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El Zarape

8802 Reed Drive, Emerald Isle, NC 28594
(252) 354-1120
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Ranked #14 of 32 restaurants in Emerald Isle
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Cuisines: Mexican
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene, Large groups, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene, Large groups, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
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94 reviews from our community

65% Recommend
    27
    35
    22
    6
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

El Zarape has great food. I'm not a huge fan of Mexican restaurants but this was very good. I ordered a plate with 4 different dishes. Loved the tacos but everything was good. The service was also great. I have heard it gets very busy in the summer and waits can be bad. I will return.

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Martinsburg, West Virginia
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

We visited on a Monday night in March. Service was fine, food just average. It was hot, quick and filling. If you want to eat great Mexican cuisine, this isn't it, but it's ok for a rainy, cold night in the off-season.

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Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

Food is generally fine, although at times there is a burnt taste. Drinks are a generous size and good value- especially their specials. Unfortunately, they tend to under-estimate (often by a lot) how long the wait will be- so be prepared to wait longer than you thought.

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Durham, North Carolina
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

I'm not sure I like really authentic Mexican food, what I do like is the small chains that give you salsa and chips right away and have combination plates that let you pick a couple of items, and have rice and beans with it. It could be Tex Mex for all I know. This place is fine if they are... More

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

...so you wouldn't expect to find stellar Mexican food here. And at El Zarape, you won't...but it's not bad. Fish tacos were alright (although fried fish was the only choice), a shrimp and rice dish was OK, but shrimp were pretty small. Guacamole was pretty standard, chips and salsa were fine. In fact the only thing that wasn't average/OK was... More

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Doylestown, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

My husband and I have been going to Emerald Isle for about 20 years. Last year was the first time we tried El Zarape. The food was decent, so decided to go again for dinner on one of the evenings we spent in EI this year. Upon arrival, around 7 PM on a Thursday, the restaurant was busy, with a... More

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Top Contributor
264 reviews 264 reviews
144 restaurant reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

We have been a few times over the years. It is decent place. The food is good and the service is usually very good. The prices are in line with other Mexican places. I would have no problem telling friends about the place or going back again.

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Columbus, Ohio
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

Food was good as we used their take out service. Restaurant was very busy but service was pretty good. Recommended.

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Cape Carteret, North Carolina
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

This is a solid choice for Mexican food. The menu is typical for the area. The food is reasonably priced. Service is more than adequate. No problems here, ever, and I have been to it dozens of times.

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Fayetteville, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Emerals Isle, NC Reed Road Very Rude Hostess, Went to El Zarape Mexican Restaurant, Emerald Isle, Reed Road on Friday 7/12/13 with my family. After evaluating reviews of many restaurants, we decided to go to this restaurant do to there high reviews. Also the restaurant was within walking distance of our condo. We arrived at restaurant to find very busy,... More

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