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  • Topolobampo

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Topolobampo Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.fronterakitchens.com
  • Phone: (312) 661-1434
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday 5:30 - 9:30; Friday and Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican / Southwestern
  • Executive Chef: Rick Bayless
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Non-Smoking Area, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area (bar only), Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: The Morales Room will accommodate private parties from 15 to 45 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Kate Sullivan (312) 661-1434

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Illinois
  • Public Transit: Red Line - Grand Avenue
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Street parking & private lots are also readily available.
A word from Topolobampo
Topolobampo, specializes in authentic regional cuisine served in an elegant, upscale setting. Sister restaurant, Frontera Grill serves authentic Mexican Food in a fun, casual & relaxed atmosphere. Topolobampo takes advance reservations for all parties. If you do not see what you are looking for, please call us for further information.Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "Went for 3-course lunch based on my experience 15 years ago--Topolobampo remains just as great. Wonderful balanced ceviche. Main course fish and beet crema were very good but were mild and a little lost in the flavor of the pea broth; the dish could also have benefited from more variation in texture. I did not understand the wine pairing with this dish; why no sommelier for wine pairings? Coconut ice cream fruit sopa and its wine were phenomenal. Dishes were explained well when I had questions. Service was very attentive and accommodating to early arrival and allergies. No problems hearing normal speaking voice (Frontera next door was loud). With the level of food, ambiance and service, this is a great value for a special lunch."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Some interesting notes to the food but not the stand-out we were hoping for. For example, the guacamole was "normal" (good but flat) but the mole source was very interesting and more of what we were looking for. Pretty short menu, which worked fine for us."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "A friend flew into town and raved about the restaurant. Somewhat of a foodie, my expectations were high. Unfortunetly, I was disappointed. I have to first say, I'm not a huge fan of Mexican cuisine, but I went in with an open mind. The cervical was good, but margaritas too tart, so I switched to a blackberry basil margarita, which wasn't any better. Lunch, was ok, I had the ship quesaddilla, and my friend had the rib eye. Both we just ok. Very disappointed, as I expected so much more."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Topolo is an amazing experience, albeit a bit pretentious, though that might be intentional. In my first visit, I was charmed by the warm and gracious service. This time around, it was cold and unremarkable. During both visits, everyone at our tables ordered the Chef's Tasting. Those diners received a remarkable experience. However, I ordered the vegetarian tasting both times, and both times it seemed like an afterthought. Everyone else got to hear stories about their dish, then mine was slopped down in front of me, with nary a description or any of the same ceremony. The price I pay for my beliefs, I suppose. Nonetheless, I would recommend the experience of Topolo."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "I made reservations 2 months ago and was not disappointed. I had the "perfect" 7 dinner with wine pairings. Each selection was perfect."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "While some courses were very good and even inspired, others were simply too complicated or were not up to the same quality. The cerviche was excellent as well as a salmon crudo but the mole was bland and beef dry. Most surprising was the ambiance. The restaurant was very loud such that we were unable to hear our waitress at times. The blue painted acoustic tile ceiling neither helped the decor nor the acoustics. Despite an extremely friendly and helpful waitress, the service was very slow: three hours for three courses of very small portions. Having said that, the portion sizes were perfect: not too big or too precious."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Topolobampo is of course an outstanding restaurant in terms of creativity, flavors, freshness and service. I have had great meals both here and at Frontera Grill. This time, of 12 plates ordered among 4 people, only 2-3 of them were recognizable (goat and salmon).The explanation of the menu was like a Master's level lecture. I could not tell what I was eating. Sauces were poured at the table without explanation. My husband could not tell me what he was eating. Everything was delicious, but I felt like I had tasted 100 things by the end, without knowing what or why. I would like Rick Bayless to go a little bit back to basics."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "My husband and I enjoyed a late lunch at Topolobampo. The Yucatecan Ceviche was light and fresh with vibrant citrus finishes. As for an entree my husband had the Carne Asada which was unlike any I have ever had before. It came with small bites cook to perfection a nice medium rare. The outside was encrusted with spices that will blow you away. Definitely spicy but in a way that you keep asking yourself what it is. Portions are small but the flavor makes you feel as if you just ate a big meal. We both had a Blackberry Basil Margarita which was beyond my expectations. Can be a little pricey so lunch was a great option."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Topolo's atmosphere is more energetic than most fine dining experiences, being directly, physically connected to the rest of the Bayless empire. We were initially taken aback by the pure noise level. That changed, after being seated at a perfect table and being served two excellent mescal and tequila cocktails. We knew we were in for a treat. With Rick Bayless' pedigree, experience, and critical acclaim, we expected the food to be good - but not this amazing. We lived in Mexico City for three years - and this was the best fine dining Mexican cuisine we've had since we moved back to the US. With the help and encouragement of our excellent server, we put together our own four-course tasting menu, and had our best meal in quite some time."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Service was very good. The server or runner or sommelier mixed up two of the courses, giving mine to my wife and vice versa, but we realized it quickly and the courses before and after were delivered exactly as they should be and with great care. We each did the 5-course option w/ wine pairing. The wine as OK, but not sure if I'd do the pairing again - some duplicates, but that's because of the courses we chose, I'm sure. They're extremely knowledgable nonetheless. 2 of the 10 courses missed the mark, but the rest were unreal! Be sure to enjoy a margarita before (or during) your meal. They are incredibly good."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Slow service. (Each course came out 30-40 minutes later) whether it was an issue with kitchen or slammed because it's Saturday, it's unfortunate because food was good but tiny portions and very slow service. It's Mexican food no need to make it uber fancy."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "I went here based on a glowing recommendation. I didn't think the restaurant lived up to the hype or the price. The food was lackluster, and the server was too eager to up-sell everyone at my table. What's more, the restaurant itself seemed to be having an HVAC problem--it was very warm. Finally, for such a fancy restaurant, the restroom was in a sorry state. Like I said, I went based on a glowing recommendation, so maybe it was an off night."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Great food, amazing flavors! Wait staff was very attentive and very knowledgable!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Excellent food, drinks and service. The Guatemalan waiter and the San Luis de Potosí food server made us feel at home."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Although we were seated an hour later than our reservation time (10:30), our server was apologetic and got us an amuse bouche before we ordered to help absorb the amazing margaritas. The wine was amazing, and the food is something I'll dream about. Five courses was the perfect size. We left totally charmed and entirely satisfied."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "I really don't understand the hype for this restaurant. For what the experience provided, the food was tremendously overpriced. Every course we ordered, with the exception of the "trio, trio, trio" suffered from the same confused flavor palette and overwhelmingly heavy sauces. The combinations sound (and look) much better than they taste. I imagine a much more satisfying and tasty meal can be had at Topolobampo's sister restaurant, Frontera. I will say the margaritas were pretty great and the service was good."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Made a 9:00 pm reservation and still had to wait 20 min! Didn't get out food until after 10. VERY EXPENSIVE and very small portion sizes. Drinks were small too. $200 later, we left hungry and picked up fast food on the way home. Not worth it!"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "We always really enjoy dining at Topolobampo, Frontera and it's sister venues. This is our first disappointment as both the food and service were not of the same quality or standard that we have experienced in the past. We feel quite let down as we chose to dine there to celebrate a special occasion."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "We have eaten many times next door but this took the meal to the next level. Lots of great complex flavors all come together in great presentation. Way quieter than space next door...really nice. Service was great except when waitress got involved with two new parties that sat down and our dinner came and we needed our wine pairings...which were great with each course."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "a truly great experience of awesome food. loved the detailed information given of all the dishes we ordered. great pairing of wines to food."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Still my favorite restaurant in Chicago. We especially love coming here for lunch! The food is marvelous. The favors explode in the mouth. Special this time was the Black Cod entree and the strawberry shortcake dessert."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "What an amazing Mexican-American fusion creativity! Have to book and have to taste as much as you can but plan ahead. Yes, expect to pay through the nose (and then some - we averaged $140 per head after all gratuities etc.), so not a place you will go for once a week dining. But you will not be disappointed. The service seems slow, but it was good for us as we were there to talk, enjoy company and at the same time, when the food came out, just fabulous. The mixed drinks were delicious (their margaritas are special), and each dish comes with some link to an art work on the wall (un petit pretentious!) but fun enough. And definitely a place for that special occasion."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Very very noisy, pushing for drunk consumption, sometimes good and inventive food, other dishes flat out sub par. Where is Rick Bayless? His name is everywhere but his food is missing. He used to be here and it was an pleasure. Now it is an overpriced scene with so so food. It's $300-400 a couple without wine for an average dinner and mediocre food. They sell the name and scene and not the food."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Our family loves to go to Topolobampo. We always enjoy the outstanding good and excellent service. The only negative on this visit was our server. While being extremely knowledgable on the menu, he was a little pushy when making suggestions on what to order. While I usually welcome suggestions, he went far beyond that, telling several of us that what we were ordering was not good or would not fit in well with the other plates we ordered. When we said we wanted it anyway, he continued to push until a few of us did change our order. I believe that customers should be able to order what they want. After all, we know our own tastes and preferences."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "We have have been to Topolobampo many times and it always exceeds our expectations with the quality and presentation of the food offered and the intriguing tastes based on the food of Mexico. If you live in the Chicago area or are just visiting you should not miss this experience."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We have been dinging at Topolobampo for over 20 years and this is the first time we can say the food was very disappointing. The menu format has changed and the food was flavorless , fussy, overdone and small portions. The different sauces pretty much all tasted the same, bland and over salted. The dining experiences in the past has been memorable but I am sorry to say this will not be one of them."
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "I haven't been to Topolobampo for almost 10 years, but it continues to shine and be, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants in town. The service is perfect, the ambience is great (a bit more subdued the Frontera Grill), and the food is unbelievable. My husband and I both did the 5 course tasting menu and tried 10 different items on the menu. Everything was delicious but the king salmon and goat stood out the most. We will definitely return."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "One of several meals in Chicago to celebrate a U Chicago graduation, this one missed much of the food mark. We all chose from the prefix menu and ordered appetizers as well. The oysters were great - beef dishes pretty good (would not expect anything less in Chicago.) Fish was not fresh and the mini orbs of carrot and zucchini were not good. The vegetarian pozole was strange in texture and raw-like taste (not good.) Felt bad that our guest of honor did not speak up, I would have sent it back. Use of a pre-mix for the Michelada that cannot be tailored to ones taste is unfortunate. I love Rick's PBS series, have enjoyed Frontera but Topolobambo needs to be re-thought."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "My second time dining here, my friend's first. We both loved our dishes and drinks, and the service was excellent. Would definitely come back for a special occasion."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We selected the 5-course menu with wine pairing, and had an amazing experience. Our waiter was so engaging, and the food and unique wines were incredible. The price was a splurge, but we'll be talking about the meal for years to come."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Having being advised that we should try Topolobampo, our initial reaction was surprise at how down market it seemed upon arrival. Having to wait near diners in Fronteraand then being taken into Topolobampo, we felt that the ambience was spoiled. Service was hit and miss and we found the waiting and serving persons' accents made it very difficult to understand their explanation of the menu and the description of the food and sauces being served. We had been worried that three courses would not be enough to satisfy us, but we were wrong. Each course was just right and by the time we finished dessert and the fabulous wines of choice we were completely satisfied. We left delighted that we had had the chance to try Topolobampo."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "We were placed in the back of the dining room, close to the kitchen and it was uncomfortably warm. Moving on, when my husband was trying to engage in a conversation with our waiter re: the menu, the waiter rolled his eyes! In order to get his attention to place our order, my husband had to grab his arm. With the exception of my scallops, the food was just so-so. The server couldn't tell us about dessert ingredients to which my husband has allergies, and never sought that info out. With my pastry school experience, I could guess which ones he couldn't eat, which was most. Maybe they received the Michelin star on a better day."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "We were in Chicago for a week and ate at several restaurants and this one was the best. Truly an experience, amazing food, service, everything was wonderful. I can't wait to eat here again."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "The food is modern, as fresh as possible, with excellent service. The meal is a culinary experience and the staff takes the time to explain and answer questions without being pretentious. One of the best meals I've ever had in a restaurant. Be prepared to spend a lot."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Yes, it's expensive for mexican but it's not your typical mexican fare. I had the a 3 course and my husband had a 5 course meal. We ordered 8 different dishes so we can taste as many as possible. They were all fantastic. The meat and seafood were perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked. Not one thing was over cooked or under. The moles that accompanied the dishes were all out of this world. So much comples flavor that added to the main protein. Rick Bayless elevates mexican food beyond your imagination. I think for what you get, it's a lot more reasonable than other restaurants that has prix fixe menu. $55 for 3 courses and $90 for 5 course. Try to get that at Trump's Sixteen. I was full with my 3 courses and my husband was full with his 5"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Upon entering the restaurant one is struck by the vibrant art throughout the dining room, all from the chef's travels. These pieces are the starting point for his unique menu. We went with the 5 course pairing, with each course representing emotion from one of pieces of art in the dining room. Bold, vivid, fresh etc. A truly memorable night in an upscale atmosphere. This is not roadhouse Mexican food!!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "I had looked forward to this place for a long time, having had a wonderful meal at Frontera years ago. Alas, I guess I'm just not cut out for this kind of experience. I knew going in that the menu was pri fixe but had been told over the phone that one could order ala carte. In retrospect, the 4 adults at the table ( we had a 13 yo with us) were pretty amazed at how our alcohol bill added up and should have known better. When I get past the sticker shock, the food, elegant and unique as it was, didn't live up to a long lasting delicious memory."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "From the car salesman waiter telling us to order the most courses or we would leave hungry, to having the wrong food presented for two of our three courses to the long waits between courses, we were disappointed. It was our son's graduation dinner (which we mentioned on our reservation - but the restaurant ignored) and do to poor timing of the courses our son had to forgo his final two courses because he would have been left eating alone with all of us waiting. Minuscule portions, with some of the entrees overpowered by the sauces. Cantina Laredo (a chain restaurant) would have been a better choice as we would have been treated better and had spent a quarter of the price. We used to feel home at Frontera but are now questioning that."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "This restaurant is excellent on all levels. I have made reservations for the last ten years here and it is consistantly the best experience each time."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "I don't think a Rick Bayless menu should be in a tasting form. The service was just too slow in between courses and the first couple courses took far too long to come out. I will stick to Frontera from now on. The price point also didnt match the quality received."
    Dined on 6/10/2014