To plan your next event or to schedule a complimentary tasting with our special events coordinator please our event office at 312.302.9977 or info@zocalochicago.com Off site catering and special proposals are also available.
  • Private Party Facilities: Let us host your next social or corporate event. ZOCALO now offers a variety of private dining options for birthday parties, business meetings or corporate events. To plan your next event or to schedule a complimentary tasting with our special events coordinator please our event office.
  • Private Party Contact: Marcos Castañeda 8669449697
  • Entertainment: ZOCALO offers live bands & DJ every Friday and Saturday from 8pm - 1am as well as a late nite menu.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Orleans
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Meter parking also available
A word from Zocalo
ZOCALO Restaurant and Tequila Bar offers inspired regional Mexican cuisine through contemporary and classic preparations of traditional flavors. The menu includes slowly braised and grilled meats in Yucatan style marinades, classic Oaxacan moles and fresh seafood and ceviche as found on the beaches of Acapulco. Zocalo’s extensive tequila and mezcal list features over 130 tequilas and mezcals made with 100% agave, sip them neat from one of the many tequila flights available or enjoy it in what was recently voted Chicago’s best margarita. Accented by candlelight, experience the warm and rustic romance of old Mexico while listening to live Latin music every Friday and Saturday. Zocalo brings the vibrant flavors of Mexico to Chicago and River North.

Modern Taste. Authentic Mexican.

“Best Margarita” & Runner-Up “Best Mexican Restaurant”-Chicago Reader Best of Chicago 2010
“Favorite New Restaurant”- River North Association 2007
As seen on “Check, Please!”
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Foodspotting photos
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Zocalo reviews from OpenTable diners
  • Early evening
    jeanie
    Dined on 9/9/2013
    We had reservations in the early evening. It took longer than expected for the appetizer to come out and then half an hour later for the dinners. The restaurant only had a few customers.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Mexican joint
    BobCVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    Good food and service would go again average price
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy food. However, had to
    Jglz
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    Yummy food. However, had to ask for specific things constantly. Altogether would return for dinner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time was great
    choosey
    Dined on 9/6/2013
    My wife and I visited for the first time last night and we had a great experience. We will be back. The food was great and our server was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tex-Mex to the max
    RetiredTraveler01VIP
    Dined on 9/6/2013
    With many fine dining Mexican restaurants now available for more discerning palates, it's a bit of shock to select from a menu that is solely Tex-Mex. Nothing subtle about the dishes; strong flavors than can leave you gasping for air. Zocalo can be a fun place for young professionals having a drink and a bite after work but it's not for serious foodies.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Better than I expected...Food
    RemyVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2013
    Better than I expected...Food was tremendous Service was great..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent margaritas! The
    girlsnight
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    Excellent margaritas! The food was good, but not amazing. We switched tables, we had initially been seated right by the kitchen entrance (which has to be the worst seat) when there were plenty of open tables.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dining Experience
    Ralquik
    Dined on 8/22/2013
    My girlfriend and I were in Chicago on vacation, so we used OpenTable to help us select our dining options. Zocalo was one of the highlights of our trip. The food was outstanding, especially the skirt steak I ordered. Their margaritas are some of the best we've ever had. Our waiter was both friendly and helpful in guiding us towards our entree selections. Next time we visit Chicago, we will definitely stop in for at least a drink.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Carne asada was excellent
    SouthLoopAl
    Dined on 8/22/2013
    Carne asada was excellent cooked to a perfect medium rare which can be difficult for flank steak. It was nicely spiced and they held the hot spices on the side for my wife who doesn't like heat. Valet parking was a deal and the traffic really seemed to pick up at 7 pm on Thursday as we were leaving.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Menu
    rmkw1221
    Dined on 8/21/2013
    Love Zocalo, have been going there on occasion for years but was disappointed in menu change that took some of our favorites off the list.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food and drinks
    BrunchedVIP
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    Great food, drinks and service. We always enjoy this place; from the scenic bar that amkes great drinks to the food and service. I highly recommend this place to anyone wanting excellent Mexican food and drinks.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, romantic, scenic view, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Good Margaritas
    Mela526VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    Margaritas are great. disappointed a bit on the portion sizes. A bit small for the price. Especially the so called "taco dinner" . They were 3 appetizer size tacos with rice. Not enough for a man to eat. Shrimp was very good, quite tasty. The flan was also very good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • bad service, worse food
    DoubleJVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2013
    I don't know what happened to this place.. the food and service were good two years ago. The waiter didn't know the menu, and was annoyed we had questions about the menu. The place is "tapas style" even though its not spanish cuisine, which in itself is obnoxious. IE: everything is an appetizer so it looks like an affordable restaurant, but when you are done you realize you have ordered so much food (because nothing is substantial) that you could have just gone to a good restaurant for what you paid. The food is now horrible and so is the service. I will never go there again. Do not get confused with what you heard... This place WAS good, but it is horrible now.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 8/11/2013
    My friend and I had dinner at Zocalo last sunday evening. It was not extremely busy given the day of the week...but the space had a nice buzz regardless. Our appetizers and entrees were excellent...well prepared, fresh ingredients and great presentation. I had the mole enchiladas and my friend had a taco platter. Overall a great relaxing evening.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing on a Saturday night
    Mark5555VIP
    Dined on 8/3/2013
    We went to Zocalo for a late night Saturday dinner after the theater. They are open to midnight so a 10 pm reservation should have been no problem. It took them nearly 15 minutes to seat us in a 2/3 empty restaurant and then the waitress showed little interest until she realized that there would be a significant bar bill. the drinks were fine, but the food very disappointing. The tortillas were cold and dry. The Tacos barely room temperature. The shrimp special bland and uninspired. Zocalo showed no pride in the food it served or its service. The waitress eagerly added her 20% tip to our party of 5 bill. We will not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • More slow service
    FoodieMCOVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2013
    It's fun to watch your waitperson sweeping the floors while you wait for refills on drinks and your check. It's amazing to watch him boss the hostess around,making her serve our table. Perhaps if the mgr were more aware of how customers were doing instead of running around trying to decide where to put more lights, it would be better. Bad service in a restaurant is a sign of bad management. Again, problems with the restaurant trying to cancel Open Table reservations so that they don't have to fund the points we get.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • very subpar
    bbcciafbi
    Dined on 7/28/2013
    Service was good but food was.. Well, underwhelming. We had guac trio which was just plain bad. Red snapper entre was ok but not special. The second entre was average as well. Not impressed
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Smaller menu...not a fan
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/27/2013
    My wife and I were huge fans of Zocalo. We'd been plenty of times in the last few years and were loyal patrons. We hadn't been back in a few months and when we sat down we found a thinner, less robust menu with some of the traditional Zocalo dishes missing from the menu and the ones that stayed on the menu had changed, even down to the Guacamole trio. Needless to say, we tried it out, but left disappointed. The waiter also tried to "upsell" us on items ("For only $1 more, you can get this..."). Not something we are fond of at nicer mexican restaurants. Why mess with such a good thing...We will give it one more try, but we may need to find an alternative if we can't find dishes we like.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for groups, twenty-somethings
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    Our waiter was very engaging - almost too engaging. At times, it seemed like he was more of a car salesman than a server, especially when he said, "You can drink our tequilas all night and wake up feeling like you just drank water the night before. No headaches." He also gave very thorough explanations for all dishes and drinks, naming every ingredient and why it was a great choice. Overall, the experience was positive and food prepared as ordered. The atmosphere is trendy, energetic and perfect for twenty-somethings.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A unique treat
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    Wonderful ambience of brick and wood, with tons of Mexican art, and a very unique bar. The service was excellent, with good explanations of the dishes. We had a combination of tacos that is unlike anything I've ever experienced when I think "tacos." Warm tortillas and three kinds of fillings (beef, chicken and pork) with unique flavoring, for "make it yourself" tacos. Excellent margaritas.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Inconvenient
    FoodieMCOVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2013
    We've eaten here for several years now and the service gets continuously worse. Wait staff is very much into telling guests what they cannot do for them. Wait staff is EXTREMELY slow and very defensive and argumentative with guests. It happens to us consistently and we've seen it happen to others around us. They apparently do NOT like Open Table as well. On our last visit our wait person actually used the fact that we used Open Table for our reservation as a point to not provide complete service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food and drinks!
    QualityEater
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    We have been to Zocalo in the past and it is consistently a great experience. The food is fantastic and I can't say enough about the margaritas, they are the best we've had in Chicago. Can't go wrong with the food, drinks or service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a great experience!
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2013
    I've been coming here for years and love the food and service. Great freshly made guacamole! The carne asada is always moist and cooked correcly. This time I tried a hand-made margarita which had fresh lime juice (not mix) and it was delicious. Not sweet or "syrup-y" like others I have had. Definitely one of the best mexican in River North.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Average to below average.
    NA11VIP
    Dined on 7/17/2013
    Zocalo is an average restaurant. The service was slow; it took this chick forever to do simple stuff such as check on us, see if we needed any drink refills, etc. The food is average, at best. There are so many Mexican restaurants in Chicago that are way better than Zocalo. The only reason why I recommend this place is because you can get 1,000 OpenTable points if you go here, so if you are close to getting 2,000, 5,000, or 10,000 points, go here, deal with the food, get the 1000 points, and move on with your life.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful experience; delicious fo
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 7/16/2013
    Zocalo is just a gem. Comfortable, casual space. Consistently fine service. Friendly. Food that surpasses expectation. Tremendous value.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Mexican Food
    elcharro
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    I have been to Zocalo a few times and the food is spectacular. The flavors of the different dishes truly amazing. The Margaritas are some of the best you will ever have. However, the hostess service was not so good and the place was noisy. WOuld I recommen this restaurant to friends and would I go back? Absolitely yes, but please, courtesy at the reception and dial down the noise!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall the whole experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/6/2013
    Overall the whole experience was very good. The food was great modern Mexican fare. The flavors were complex in some of the dishes and somewhat plain in others. The service was good until the end. It took forever to get our check. Other than that I thought the experience was great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A bit pricey for the quality
    MashaO413
    Dined on 7/1/2013
    I consider myself a foodie and have been to many Chicago restaurants from small dives to extravagant places like Alinea. Zocalo has a great atmosphere for an entertaining night and their food is pretty good. I can't say that is was absolutely to die for, however. I like that they have freshened up their menu and offer new dishes in addition to the customers being able to still get their favorites from the old menu. What shocked me, however, are the prices associated with their dishes and especially drinks. Although I still tried their sangria, I though it was outrageously expensive. Will I come back here any time soon - not likely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Second time was not a charm
    JeffChicagoVIP
    Dined on 6/30/2013
    Our first visit to Zocalo several months ago was amazing, and my wife and I were expecting it to become one of our new favorite restaurants. This second visit was very disappointing. The food was good, but not as good as before (the menu has also changed, and neither of our "first time" entrees were currently available). The service wasn't bad, but very odd. The server kept telling us that we couldn't do things which we never asked to do (he told us we couldn't use a coupon with their specials, but we'd already told him we didn't have a coupon; he said we couldn't get out desert to-go, but we'd already told him we were going to skip desert, etc.) On the positive side, it is a great space and the margaritas were excellent both times around.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great atmosphere!
    ChicagoJohnVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2013
    The food was great and the atmosphere was energetic. We will be back again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service, average food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/21/2013
    Margaritas were great. Guacamole was a bit overworked. Service was great and very attentive. We got the enchiladas, which had no flavor. And we got the tacos - only the chicken taco was good. The beef had no flavor and the pork was very dry.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Changed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/21/2013
    It's been quite some time since I've visited this restaurant and I must say, I was quite disappointed. Zocalo used to offer an expansive menu and now it's streamlined it to down to a front and back menu. The selections are much to limited, and I don't think the value is there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun
    Jordy6612
    Dined on 6/17/2013
    A friend and I went on a Monday evening and ordered appetizers and drinks. The caesar with shrimp was fantastic!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent pescado!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 6/13/2013
    The meal was delicious! The margaritas were excellent. Our server was kind, helpful and polite. Only thing I would comment on Is the service being a tad slow. Overall we were very satisfied and will definitely return!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Menu Changed
    Dubow21VIP
    Dined on 6/13/2013
    Menu has been revamped to become more gourmet however they really limited the choices by doing so.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun place for many occasions.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/8/2013
    Fun place for many occasions. Waiter was helpful. Food delicious.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Decent Food, OK Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/6/2013
    We went to Zocalo on a random Thursday night because we happened to pass by. The taquitos were very good and so was the seasoning on the tacos. The tacos was actually quite delicious and you got a lot of food for the price. The carne asada steak was sub par, even though the waiter insisted it was the best and most popular (and pricey) item on the menu. Very bland with not a lot of flavor at all. The service was pretty average at best as our waiter didn't really seem to care all that much if we were there or not (until the bill came of course).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Zocalo recently changed their menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    Zocalo is now working with a seasonal menu which is fine if you've never been to this restaurant before but not so great if you are familiar with their original menu. They no longer offer the typical Mexican favorites and instead op for a more "creative" approach to the Mexican classics. The food fairs well enough but the chips are from a bag and taste it. Sorry Zocalo but you lost our patronage. The change wasn't impressive enough to keep us coming back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Repeat trip was just as great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    Repeat trip was just as great as the first time! It's on our favorites list! Food is great and atmosphere trendy yet relaxing. Love it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Magnifico Zocalo
    ChicagoFoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    Chicago has a number of Mexican restuarants and a few very good ones, indeed Frontera Grill has a national reputation. But there are many other very good places for la comida de Mexico and Zocalo is definitely one of them. While every Mexan restaurant has guacamole, and perhaps 1/3 of all backyard bbqs, theirs stands out, order the trio combo. Our party had the shrimps and the carne asada, both were terrific. So when thinking about food from south of our border, Zocalo is one of the places you should try, and if you have, go back soon
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.