The Ibarra family scores another home run with their new modern Mexican restaurant in Wilmington. 

The vision of Zócalo Street Food and Tequila came to Emmanuel Ibarra in 2016. After spending many years working in his family’s successful Mexican restaurant, Emmanuel, along with his brother, Salvador, and a childhood friend decided they wanted to do something unique and modern.

With his family’s support, Ibarra began looking at what was currently trending in the restaurant scene in bigger cities across the country and thought about how to bring those trends to Wilmington. Desiring authenticity, the three partners also looked at Ibarra’s hometown, traveling to Mexico to explore the country’s intricate tastes and flavors. Inspired by the ingredients and spices that his grandmother used in Mexico and the concept of true “Mexican soul food,” Ibarra opened the doors of Zócalo Street Food and Tequila in July of 2017. Ever since, he and his family have been serving the people of Wilmington traditional Mexican cuisine with a contemporary twist.

“The name Zócalo comes from a big plaza in Mexico City where everyone comes together,” Ibarra says. “We want people to come into the restaurant with their family and get a homey feeling, have a good time with great drinks and delicious food.”

Under the culinary expertise of Executive Chef Julio Camberos, Zócalo’s menu features a variety of modern and traditional dishes created with the most authentic, fresh ingredients. On any given day, customers who come into the restaurant can watch as the restaurant’s “tortilla lady” makes and displays the day’s handmade tortillas. Popular dishes include typical favorites like fajitas, carnitas and chimichangas, as well as unique offerings such as the molcajete, a Mexican-style stew made from a mixture of grilled meats, seafood and vegetables, all cooked together and then served in a heated stone bowl.

Another thing that sets Zócalo apart is the restaurant’s innovative daily specials. On Mondays, the restaurant offers a margarita tasting, where for $20 customers can order a set of four different margaritas with four food pairings designed especially for the tasting. On Taco Tuesdays, a live taco station features a wide assortment of meats, vegetables, cheeses and toppings. Customers simply determine how many tacos they’d like, and then visit the station, where a chef will construct their made-to-order tacos. Wednesdays feature a variety of enchilada dishes, and Thursdays are deemed ladies’ night, with wines on special. Chef and bartender specials are available every Friday through Sunday.

In addition to wine, margaritas and Mexican beer, Zócalo also offers a unique array of homemade Mexican waters, including fresh horchata (a traditional Mexican rice water) and tamarind water. The restaurant also offers the biggest selection of tequilas in Wilmington, including silver, gold, aged, extra aged, ultra-aged and mescal as well as tequila flights. This extensive drink menu gives restaurant guests the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or simply a great meal with friends.

Ibarra thanks his loyal staff for the hard work they have put into making Zócalo the premiere location for upscale Mexican cuisine in the Port City. Situated in the Pointe at Barclay in front of the Stone Pointe 14 Movie Theatre, the restaurant offers the perfect spot dinner and a movie. Ibarra invites the Wilmington community to bring their family and friends to Zócalo Street Food and Tequila for a delicious meal from Mexico City’s streets.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their support of this new concept, because without the community we are nothing,” he says. “We strive to make everything as perfect as possible and as fresh as we can for our customers, because everything is really for them.”

Zócalo Street Food and Tequila is part of the ECG Restaurant Group, which also includes El Cerro Grande, El Arriero Taqueria and Mi Cabaña Mexican Restaurant (in Jacksonville), all Ibarra family Mexican restaurants with different concepts.


Zócalo Street Food and Tequila / 1474 Barclay Pointe Boulevard, Suite 206, Wilmington / (910) 833-5142 / / Sponsored Content


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