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Churros & Chocolate at Xoco

I’ve wanted to come to this restaurant ever since I first heard of its opening a while ago. It’s local (to me) here in Chicago and now considered a gem of a restaurant in our city. An addtiion to the line of Rick Bayless restaurants, it’s one of the newest he’s added to his very popular, Topolobampo (a favorite of the Obamas), Frontera Grill, and his line of quick sandwich shops in Macy’s stores, Frontera Fresco.

storefront of Xoco in Chicago

We originally wanted to go to Topolobampo for dinner, but the waiting list is 6-8 weeks out- doesn’t help when you’re deciding this at 5pm on a Friday night.  Sometimes you can get a seat for dinner at the bar (not the alcohol-type bar, just referring to seating), which is a lot of fun because you can see the kitchen from there, however, it’s also recommended to make a reservation 6-8 weeks ahead of time.

Xoco menu and an Aztec hot chocolate drink with chile and allspice

Finally, our plans unfolded to head out to Xoco on a Saturday afternoon for churros and real, authentic Mexican chocolate drinks. I knew that’s all we would head out there for because the rest of the menu serves up a lot of sanwiches, or tortas whose main feature is pork. They also serve up caldos, or broths (soups and stews), but those are also animal based and if you’re following a completely dhabiha halal diet, you won’t be interested in those, either.

Churros with Dipping Chocoolate and Aztec Chocolate Drink

They also serve up breakfast empanadas (turnovers) and chilaquiles (eggs cooked with tortilla chips), though I’m not sure if any of it is cooked in vegetable oils. I was simply there for this treat and happily discovered that the churros (which are a sort of fried, long doughnut covered in sugar and cinnamon) are not cooked in lard (pork fat). They are fried in corn oil- maybe not the best for health, but the taste goes well with Mexican food (although I believe they originated in Spain, the last place I’ve had the best tasting churros).

My Aztec hot chocolate was delicious and not too sweet, which was perfect for pairing with some very sweet and sugary churros. I think I even inhaled a bit of the chile spice in the drink, but I had to have the adventure of tasting something similar to what Vianne Rocher would have made in the movie, Chocolat.

Very Sugary Churros

Xoco is located at 449 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654. (313) 334-3688

No reservations are taken. You can choose to take out or eat in. I like their system of giving you a number (for seating in) as soon as you walk into the order line. Very efficient.

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6 comments

  1. I love churros! one of my friends who used to live in New Mexico introduced me to them a few years back and now when ever i crave them I make them at home! their a little time consuming to make but their sooo worth it!

  2. it looks like a good variation on halal foods and looks eatable

  3. Oh my, that looks so good!! We have a huge Mexican population here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have to look around for a place like this.

  4. Assalam Alaikum. Can get frustrating not being able to order just about anything from the menu, no? The price of not living within an all Islamic food culture :( I think that’s the single bestest thing about the middle east~world cuisine and it’s all halaal! Sigh. Wish it was like that everywhere!

  5. oh I want for breakfast! and snack! and dessert!! ;-)

    may need your help– a blog reader asked if I could provide recipe for any of the Halal street food, especially the sauces. He just visited NYC and loved the Halal carts. Any suggestions? I’d love to try one of your recipes!

    • Hi Jaden, thank you for stopping by!
      I get cravings often for that 53rd & 6th St. halal cart in NYC- wish they delivered to Chicago, lol! Is your reader interested in a recipe for the creamy sauce or the hot sauce? I’d be happy to help…

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