So What is XOCO All About?
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 marketplace flavors. Open early, late and all but Sunday, 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. Part of Mexican street food’s allure is it’s rustic immediacy—experiencing the aromas, sights and sounds of each dish being crafted, interacting with the cooks, customizing your choices. That’s why your first step into XOCO is a step into our kitchen, where each torta is built, each baked good is fashioned, each hot chocolate is whipped to a froth as you watch. Just as street food stalls attract passersby with the rustic allure of wood fires and boldly aromatic offerings, the centerpiece of XOCO’s kitchen is its wood-burning oven where tortas get crisped and suckling pigs for cochinita pibil and lamb for barbacoa are braised overnight in banana leaves. XOCO offers some of Mexico’s best street food from one of America’s top chefs. Everything is made from scratch, from the bean-to-bar chocolate to homemade ice creams and the rich broths for caldos. Torta buns are from Chicago’s best artisan bakery. Even the wine we’re offering is the just-released Topolovino, personally crafted by Frontera/Topolo’s sommelier Jill Gubesch. And perhaps best of all, XOCO will be awarded LEED Gold (at least) certification for it’s environmentally conscious build out and all-compostable to-go packaging. Whether you choose to enjoy XOCO treats at one of our communal tables to taken to your home or office, you can count on us to be there for you from 7am to 10 pm, Monday through Saturday.