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Viva Zapata! Mexican Cantina

Home > Adelaide > Vegetarian | Restaurants | Gluten Free
by Wandering Foodies (subscribe)
Two creative foodies out to discover enticing flavours and food ideas. When we aren't tucking into our latest delicious find, we're photographing and designing our hearts out.
Published November 30th 2014
Winner 2014 Best Mexican Restaurant
Viva Zapata! Mexican Cantina is a joint venture between the owners of Zapata's Mexican on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide and Spice n Ice in Port Adelaide, and was recently voted Best Mexican Restaurant for 2014 at the South Australian AND National Restaurant and Catering Awards!

viva zapata, mexican cantina, semaphore, best mexican restaurant winner, special nachos, sangria, beachfront
Gorgeous decor and welcoming atmosphere


The restaurant is located inside a building originally built in 1891, which was previously a police station. The original lockups are even still intact and visible in the parking lot behind the building. Police operations ceased many years ago and the building was renovated in 1996. Inside you'll now find that the decor features striking artwork, statues and wall hangings throughout. Gorgeous lanterns provide a soft warm light and colourful woven fabrics decorate the ceiling giving a wonderful ambience and relaxing atmosphere. Staff are friendly and helpful, and their service is great. We had a lovely gentleman who even moved our table and chairs to ensure we had plenty of space for seating.

viva zapata, mexican cantina, semaphore, best mexican restaurant winner, special nachos, sangria, beachfront
Inside table at sunset


The best way to visit is with a group of friends - that way you can order lots and try everything! A range of delicious entrees and mains are available - nachos, enchiladas, tacos and more are complemented by other western favourites so there's something to suit all tastes. You can even order mouth-watering steaks or succulent seafood dishes if that's more your thing. Vegetarian and gluten free options are also available.

Our favourites are the Chicken Flautas, delicious crispy tortilla rolls filled with seasoned chicken and topped with guacamole and salsa. Our mouths are watering just writing about them! Follow this up with the special nachos and you're in for a treat. We recommend only getting a half serve as sizing is large, and that way you can save a few pennies along the way. We're looking forward to our next visit - it will be hard to choose what to try next!

viva zapata, mexican cantina, semaphore, best mexican restaurant winner, special nachos, sangria, beachfront
Special nachos and chicken flautas


Sangria is delicious of course and so is the offering at Viva Zapata! Full of flavour and served absolutely chilled, it'll be long gone before you know it and you'll be left wondering how it could disappear so quickly. Of course, you might prefer a zesty Margarita or even a Brave Bull...

viva zapata, mexican cantina, semaphore, best mexican restaurant winner, special nachos, sangria, beachfront
Viva la sangria!


Bringing the best of Mexican Cuisine to Semaphore, the restaurant sits atop the hill at the beach end of Semaphore Road. With breathtaking views over the beautiful waters of Gulf St Vincent and Semaphore Jetty it is a wonderful place to linger over a meal with friends - especially at sunset on a warm summer evening.

We give Viva Zapata! Mexican Cantina 4/5 Wanders for delicious mexican cuisine and some of the best sangria we have ever had!

Where 1 Wander isn't worth getting off the couch for and 5 Wanders should leave a trail of dust in your wake: it's that good.
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Why? Winner 2014 Best Mexican Restaurant!
When: Monday to Sunday 5.30pm till late (Kitchen closes at 10pm) Friday, Saturday & Sunday Lunch 12am-3pm
Phone: (08) 8242 2525
Where: 6 Semaphore Road, Semaphore SA 5019
Cost: $$ - Medium
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