All photos (8)Xoco
Xoco
Xoco
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  • 9.8
    Foodies
  • 5.9
    Vegetarian
  • 5.6
    Adventure Travelers
  • 5.6
    Students
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449 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 661-1434
http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/xoco/
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Description
If Topolo pampers and Frontera dances, then XOCO rocks. Though the word is Mexican slang for “little sister” (from the ancient Aztec language), there’s nothing little about XOCO’s big, bold Mexican ... Read more
marketplace flavors. Open early, late and closed on Sundays and Mondays, this quick-service cafe from Rick and Deann Bayless proffers contemporary expressions of Mexico’s most beloved street food and snacks: hot-from-the-fryer churros and flaky empanadas; frothy Mexican hot chocolate (ground from Mexican cacao beans right in our front window!); warm, crusty tortas (Mexican submarine sandwiches); and made-to-order caldos (meal-in-a-bowl soups) that feature everything from roasted vegetables to seafood to pork belly.

Member Reviews(21)

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Local from Chicago, Illinois, USA

Torta ahogada is bliss!! It's pork carnitas served in a magical broth that will delight your taste buds like never before!! Xoco is a very small very tightly spaced restaurant that rarely has a short line to order. Believe me, it's worth the wait! I always order my torta non-spicy and always gladly accommodated.

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Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Part of my visit to Chicago was to eat at a Rick Bayless restaurant. I couldn't be happier with my experience at Xoco. I let my eyes do the ordering and ended up with way too much food. The flavors were spot on and atmosphere was fun. I wish I lived above this restaurant so I could eat it every day.

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Los Angeles, California, USA

Great place to pick up a quick lunch and some dessert. The Churros are amazing make sure you get it with a shot of chocolate! Goat Torta was equally amazing!

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San Francisco, California, USA
Community Manager

THIS REVIEW IS ONLY FOR THE CHURROS!!

SCENE: 6 girls outside of Xoco in the freezing cold

REASON: a box of churros, ice cream, and chocolate sauce

CONCLUSION: extremely worth it!!!

TIP: go back for 2nds!!!

Recommended for:FoodiesTrendsters
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West Covina

I was pretty excited to try this place and it was a must for me since I was in Chicago. Well, I was kind of disappointed. I knew about how famous this place was because of Rick Bayless and I had to try his tortas. The torta bread was too hard for me to bite down and it got kind of annoying. Although the bread was hard, the inside was pretty good. The guacamole was good also!

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New York City, New York State, USA

Lunchtime often brings lines out the door of Xoco, Rick Bayless’s paean to Mexican street food. Patience is rewarded with this torta, which combines achiote-rubbed suckling pig—wrapped in banana leaves and slow-cooked in a wood-burning oven for seven hours—with a fiery blend of roasted habaneros, garlic, and salt, plus black beans and pickled red onions. It’s all sandwiched between Labriola Bakery bread, a slightly sour Mexican baguette fermented for 12 hours.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota

What can I say about Rick Bayless that hasn't been said? Just go, for crying out loud. Stand in the line and don't complain about it, because you're going to get amazing food at a reasonable price.

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Beverly Hills, California, USA

**EXCELLENT CARNE ASADA TORTAS BUT MEH MARGARITAS**

I wanted to avoid this place because I am not a fan of celebrity chef restaurants.
But a Chicago local highly recommended it, so here it went:

AMBIANCE
=========
Not much.
Typical Mexican restaurant vibe.
Order at the counter and sit down.

FOOD
=====
CARNE ASADA TORTA (Tuesday special) - $12.75
I'm not a torta expert. But it was one f'ing good torta. The bread texture was cooked perfectly and the carne asada which consisted of Tallgrass flank steak, wild ramp chimichuri, local mushrooms, and homemade crema was excellent.
RATING 5/5

CHURRO - $1.60 per piece
Came out piping hot. Decent, not too sweet.
But I liked it sweeter.
RATING: 3/5

HOT CHOCOLATE (Classic) - $3.25
It's no hot chocolate from Madrid. I dipped my churro in it and that was my dessert.
RATING: 3/5

COCKTAIL
=========
MARGARITA - $10

Chatted with a dude next to me about Porsches and he bought me a margarita.
Not the best margarita I've had, but it was free, so thanks.
RATING: 3/5

OVERALL
=========
Thinking maybe TO-GO next time.

RECOMMEND for a torta lunch.

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New York City, New York State, USA

Xoco serves the best hot chocolate I've had in the US. It's close to drinking pure molten chocolate (which you can get with your churros).

The food is pretty good, but not quite my thing. However, there always seems to be a long line waiting to order, even out the door sometimes. They don't take reservations, although you can order online for pickup.

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Local from Denver, CO

Love! Bayless is a torta genius, except for this restaurant design as there always seems to be a crazy line snaking in and out of tables.

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Urbana, Illinois, USA

This place was delicious! My boyfriend and I each got a torta. I got the Chicken Milanesa and he got the Choriqueso, and we both agreed mine was better.

Then we shared churros, which were amazing. It's basically what Taco Bell's "cinnamon twists" ASPIRE to be. The only thing is that it's quite small and cramped in there, and we had to sit back by the kitchen door and ended up smelling like cooks when we left. It also took a bit to get our churros and we were worried they forgot, but when we brought it up, they gave us a complementary apple pastry and it was good too!

I'd give this place 5 stars, but I still want to come back and try the vermicelli and other bowls. But hey, so far so good!

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Local from Chicago, Illinois, USA

my mouth waters thinking about XOCO.

worth the wait. and come with friends so you can share (attempt to share) some churros and each others dishes.

there's a line - always- so don't worry, you have time to make a decision and change it a million times. everything sounds phenomenal...and everything actually is.

always order some chips & guac to start. i'm a fan of the daily special tortas myself, but many of the other dishes are fantastic as well. the flavors are just amazing...soup is fantastic if it's chilly outside!

the staff is friendly, the atmosphere is fun, the food is consistent. great stop-in for lunch or a mid-afternoon meal if you want to avoid lines.

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Local from Chicago, Illinois, USA

Rick Bayless does it again. Tasty lunch, tortas specials and delicious carnitas. Go well before noon if you don't want to wait in line forever.

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San Jose, California, USA
First to Review

It was a cold, dreary, raining night in Chicago and gratefully so. Why? Because the line was super short at about 6PM on a Friday night. It was a kinda weird set up, but it works. The hostess asks you if you want to dine in or order to go. Dine in, you wait in line to order, but you can only order when there is a table available for you to sit down and the hostess will tell you when. We waited about 20 minutes and we were seated by the window bar style. It was a little uncomfortable, but oh well. What are you gonna do?

I am so glad I read reviews and made up my mind on ordering the pork belly vermicelli caldos. Man oh man did it hit the spot! I'm still craving it!! The pork belly surprisingly stayed crispy almost entirely through the whole time I was trying to devour it as it sat through the soup. I don't know how they do it! The "vermicelli" was something more like buckwheat noodles and not the typical white, thin noodles you would find in pho. It was cooked well and al dente. Awesome. I was a little surprised to see avocado in the soup! It worked well with the soup though. It was a very flavorful broth and you could definitely taste the freshness of the herbs and seasonings, although, it did get a little too salty for my taste towards the end of the bowl though. Omg, I wish I had a bowl right now! Sadness.

The boyfriend got the Pibil torta, which was less amazing. The suckling pig was a little bland and didn't taste like any suckling pig I've ever had so that was a little disappointing. He also complained that the taste of the torta itself tasted overwhelmingly of cumin like someone dumped it in his sandwich. He figured out that the pickled onions tasted entirely of cumin and took that out, but even that didn't save his sandwich. The habanero salsa that came with the sandwich was SUPER spicy and we were forewarned by the waiter.

Despite the little torta set back, we both were looking forward to come back for breakfast only to find out Monday morning they were closed :(
Soooo sad we couldn't try XOCO again before we left Chicago, but we will DEFINITELY come back the next time we're back in the city.

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Local from Chicago

Rick Bayless. Nuff said.

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Sydney, Australia
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Local from Chicago, Illinois

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Local from Chicago, Illinois
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New York City, New York State, USA
Recommended for:Budget TravelersLGBTQVegetarian
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New York City, New York State, USA
Recommended for:Budget TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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Xoco

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