445 NORTH CLARK STREET, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS | 312-661-1434
LOCATION AND HOURS
Frontera Grill is located on Clark Street, just south of Illinois Avenue, in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Valet parking is available.
445 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60654-4682
Lunch Tuesday–Friday, 11:30am–2:30pm
Dinner Tuesday 5:20pm–10pm Wednesday, Thursday 5pm–10pm Friday, Saturday 5pm–11pm
Brunch Saturday 10:30am–2pm Frontera Grill is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Rick and Deann Bayless, Proprietors | Richard James, Chef de Cuisine | Jennifer Melendrez, Pastry Chef
Frontera Grill reservation policy: Frontera Grill takes a limited number of reservations for all size parties; most of our dining room is seated on a first come, first served basis. To make your reservation, contact the restaurant at (312) 661-1434 or click on the “Make a Reservation” button to your right.
ABOUT FRONTERA GRILL
“The place to savor authentic and scrumptious regional dishes and stellar margaritas.” — Chicago Magazine “There’s nothing even remotely similar to Frontera Grill…anywhere else in America.” — Molly O’Neill, The New York Times It was 1987. Rick Bayless and his wife, Deann Groen Bayless, had just returned from an extended stay in Mexico, where they had been researching their first book. They wanted a restaurant that tasted and felt like their travels. So they hung colorful Mexican folk art on the walls, turned up the Mariachi music and packed the menu with the foods that reminded them of their travels: tangy tomatillos, rich black beans, fiery chiles. And that’s how it’s been ever since. Not that we haven’t changed. We change all the time, adding new authentic flavors to our menus, developing new relationships with the Midwestern farmers who provide us with everything from summer squash to maple syrup to goat. But at the end of the day, no matter how inventive our techniques or local our ingredients, our food still transports you to the same place: the colorful, vibrant kitchens of Mexico.
Outstanding Restaurant James Beard Award, 2007 Bib Gourmand Michelin Guide, 2011–2013
Most Popular Chicago Restaurant Zagat, 2010 3-Star Green Certification Green Restaurant Association
Adriana is a Frontera veteran, with us since the hectic opening of XOCO way back in 2009. Ever since then, Adriana, a mother of four girls, has been a calming presence on our staff. She says her greatest strength is familiarity with her longtime colleagues.
Whitney started her career as a server in Frontera Grill, later moving to Topolobampo and, eventually, to the daytime manager position. Now the general manager of our Clark Street restaurants, she can be found rallying our staff with morning dance parties and sharing her boundless enthusiasm for great guest experiences. Her favorite dish over the years? “The Poc Chuc torta at Xoco, hands down!”
ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
Melanie arrives at Frontera from our friends at the Chicago Athletic Association. As our assistant general manager, she’s a bridge between all of the groups that make Frontera go. Also, Melanie actually knows how to ride ponies — a skill suitable for the hospitality industry? We shall see.
CHEF DE CUISINE
Richard has been cooking at Frontera Grill for longer than he can remember (though we’re pretty sure he started here in 1993). In that time he’s moved from grill cook to sous chef, then to chef de cuisine. Along the way he also dated—and then married—a coworker and mastered the art of addictive enfrijoladas.
Thanks to an after-school cooking class, Jennifer knew from a young age that she wanted to be a pastry chef. After attending Washburne Culinary Institute, she interned at Blackbird and then landed with the Frontera family, where she continues to dazzle with after-dinner delights.
Lisa is a longtime presence in the kitchens of Frontera, Topolo and our wood-fired friends at Leña Brava. A dedicated student — and teacher — of regional Mexican cuisine, she knows how to prepare great food, whether it’s rustic or refined.
The challenge issued to Jill in 2001 was brief but not simple: break the beer and margarita mold. Since then she’s traveled to the world’s best wine regions and industry summits, always returning with a wealth of knowledge (and some seriously great wine) to compliment our Mexican menus. Dining critics call her picks “unerring” and “spot-on.” Jill just calls them another fun day at work.
DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL EVENTS
If there’s one thing Dana Armon loves more than going to parties, it’s planning parties. Together with our Private Events Culinary Team, she’ll seamlessly create your perfect event in the The Library—Rick’s private test kitchen that contains his personal cookbook collection—or the Morales Room, filled with art work from Mexican master Rodolfo Morales. Looking to bring the fiesta home? She can help with that, too.