Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Zapote

Silver Award

Zapote only opened in February 2023, but within a month became the kind of gem that Londoners keep their little black books stocked full of. Positioned in the heart of Shoreditch, Zapote sits on a dimly-lit street, hidden amongst the heaving warren of bars and restaurants. This sophisticated anonymity only makes it cooler and exudes a neighbourhood feel, likely to attract locals as well as those sniffing out the next big thing.

The menu’s concept comes from Mexican chef Yahir Gonzalez, who spent many years working throughout Spain before moving to London to open Aqua, formerly in Soho. At Zapote, he uses authentic Mexican ingredients to create contemporary dishes. First off, it’s worth noting that everything was delicious, so in our eyes, you really can’t go wrong. But, stand out plates include taut parcels of melt-in-your-mouth chorizo, amongst fried spheres of potato (done just right – crispy on the outside, pillow-soft on the inside) and topped with spiralled fragments of burnt cheese which felt a bit like scraping the pan for moreish leftovers. The yellowfin tuna and spicy crab tostada provides one of those ‘oh wow’ moments as you take a minute to appreciate the dizzying flavour hit. The satisfyingly thick texture of the tuna contrasted with the crab’s creamy consistency worked beautifully, and the tostadas are baked fresh using traditional methods and heritage corn. Equally, veggie dishes such as the smooth aubergine dip, studded with baby radishes encourages you to get your fingers involved and offers a pleasing crunch with each bite.

Desserts have been designed with creative flair. A pool of coffee Mezcal ganache forms the base for the pistachio pastel, topped with a faux cob of corn, moulded from white chocolate; while the coconut crème with delicate chunks of pineapple and sprigs of coriander is actually served in a coconut shell.

The restaurant is split into two halves – on one side a smattering of stools and smaller tables for enjoying a cocktail, the other, plush velvet banquettes set up for larger tables to order a full meal. The restaurant gets booked up pretty quickly already, but there’s plenty of room to try out the Mexican-inspired drinks list on a whim.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cosy, Fun, Lively, Luxury, Romantic
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions


Zapote is a contemporary Mexican restaurant and bar in Shoreditch from chef Yahir Gonzalez and hospitality veteran Tony Geary (Sketch and Aqua Restaurant Group). Named after the bright orange Mexican fruit, Zapote sits on the site that was once home to Iberian restaurant Eyre Brothers and live-fire specialists St Leonard's. It centres around an open charcoal grill on which many of its dishes are cooked, while also functioning as an impressive focal point in the 65-seat dining room. Further features include a colourful mural wall, gold-painted ice counter and open-fire kitchen, while banquettes upholstered in midnight blue fabric, cacti and plants, plus stylish upcycled wooden chairs create a highly-contemporary space which is also textural and warm.

Yahir Gonzalez blends traditional ideas with contemporary twists to create his vibrant menus, executing every dish with flair and precision. For example, dishes you might expect to see on a visit include coal-roasted sweet potato with chipotle mayo, charred lamb neck with smoked aubergine, tamarind puree and tortillas and scallop ceviche with persimmon, orange and grilled corn. There are a couple of sweet options to round off a meal here, including coconut crème with pineapple and coriander.

Close attention is paid to quality of ingredients, too. All its tortillas are made in-house using native Mexican corn varieties, for example, while Mexican chillis, spices and other dried goods are imported only quarterly in line with Yahir’s commitment to sustainability.

The mostly-European wine list ranges from more affordable bottles to several organic, biodynamic and skin-contact varieties. While cocktails are designed to mirror the seasons and focus primarily on tequila and mezcal. Finally, an all-day menu is served at the bar for more casual dining occasions, and includes small plates such as crispy pork skin with pico de gallo, and whitebait with habanero ali-oli.


Does the bar serve food?

Yes, there is an all-day menu served at the bar featuring small sharing plates.

Helpful? 0

Zapote is featured in


70 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4QX

020 7739 6199 020 7739 6199


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue 17:30-22:00
Wed 17:30-22:00
Thu 17:30-22:00
Fri 17:30-22:30
Sat 17:30-22:30
Sun Closed


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