We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
About
Authentic Mexican Cuisine. The first and only Mexican Restaurant in Rotorua, New Zealand.
PRICE RANGE
US$9 - US$24
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch
CUISINES
Mexican, Latin, Central American
FEATURES
Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi, Table Service
Reviews (517)
Filter reviews
484 results
Traveller rating
424
38
10
4
8
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
More languages
Traveller rating
424
38
10
4
8
Show reviews that mention
All reviews tacos guacamole churros burrito paella chorizo pulled pork tapas beans chicken salad mexican restaurant soft shell great mexican food new zealand hot sauce small place
Selected filters
FilterEnglish
Updating list...
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

We always look for Mexican restaurants when we travel. My husband misses is from Southern California and misses Mexican food. The dinner we had was a treat, delicious, fresh and flavourful! We'll definitely return on our next visit. I had the jalapeno peppers and they...were wonderful.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We love love loved this restaurant. We were just walking in the city and happened to walk past the restaurant, which was being cleaned after lunch, so we spoke to the staff regarding dinner for our group of 8 in the evening. They had another...large group for dinner, but fitted us in enthusiastically. The staff are so friendly and the food is glorious, not your usual Mexican (we are all vegetarian and we had plenty of options to choose from). NB- if you order the nachos, they are super filling, maybe share. And save room for the churros for dessert, greatly recommend them!!! We are going back next time we visit Rotorua!More

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We had a lovely meal here. We walked in off the street on a relatively busy Wednesday evening. The staff were friendly and very helpful with explaining the gluten free options (2 of us are Coeliacs) of which there were many. We rate this as...some of the best Mexican food we have had. Generous portion sizes and so tasty! We will definitely be back next time we are in Rotorua.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I literally go here once a fortnight as I am such a huge fan. The grilled corn is perfection, along with their chips and homemade guacamole. I get stuck between their quesadilla or nachos for a main every time as they are both so good....I've taken a number of people here, who have all fallen in love with the place too. They make an amazing mojito and the staff are just lovely. Keep up the incredible work guys!More

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Our family just finished a most delicious lunch here. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. This is one of our favourite Mexican restaurants.

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Absolutely fantastic Mexican restaurant with outstanding service and food!! Recommend you book like we did as the place was packed with other people waiting for tables to open up. Meal size is very generous - I ordered The tacos and could only eat one. Our...7 year old grandson said the restaurant was 20 stars and he loved the deep fried chicken and tortillas. Margaritas are on point and the menu offers so many choices. The best authentic Mexican we have had the pleasure to eat in NZ, and this food was far more delicious than what I have had in Mexico itself. The decor, ambience and music make for a wonderfully authentic Latin American experience. Every time we come back to Rotorua, this will be our first choice location to eat at. For the people moaning in their recent review about having to pay a surcharge on their credit card - this is perfectly normal and hotels do the same surcharge on credit cards irrespective of the total amount you spend. If you don’t want to pay a surcharge on your credit card, then it’s simple - pay by cash or eftpos.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?2  
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Our whanau enjoyed our night at this cantina. Meals and drinks were served quickly. Sangria and margaritas were good quality. We had a variety of dishes from the menu and all including vegetarian were tasty, large and close to authentic Mexican (from experience eating in...US, not Mexico). The only downer was the surcharge the restaurant wanted us to pay on credit card despite us spending close to $250. We are not impressed with paying med - high price for five, then being charged extra.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We really enjoyed this Mexican restaurant when we visited Rotorua this December. The food was really authentic (as well as Mexican imported beers too!) and plenty of options on the menu. The food was fresh, really tasty and easily compares to the real deal from...days in Albuquerque eating lots of New Mexican food. Staff were lovely and attentive - so much so we ate there twice in one trip. Would recommend!More

Date of visit: December 2020
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I’m not kidding - far and away the best Mexican food our family has in NZ, and compares to some of our favourites from our 20 years in Southern California. Authentic with a bit of creativity, friendly owner and staff, and high quality in all...dishes we had. Very good drinks as well. I can’t recommend enough.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Amazing food, super delicious and the portions are crazy big! The taste of all food are outstanding, the staff are friendly - what else do you need? Keep up the great work, can't wait to visit you guys again soon :)

Date of visit: December 2020
Helpful?1  
View more reviews
Best nearby
Best nearby hotelsSee all
Pullman Rotorua
63 reviews
.09 km away
Regent of Rotorua
1,817 reviews
.14 km away
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
3,121 reviews
.27 km away
Prince's Gate Hotel
1,175 reviews
.30 km away
Best nearby restaurantsSee all
Ali Baba's Tunisian Takeaways
815 reviews
.03 km away
Gelato Mio Ice Cream
167 reviews
.14 km away
Sabroso
730 reviews
.13 km away
Best nearby attractionsSee all
Fancy Meow Cat Cafe
467 reviews
.13 km away
Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
341 reviews
.20 km away
Eat Street
932 reviews
.11 km away
Rotorua Night Market
165 reviews
.19 km away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from El Mexicano Zapata staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Submit
Posting guidelines
Is This Your Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim Your Free Listing