ZuZu is my favorite restaurant of all time. They serve delicious "handmade Mexican food," and I ate it from before I was born (there were times during my mother's pregnancy when it was the only thing she could eat) until their last Dallas location closed, 25 years later.
When I was really young there were a bunch of ZuZu's locations, but the first location I remember visiting was at 6423 Hillcrest Ave. It was only a few minutes away from our house, and we ate there at least once a week. Anytime we needed a quick and easy meal, it was our go-to spot. After a vacation, especially to anyplace that didn't have good Mexican food, we'd often drop our bags at home and head straight there. During those early years, Arby's bought ZuZu's and ran it into the ground, but our ZuZu's on Hillcrest was an independent franchise, and we were spared.
Sadly, in 2007, the ZuZu on Hillcrest closed, and in May of 2008 a Chick-fil-a opened in its place. After that, we searched for a new location to visit. We ate at the one on Abrams a few times, but it wasn't the same (even so, I was sad to hear when it closed in 2017). Finally, we found a location in Addison that did things right. Once again, we started eating there almost every weekend. When my siblings were still too young to sit in the car for twenty minutes without entertainment, we'd watch an episode of The Brady Bunch or The Andy Griffith Show on the drive up, and during a phase where my youngest brother didn't like ZuZu, we'd stop at Starbucks to get him an oatmeal to eat.
Those times lasted all through my high school and college years, and we'd eat at ZuZu's every time I came home, sometimes more than once. But that all ended on July 22, 2018, when the last ZuZu's in Dallas closed its doors. The morning after their last day of business, they wrote on Facebook:
As our lease expires, it is with a heavy heart that I announce the closure of our restaurant. We have developed many wonderful friendships and loyal customers over the past 25 years. Many thanks to my staff, customers for being a part of our family. We wish you all the best. Sherry & staff
Chicken-cheese quesadilla, rice and beans, chips and queso, and an iced tea to drink.
In reality, "cheese quesadilla" is redundant, I didn't always get the queso, and we always got guacamole, but these words are always what come into my head when I think of my order. Back when we visited the Hillcrest location, we would sometimes also order a dessert, either flan or the cajeta nacho sundae.
I use "ZuZu" and "ZuZu's" interchangeably. The name was a nickname given to one of the founders by his grandmother. In addition to coming up with a great name ("ZuZu Handmade Mexican Food"), ZuZu invented and trademarked the slogan "fast casual," and no one has done it better since.
Horatio Lonsdale-Hands, one of the founders of ZuZu alongside Espartaco Borga, continued to eat at the Addison location every week until it closed. That's not unusual for a ZuZu's patron. We often saw the same loyal customers when we visited each week, and numerous people wrote in response to the closure of the Addison location saying they had been eating there for decades.
ZuZu has been around for 30+ years and I have been going there that whole time. This location is amazing. Friendly staff, fresh, delicious food, and a family owned and operated establishment. I had my first date with my husband of 22 years there, and it was my 15 year old daughter's first outing as an infant and first taste of solid food. Hands down our favorite place EVER!!! We ♥ you ZuZu...always amp; forever.Jennifer Marini
Thank you ZuZu for nearly 30 years of amazing food. You were where I wanted to go to celebrate. Or to drown my sorrows. Heck it was always where I wanted to go. My happy place above all others. We will miss you more than you will ever know and Saturday night "ZuZu and a movie" will never be the same.Jennifer Marini
Noo I am so sad that it is closed. This is my most favorite Mexican restaurant ever. I have been coming here for 25 years.Megan Wilson
Sherry and Family/ ZuZu’s Community, We are so sorry to hear that the ZuZu’s season has come to to new season. Dean and I were and continued to be blessed by you and ZuZu’s! Thank you for the Community of Friends created at ZuZu’s. Twenty-one years ago, ZuZus catered our wedding rehearsal; from that day forward... ZuZus became our Community! Blessings as you enter a new season. We will so miss ZuZus and your team!Carrye Niedfelt Crowder
I’m so sad. We love your restaurant and have been eating there since our grown kids were little.Vannette Lovelace Pollinzi
We had 3 generations that enjoyed your wonderful food and employees. You will be sooooo missed.Suzanne Johnsen
The end of an incredible era...thank you for sharing ZuZu with us for so long...Horatio and I and the boys are really, really, really going to miss going there and seeing you all and enjoying our favorite food...will never quite be the same!!!Karina Lonsdale-Hands