v3.7.0.1
Document and Entity Information - shares
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2017
Apr. 30, 2017
Document And Entity Information [Abstract]    
Document Type 10-Q  
Amendment Flag false  
Document Period End Date Mar. 31, 2017  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2017  
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q1  
Trading Symbol ZFGN  
Entity Registrant Name Zafgen, Inc.  
Entity Central Index Key 0001374690  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31  
Entity Filer Category Accelerated Filer  
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   27,372,851