Topolobampo

445 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654
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  • WsL Aug 2, 2007

    Simply the best latin food The Frontera Grill is second only to Rick Bayless's other restaurant, Topolobampo, which is housed under the same roof. The prices are very reasonable considering the quality and the waiting list to get a table. Other chefs and restaurants who have won the Beard Foundation's best restaurant in America award charge three times as much.

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  • Hannah Apr 25, 2011

    I am a HUGE food critic and I can honestly say that I've never had better food in my life!! I could eat at the Frontera Grill every day if I could!! And I also love that their menu is very affordable. If your looking to take someone on a date and need a really GREAT place, this is definitely the place to be!! I promise you that you will not be disappointed!! ...and the duck tacos are phenomenal!!!

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  • Deepa Oct 4, 2009

    NOT vegetarian friendly Great restaurant, with limited options for vegetarians (even the black beans were cooked with pork). But evereything we ended up ordering was very good, small portions.

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  • interactiveAmy Dec 12, 2011

    My dad's favorite spot when he comes to visit, Topolobompo is modern mexican meets fine dining. great flavors and inventive dishes - Bayless offers a high end menu and great cocktails with a south of the border twist. So many great sauces and moles, you can't go wrong!

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  • Foodie Apr 30, 2010

    Read this review I'd like to address some of the other bad reviews. Small portions: Maybe they're used to going to hole in the wall places (I love them, don't get me wrong) where you get a huge portion of food for a very reasonable price, but what one should consider is that as a Chef, you have to consider healthy portions. Keep in mind a meal should consist of 5 courses and that food is there for you to experience different emotions (yes, it's true), flavors...etc. not just stuff your face and make you feel bloated for hrs. If that's what you're looking for, then don't bother going to any Chef's restaurant, stick with Burger King or hole in the wall places. Food poisoning: while I can see how this could have happened (I will explain) I don't believe there is anything wrong with the food quality or mode of preparation. Rick uses authentic ingredients which may have different bacteria (everything has bacteria, it's just how your body is used to it that matters. Hence don't drink the water in a foreign place because while the locals are used to that bacteria, you are not. It's not because the water is bad) therefore your body may not be used to where the food came from and you may get sick. Some of the other criticisms include the food being over-engineered , to which I say, if you don't want to train your palate to differentiate between complex flavors then you may want to stay away from restaurants with seasonal menus or innovative chefs. Overrated: Rick Bayless is one of very (VERY) few chefs with a real grasp for authentic Mexican cuisine. By that I don't mean authentic in the sense that some people that come from a small rural town and cook home cooked meals is authentic (I'm Mexican, in case you're wondering), but he has a true understanding of the complex flavors of the country, from coast to coast, north to south. He brings together these flavors and complexity the way a French chef would. Sadly the people of the US are not used to this level of complexity because Mexican food to today's American consists of burritos (not a Mexican invention by the way) and tacos (I like tacos). Most of you reading probably have no idea (and probably wouldn't eat) what huitlacoche (French counterpart: truffles) is. Without dragging this on too much longer, don't bother going to any of Rick's restaurants if you're expecting run of the mill Mexican food with huge portions and expected flavors and dishes. BUT if you're looking for an authentic Mexican cuisine experience (complete experience, with sight, sound, feel, smell AND taste) then by all means dine here and experience the best Mexican restaurant in Chicago (understatement).

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User rating:
Rick and Deann Bayless opened Topolobampo in 1989, a few years after opening Frontera Grill. The two restaurants were designed to have the same front door, but that would be one of the few things they would share. If Frontera rocks and claps, Topolo slinks. She is the quiet, sleek, classy sister. She’s also the more daring one. Topolo’s food has always been contemporary, and it becomes more so every year. Now almost 25 years old, our menu is divided not into appetizers and entrees but rather into categories like “soulful,” “vibrant” and “luxurious.” You can have all of those experiences, or you can choose just one. At Topolo, we don’t dictate what kind of experience you have, so long as you have a good one.
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