Zanzibar in Austin – Detailed Restaurant Review

Meghan Lake | August 19, 2022

There is nothing better than a tropical vacation yet a lot of us don’t have time due to busy work schedules and lives that seem to get in the way. Enter Zanzibar Austin. A tropical-themed bar and restaurant in downtown Austin that could convince anyone they are vacationing in Cabo. The restaurant opened nearly two years ago in September of 2020 in the Marriott hotel and is known for its authentic vibe and tasty bites.

The Ambiance of Zanzibar Restaurant in Austin

Before arriving at Zanzibar Austin, the guest is greeted by a host and street level elevator, packed with lush greenery and a lit up neon sign with the words “Away We Go”. When the elevator arrives on the seventh floor, the guests are greeted with a tropical themed paradise. Placed in the center of downtown and decorated with beautiful greenery and flora, the views never seem to come to an end. The couches and comfortable seating areas await as the Zanzibar experience is just beginning.

Zanzibar Austin Menu

Living up to the vacation experience, Zanzibar’s menu is full of flavorful cocktails and small bites that you would find at a beachside resort. Whether it’s the classic Mai Tai or Zanzibar’s infamous Tradewinds, the refreshing taste is always worth it. Another staple is the Zanzibar Swizzle which consists of rum, hibiscus, ginger, allspice, and lime into a chilled masterpiece. Along with drinks, Zanzibar serves tasty bites such as a Shrimp Skewer and the Kahuna Burger. Whatever Zanzibar is serving, a tropical taste is expected.

Zanzibar Austin’s Brunch

If you are a brunch lover, Zanzibar is the place for you. Every Sunday, Zanzibar offers tropical mimosas as well as $7 small bites to those wanting to spruce up their brunch experience. And if you want to escape the heat? The Resort Pass allows guests to experience the poolside service and a luxury cabana that only a tropical paradise could promise.

With a poolside cabana and breathtaking views, the food served lives up to its expectation.

The Grilled Pineapple Salsa and Salmon Poke’ Bowl are two dishes that are so refreshing and island-inspired, it’s hard to believe you’re not actually on a vacation. Additionally, the Jerk Chicken Wings and Pulled Pork Sliders are a take on American classics that can’t be beaten.

Zanzibar Austin’s Dinner

Not an early riser? Zanzibar’s dinner menu is an expanded menu of what they serve during the day, and a tasty treat to end off your day. The hand-rolled sushi may be the most eye-catching item on the menu, starting with the BCR Wagyu that contains nori, red onion, radish, carrot, sweet pepper, avocado, unagi, and toasted sesame all rolled into one. Or even the Citrus Salmon roll which has teriyaki and sweet onion that captivate such unique flavors. Another item on the menu is the Duck Egg Rolls which seem to be a popular item at the restaurant as well.

If you’re not in the mood for a cocktail, Zanzibar has a wide range of wines and an expansive beer menu. The beers consist of many Austin locals, holding true to the restaurant’s Austin roots. Zanzibar also has two non-alcoholic beverages with hibiscus and ginger that will give the same zesty flavor as the infamous cocktails.

Location + Opening and Closing Hours

Zanzibar is located at the Marriott downtown at 304 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Unit 700 on the corner of San Jacinto and Cesar Chavez. Upon entry, the elevator is located on street level, where a host is waiting to check you in and take you to the seventh-floor restaurant.

Its hours are Monday – Thursday: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am, Friday & Saturday: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am, and Sunday: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm.

Looking for the same experience at a cheaper cost? Zanzibar’s happy hours are Monday-Wednesday from 4-6 pm.

Zanzibar Austin’s Reservation Process

Zanzibar’s website has a reservations tab that allows the guest to book easily. They are busiest on the weekend but booking availability is never too limited.

Zanzibar Austin’s Online Order Process

Zanzibar does not advertise online ordering on their website considering it’s partly an experience based restaurant, however, GrubHub and other online food delivery services offer Zanzibar food delivery.

Conclusion

What makes Zanzibar Austin so unique is its ability to make the guest feel like they are in a tropical oasis, despite being located on a rooftop in the middle of downtown Austin. Although only seven stories up, the restaurant takes you to a place that feels like you are somewhere far away, being served delicious cocktails and bites that go hand-in-hand with the ambiance.

Although it’s a little overpriced, at Zanzibar the guests are paying for the vacation-like experience that is too rich of an opportunity to pass up. After all, I think everyone deserves a little vacation.

Photo Credit: Zanzibar Austin