Our mission is to create a great place where people in our community can gather,
enjoy a high quality meal and experience Mexican food that is fresh, light and
can be consumed every day. We began our journey 14 years ago by planning to
open a restaurant that would not only provide South Florida with a taste of
Mexican food but to create an environment that was not your everyday run of the
It all started in 1996 when co-founder Oscar de Armas moved to South Florida from Southern California. Shortly after acclimating himself and his family to their new home, they (after trying many Mexican restaurants) realized that the Mexican food being served in South Florida did not compare to that of the West Coast. Oscar and his wife longed to find a place that was close to what they considered great Mexican food but simply could not find it. As they traveled back and forth to Southern California they often talked about the desire to bring this style of food to South Florida.
One day, as destiny would have it, Oscar was traveling through an airport and ran into his lifelong friend Tim Dobravolskis who had established himself as a successful restaurateur. They spoke about Tim's experiences and Oscar mentioned to Tim how he felt there was a tremendous opportunity to bring great Mexican food to Ft. Lauderdale. It turned out Tim was looking for a change of pace, and the two created a plan to get together and explore the potential in South Florida. Over the next year Oscar and Tim looked for the best location and discussed their vision of a great restaurant.
Since Tim's previous restaurant experience evolved around high end white tablecloth restaurants, the two agreed to conceptually maintain the same quality of food and guest driven mind set, translated into a quick service, inexpensive casual environment. To create a fresh, light Mexican dining experience, Tim's inspiration came from the coastal region on the Baja Peninsula.
"I love the bold, simple flavors that Baja California has to offer, without the use of lard or heavy sauces," cites Tim.
As the business expanded, Oscar introduced his close friend Martin Diaz-Yabor to Tim, and the entrepreneurial trio opened Zona's Plantation location. Martin's background as a registered architect, designer and contractor aided in the growth of the company as the partners opened their third location in Pompano Beach.
Through it all, the Zona Fresca motto has remained the same: to serve not your everyday Mexican food, but Mexican food you can eat every day.
1635 North Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
1095 South University Drive
Plantation, FL 33324
800 North Federal Highway
Pompano Beach, FL 33062