XOCO

Located in the Chicago downtown area, Xoco is the newest addition to the famous Rick Bayless restaurants Topolobampo and Frontera Grill. Rick Bayless is an award-winning chef-restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality known for his authentic Mexican cuisine.

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Xoco, meaning “little sister” in the ancient aztec language, offers quick-service contemporary Mexican street food and snacks. Xoco features everything from tortas (Mexican sandwiches) and caldos (soups) to churros and hot chocolate ground fresh from Mexican cacao beans. I had the pleasure of going to Xoco for lunch this weekend and it was definitely an experience to remember!

Xoco is packed with customers around the clock. I arrived for a late lunch around 3:30 and still had to wait 20 minutes in line before I could order. At peak meal times the line can be out the door and even around the block!

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I love how Xoco proudly informs its customers about where their food comes from.

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The list of famous “bean-to-cup” hot chocolates looked delicious. While I didn’t order a cup this time around I definitely want to try the Aztec hot chocolate, which features fresh ground chocolate, chile, and allspice!

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Xoco offers a variety of Mexican and local craft beers as well.

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I had the Woodland Mushroom (left) which was a sandwich filled with wood-roasted garlic mushrooms, Prairie Farm goat cheese, black beans, wild arugula, and 3-chile salsa. Even though I got mine with without cheese, this sandwich was not lacking flavor in the least, it was phenomenal! Will had the Milanesa (right) which was a sandwich cooked on the griddle filled with fried chicken, black beans, artisan Jack cheese, pickled jalape??os, and tomatillo-avocado salsa. We also split some tortilla chips and guacamole which was of course amazing as well!

While I still have yet to eat at Rick Bayless’s other restaurants here in Chicago (Topolobampo and Frontera Grill), I would definitely recommend Xoco to anyone and everyone! The food was well worth the wait and I cannot wait to go back!

For more information check out rickbayless.com.

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