Zocalo

★★★★☆
Amiable, upscale Mexican spot with study-abroad savvy.
  • 3600 Lancaster Ave

    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Cross street: 36th St. and Lancaster Ave. (1 long block north of Market St), University City (West Philadelphia)

    Map & Directions
  • 215-895-0139

About Zocalo

Hours
lunch monday thru friday 11:30am - 3:00pm dinner monday thru thursday 4:30pm - 10:00pm dinner friday and saturday 4:30pm - 11:00pm dinner sunday 4:30pm - 9:00pm Happy Hour 7 days a week 4:30pm - 6:30pm
3.6538 26
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.

The service was terrible and the food portions were small. overpriced for the value. We utilized a restaurant com coupon which automatically calculates an 18% gratuity to the bill--so we were not sure if the service was poor because of

3
★★★★★

The service was terrible and the food portions were small. overpriced for the value. We utilized a restaurant com coupon which automatically calculates an 18% gratuity to the bill--so we were not sure if the service was poor because of

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This is a great restaurant and a great find in W. Philly. Went there for the first time on my birthday. Everything served was just perfect. All of my family members go here for Mexican and rave about it...now I know why. A can't miss place to eat.

4
★★★★☆

This is a great restaurant and a great find in W. Philly. Went there for the first time on my birthday. Everything served was just perfect. All of my family members go here for Mexican and rave about it...now I know why. A can't miss place to eat.

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.

This place is horrible. It is expensive for a restaurant in West Philly with no ambience. On top of that, the food is sub-par. The salsa had big pieces of garlic in it and was not fresh. The portions are small (and I don't eat a lot). You can't get full on a $30-40 tab (that's without alcohol) and all the entrees are above $20. Their margaritas are also super watered down.

1
★☆☆☆☆

This place is horrible. It is expensive for a restaurant in West Philly with no ambience. On top of that, the food is sub-par. The salsa had big pieces of garlic in it and was not fresh. The portions are small (and I don't eat a lot). You can't get full on a $30-40 tab (that's without alcohol) and all the entrees are above $20. Their margaritas are also super watered down.

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.

I love dining at Zocalo, especially during the summer when I can dine outside on the patio. It's a lovely place with delicious food and specialty drinks. I love their margaritas. I would highly recommend to all mexican food lovers.

5
★★★★★

I love dining at Zocalo, especially during the summer when I can dine outside on the patio. It's a lovely place with delicious food and specialty drinks. I love their margaritas. I would highly recommend to all mexican food lovers.

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.

Ok so here is my background: Latin, hospitality manager graduate, worked in the restaurant industry most of my life, currently a food buyer for a major national company and as a second job I'm a flight attendant for an international carrier. If all of the above doesn't entitle me to make a restaurant review then I don't know what does.
We went to Zocalo's last Saturday to celebrate a friend?s birthday. I should have known better when we came (3 of us) to the restaurant and we were the only ones there! Ok so we get seated and the drink order is taken. The waiter brought some chips without salsa. We asked for it and she said there was a charge for salsa. Charged for salsa???? When have I ever been charged for salsa in a Mexican restaurant...? NEVER! We should have left at that moment but it was really cold out and I didn?t want to make a scene with my friends. My margarita arrived and to my surprise the glass was 1/2 full, I asked the waiter about this and she said that is how they served them..... Uhmmm 2nd warning! Our meal arrived, nothing special to mentioned, no specific taste or smells. It could have been heated up from a 10 lb bag and it would have tasted the same. We order some hot salsa to see if we could bring the taste a bit more authentic and to our surprise (or maybe not at this point) we were presented with a bottle of Tabasco sauce..... Please, do not insult my senses this way. Even if it is bottle sauce, please put it in another container. This is not Taco Bell; we are paying $27.00 for each dish.
My question is to the owner and manager: do you really care if you go out of business? Besides our table there was one more table with a party of 8 people. The count for a Saturday night: 11 people. No wonder. Please save your money and go ANYWHERE else. This place doesn't have atmosphere, good food, good drinks, or anything.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Ok so here is my background: Latin, hospitality manager graduate, worked in the restaurant industry most of my life, currently a food buyer for a major national company and as a second job I'm a flight attendant for an international carrier. If all of the above doesn't entitle me to make a restaurant review then I don't know what does.
We went to Zocalo's last Saturday to celebrate a friend?s birthday. I should have known better when we came (3 of us) to the restaurant and we were the only ones there! Ok so we get seated and the drink order is taken. The waiter brought some chips without salsa. We asked for it and she said there was a charge for salsa. Charged for salsa???? When have I ever been charged for salsa in a Mexican restaurant...? NEVER! We should have left at that moment but it was really cold out and I didn?t want to make a scene with my friends. My margarita arrived and to my surprise the glass was 1/2 full, I asked the waiter about this and she said that is how they served them..... Uhmmm 2nd warning! Our meal arrived, nothing special to mentioned, no specific taste or smells. It could have been heated up from a 10 lb bag and it would have tasted the same. We order some hot salsa to see if we could bring the taste a bit more authentic and to our surprise (or maybe not at this point) we were presented with a bottle of Tabasco sauce..... Please, do not insult my senses this way. Even if it is bottle sauce, please put it in another container. This is not Taco Bell; we are paying $27.00 for each dish.
My question is to the owner and manager: do you really care if you go out of business? Besides our table there was one more table with a party of 8 people. The count for a Saturday night: 11 people. No wonder. Please save your money and go ANYWHERE else. This place doesn't have atmosphere, good food, good drinks, or anything.

Pros: None

Cons: Bad food, bad drinks value, no ambience

.

This is my first review. However, having lived in Philly for 10 years and having eaten at many fine and not so fine establishments, I feel somewhat qualified to write this review. I went with my friend who lives in West Philly instead of going to Adobe Cafe in Roxborough because she didn't want to drive and had heard good things about Zocalo. We were seated promptly, always nice. And the outdoor patio was a pleasant surprise, perfect for having a nice meal on a warm summer night. The menu was sparse, unfortunately and expensive. First, the appetizer of chips, guacamole, and 2 differents salsas was $12. It was tasty but come on, $12 for basically chips and salsa that other places have out for free? I mistakenly assumed that Mexican would mean vegetarian choices but I guess I figured wrong. There were no vegetarian entrees except carrot and potato enchiladas which was $18. The $5.50 house margarita tasted wonderful but seemed like only half a margarita in the glass. My second margarita was similarly less than expected. When the entrees came out I was flabbergasted at how little there was for the price. Worse still, the enchiladas were not that great, really. Our total bill came to almost $100 including drinks which is frankly ridiculous for mediocre mexican. I would recommend the place for the margaritas but frankly, they were not worth the cost either. I will not go back despite the pleasant waitress.

1
★★☆☆☆

This is my first review. However, having lived in Philly for 10 years and having eaten at many fine and not so fine establishments, I feel somewhat qualified to write this review. I went with my friend who lives in West Philly instead of going to Adobe Cafe in Roxborough because she didn't want to drive and had heard good things about Zocalo. We were seated promptly, always nice. And the outdoor patio was a pleasant surprise, perfect for having a nice meal on a warm summer night. The menu was sparse, unfortunately and expensive. First, the appetizer of chips, guacamole, and 2 differents salsas was $12. It was tasty but come on, $12 for basically chips and salsa that other places have out for free? I mistakenly assumed that Mexican would mean vegetarian choices but I guess I figured wrong. There were no vegetarian entrees except carrot and potato enchiladas which was $18. The $5.50 house margarita tasted wonderful but seemed like only half a margarita in the glass. My second margarita was similarly less than expected. When the entrees came out I was flabbergasted at how little there was for the price. Worse still, the enchiladas were not that great, really. Our total bill came to almost $100 including drinks which is frankly ridiculous for mediocre mexican. I would recommend the place for the margaritas but frankly, they were not worth the cost either. I will not go back despite the pleasant waitress.

Pros: ambience

Cons: cost, quality of food

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The first time i ate here it was great, the helpful server offered several vegetarian options, everything was great and the prices seemed worth it. I couldn't wait to go back. The second time was awful. The portions were cut in half, literally- the appetizer on our first visit had 4 empanadas, this time, just 2, but the price was the same! The server looked at our party like we were from outer space, said none of the entrees could be made veggie (??? it's Mexican food, throw some veggies and beans on top instead of chicken!) and 3 out of 4 people had to eat the same meal. $20 mediocre enchaladas- they are crazy! In a city where the #3 (and rising) rated restaurant is VEGAN, these places need to realize Philly is a Veggie-town, and maybe Zocalo wouldn't have been empty for dinner if they had a more diverse(or at least flexible) menu, with reasonable prices, and nicer staff.

1
★★☆☆☆

The first time i ate here it was great, the helpful server offered several vegetarian options, everything was great and the prices seemed worth it. I couldn't wait to go back. The second time was awful. The portions were cut in half, literally- the appetizer on our first visit had 4 empanadas, this time, just 2, but the price was the same! The server looked at our party like we were from outer space, said none of the entrees could be made veggie (??? it's Mexican food, throw some veggies and beans on top instead of chicken!) and 3 out of 4 people had to eat the same meal. $20 mediocre enchaladas- they are crazy! In a city where the #3 (and rising) rated restaurant is VEGAN, these places need to realize Philly is a Veggie-town, and maybe Zocalo wouldn't have been empty for dinner if they had a more diverse(or at least flexible) menu, with reasonable prices, and nicer staff.

Pros: lots of available seating

Cons: rude, overpriced.

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this restaurant has gone through a lot of changes in the past year. the food is better than ever before, offering a variety of authentic mexican dishes. ( the molcajete, pollo con mole, etc.) the new menu is just right for this coming summer season. the restaurant has gone through a lot of remodeling, it looks better than ever( not like the photograph shown). the restaurant is filled with old photographs of mexico and is accompanied by handcarved wooden chairs and tables. just beautiful. be sure to check out the new patio soon! the margaritas are to die for, you can get them will strawberry, raspberry, peach, tamarind or ginger, as well as your typical lime. also new this year are Palomas! its tequila, lime juice and Squirt soda (grapefriut soda) .... just one word to described them .... HMM**
The service is great too , very friendly.

2
★★★★★

this restaurant has gone through a lot of changes in the past year. the food is better than ever before, offering a variety of authentic mexican dishes. ( the molcajete, pollo con mole, etc.) the new menu is just right for this coming summer season. the restaurant has gone through a lot of remodeling, it looks better than ever( not like the photograph shown). the restaurant is filled with old photographs of mexico and is accompanied by handcarved wooden chairs and tables. just beautiful. be sure to check out the new patio soon! the margaritas are to die for, you can get them will strawberry, raspberry, peach, tamarind or ginger, as well as your typical lime. also new this year are Palomas! its tequila, lime juice and Squirt soda (grapefriut soda) .... just one word to described them .... HMM**
The service is great too , very friendly.

Pros: PATIO SEATING, PARKING LOT!! FOOD***

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Zocalo is a great little place- creative Mexican cuisine, delicious margaritas, and good service. The guacamole is fantastic. If the weather is nice, sit outside on their patio- it's a great space.

4
★★★★☆

Zocalo is a great little place- creative Mexican cuisine, delicious margaritas, and good service. The guacamole is fantastic. If the weather is nice, sit outside on their patio- it's a great space.

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.

The service was not great... and the food was WAY overpriced, considering it was nothing special at all (and portions are fairly small). You even have to pay for the chips and salsa! The restaurant has a nice atmosphere and is decorated nicely, but you can get tastier and cheaper Mexican food at some of Philly's other upscale Mexican restaurants (BYOs like Lolita... where you're not wasting even more money on alcohol...)

1
★★☆☆☆

The service was not great... and the food was WAY overpriced, considering it was nothing special at all (and portions are fairly small). You even have to pay for the chips and salsa! The restaurant has a nice atmosphere and is decorated nicely, but you can get tastier and cheaper Mexican food at some of Philly's other upscale Mexican restaurants (BYOs like Lolita... where you're not wasting even more money on alcohol...)

.

Not many Penn people frequent this place which is a shame. The food here is modern Mexican, not your burrito joint. They have a full bar. During the warmer days, ask to be seated in the back patio and enjoy the outdoor. Very romantic if that is what you are loooking for. This is a great place to step out of campus for a bit yet still a walking distance.

2
★★★★★

Not many Penn people frequent this place which is a shame. The food here is modern Mexican, not your burrito joint. They have a full bar. During the warmer days, ask to be seated in the back patio and enjoy the outdoor. Very romantic if that is what you are loooking for. This is a great place to step out of campus for a bit yet still a walking distance.

Pros: Food, service, outdoor patio

Cons: None

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I have been to Zocalo several times and I love it. The food is perfectly priced upscale Mexican food with new creative dishes. The service has been consistently good whenever I have gone there. There shrimp dish is the best! Also, they have a habenero martini which is AWESOME if you love firey and spicey food!

2
★★★★★

I have been to Zocalo several times and I love it. The food is perfectly priced upscale Mexican food with new creative dishes. The service has been consistently good whenever I have gone there. There shrimp dish is the best! Also, they have a habenero martini which is AWESOME if you love firey and spicey food!

Pros: Delicious food at a great value!

Cons: In University City

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I am shocked by the other reviewers. My husband and I go to Zocalo every time we have anything to celebrate. We love the atmosphere and the service. Don't come here for a quick, cheep, "chi-chi's" or "taco bell" style meal, because that is not what you will find at Zocalo. Come here on a date or for that night to catch up with old friends. The servers will give you time to enjoy the food and your conversations. They are not trying to turn tables like at big chain restaurants where the servers don't know anything about their product and are just trying to make a buck. Here the servers know their product and if you ask, they will recommend something you will love. The food will enlighten you. Its truly authentic gourmet Mexican, delicious and fresh. Plus there is a wide selection of top shelf Tequilas. If you are ready to take a culinary journey and trying something new and exciting is your idea of a great meal, then don't miss Zocalo!! I promise, its amazing!!

2
★★★★★

I am shocked by the other reviewers. My husband and I go to Zocalo every time we have anything to celebrate. We love the atmosphere and the service. Don't come here for a quick, cheep, "chi-chi's" or "taco bell" style meal, because that is not what you will find at Zocalo. Come here on a date or for that night to catch up with old friends. The servers will give you time to enjoy the food and your conversations. They are not trying to turn tables like at big chain restaurants where the servers don't know anything about their product and are just trying to make a buck. Here the servers know their product and if you ask, they will recommend something you will love. The food will enlighten you. Its truly authentic gourmet Mexican, delicious and fresh. Plus there is a wide selection of top shelf Tequilas. If you are ready to take a culinary journey and trying something new and exciting is your idea of a great meal, then don't miss Zocalo!! I promise, its amazing!!

Pros: Margaritas, Taquila flights, fresh torillas

Cons: tables are close together

.

We went here for a birthday party. The food was WAY overpriced and the portions were really small. The service was terrible. I've never had such an incredibly rude waitress. This place is definitely not worth it.

0
★☆☆☆☆

We went here for a birthday party. The food was WAY overpriced and the portions were really small. The service was terrible. I've never had such an incredibly rude waitress. This place is definitely not worth it.

Pros: Ambience, drinks

Cons: Service, price, food

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really! the refried beans tasted rotten, for example. the chips are made of tortillas, not corn, just so you know if you dare to go. the server was rude, she said their queso is not the "cheez wiz" stuff when I asked for some queso. Theirs was like the topping of a pizza in a little saucer. Hard to eat with chips and there wasn't very much. Everything was way overpriced but I can reccommend the classic sangria.

0
★☆☆☆☆

really! the refried beans tasted rotten, for example. the chips are made of tortillas, not corn, just so you know if you dare to go. the server was rude, she said their queso is not the "cheez wiz" stuff when I asked for some queso. Theirs was like the topping of a pizza in a little saucer. Hard to eat with chips and there wasn't very much. Everything was way overpriced but I can reccommend the classic sangria.

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In few words you are better in a Chi-chis.

This restaurant is just horrible. The food was really bad, I ordered carnitas and they were sweet like they added sugar or pineapple juice. My boyfriend ordered a steak medium well and it came back rare (bloody) and when we asked the waitress to take it back with a bad face she took it and returned black well done. Bad service, bad food and the prices expensive for the quality.

0
★☆☆☆☆

In few words you are better in a Chi-chis.

This restaurant is just horrible. The food was really bad, I ordered carnitas and they were sweet like they added sugar or pineapple juice. My boyfriend ordered a steak medium well and it came back rare (bloody) and when we asked the waitress to take it back with a bad face she took it and returned black well done. Bad service, bad food and the prices expensive for the quality.

Pros: none

Cons: food, service

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My friend and I enjoyed Zocalo's prix-fixe menu last night--any appetizer, any entree, and any dessert for $26. Wonderful, complex flavors. Poblano chiles and fully cooked onions in my shrimp faijitas, and DF's shrimp dish was equally tasty. A wonderful quesadilla, calimare apps. I'm so used to one-note Mexican--I didn't know it could be this good. I will go to Zocalo many, many times, I am sure.

2
★★★★★

My friend and I enjoyed Zocalo's prix-fixe menu last night--any appetizer, any entree, and any dessert for $26. Wonderful, complex flavors. Poblano chiles and fully cooked onions in my shrimp faijitas, and DF's shrimp dish was equally tasty. A wonderful quesadilla, calimare apps. I'm so used to one-note Mexican--I didn't know it could be this good. I will go to Zocalo many, many times, I am sure.

Pros: complexity of flavors, better ingredients

.

Zocalo is a really neat Mexican restaurant. They have a really extensive menu. They are open for both lunch and dinner. They also have a huge variety of tequila drinks, all of which are really tasty. I especially like their quesadillas and enchiladas. They use portabella mushrooms in many of their dishes and they are so good. This is more of a high-end Mexican restaurant, but the prices are reasonable.

4
★★★★☆

Zocalo is a really neat Mexican restaurant. They have a really extensive menu. They are open for both lunch and dinner. They also have a huge variety of tequila drinks, all of which are really tasty. I especially like their quesadillas and enchiladas. They use portabella mushrooms in many of their dishes and they are so good. This is more of a high-end Mexican restaurant, but the prices are reasonable.

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.

Only been there once for an early dinner and it was great atmosphere, good food (only complaint is that it seems a waste of sushi-quality tuna to completely cook it! Should have given option of rare/medium/well), and good sangria.

2
★★★★☆

Only been there once for an early dinner and it was great atmosphere, good food (only complaint is that it seems a waste of sushi-quality tuna to completely cook it! Should have given option of rare/medium/well), and good sangria.

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I wasn't expecting much from this place because I like my mexican food good and cheap and this place certainly wasn't cheap. I did enjoy my experience here though. The food is quite good. The shrimp were excellent. Not the traditional mexican fare, but quite tasty.

2
★★★★☆

I wasn't expecting much from this place because I like my mexican food good and cheap and this place certainly wasn't cheap. I did enjoy my experience here though. The food is quite good. The shrimp were excellent. Not the traditional mexican fare, but quite tasty.

Pros: Good Food, Easy Parking

Cons: Not cheap, Service is mediocre

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Delicious, original food; friendly staff, good ambience, great margaritas, outdoor patio. Smoking permitted at bar and outdoors. Highly underrated and underutilized.

2
★★★★☆

Delicious, original food; friendly staff, good ambience, great margaritas, outdoor patio. Smoking permitted at bar and outdoors. Highly underrated and underutilized.

Pros: Food, Staff, Outdoor patio

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We had a great night at Zocalo. The service was terrific, especially considering that we were a party of 8. Everyone was pleased with their meals. We were especially fond of the apassionado margaritas. The desserts were decadent.

2
★★★★☆

We had a great night at Zocalo. The service was terrific, especially considering that we were a party of 8. Everyone was pleased with their meals. We were especially fond of the apassionado margaritas. The desserts were decadent.

Pros: Good Parking

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We love Zocalo. Every time we have out of town guests we take them there. Our kids, 18 and 15, will even, actually join us for dinner out if we are going to Zocalo. In fact, they like to select it as that "special" place to go for family celebrations.

2
★★★★★

We love Zocalo. Every time we have out of town guests we take them there. Our kids, 18 and 15, will even, actually join us for dinner out if we are going to Zocalo. In fact, they like to select it as that "special" place to go for family celebrations.

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This place is such a find. Tasty strong margaritas (with none of that awful mix), some of the best guacamole around, and these amazing camarones de infierno (shrimp from hell!). It's definitely adorable, a great place for a date, or even happy hour with friends. I only wish the happy hour lasted a bit longer- who can get out of work by 4:30- 6:30?

2
★★★★★

This place is such a find. Tasty strong margaritas (with none of that awful mix), some of the best guacamole around, and these amazing camarones de infierno (shrimp from hell!). It's definitely adorable, a great place for a date, or even happy hour with friends. I only wish the happy hour lasted a bit longer- who can get out of work by 4:30- 6:30?

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This isn't your basic Mexican; Zocalo takes your favorite dishes and puts a delicious spin on them. This place is a bit out of the way (near Drexel) but it's worth the trip.

2
★★★★★

This isn't your basic Mexican; Zocalo takes your favorite dishes and puts a delicious spin on them. This place is a bit out of the way (near Drexel) but it's worth the trip.

Pros: great margaritas, trendy, uncrowded

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The very best... excellent food, consistantly the best... I recommend it to everyone. Best margarita's in the city, excellent sangria. Service is very good.

2
★★★★★

The very best... excellent food, consistantly the best... I recommend it to everyone. Best margarita's in the city, excellent sangria. Service is very good.

Pros: has parking

 

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