Believe the hypeTopolobampo was pretty much everything I expected it to be; it lived up to all the hype of its fabulousness and I don't have any real complaints. The food was delicious, though I wouldn't call it mind-blowing. Presentation was top notch; flavors were intensely interesting, varied, and pleasurable. We definitely enjoyed all of our food from start to finish - unique flavors, items we couldn't pronounce, and all! - but I would not consider myself blown away by the food. Yet and still, I would definitely recommend it.6/15/2013 12:00:00 AMFantastic Service, Amazing Food!We celebrated our anniversary at Topolobampo this weekend. We each had a tasting menu so we could try a lot of things and both 5-course menus were wonderful and a lot of food. The service was terrific, our servers took care to explain the food and make recommendations for us. They even brought us champagne at the end of the meal!6/15/2013 12:00:00 AMLatin America in Chicago!The food is perfect. Everything at TOPOLO is doen to perfection. The wait staff was great. We had the Topolo Classics tasting menu and each course was explained as were the wine pairings. It an expensive night out, but something we like do do every year or two.6/15/2013 12:00:00 AMTopoloReal authentic Mexican cusinie. You have to try their desserts!6/14/2013 12:00:00 AMSweet SuccessWhat a wonderful lunch! The soft warm corn tortillas filled with the saute mushroom and gooey cheese was a great way to start our lunch. Mother had the rib eye grilled perfect and it was seasoned with new flavors she has not experienced before. My sister and I had the Alaskan Halibut. Like mom, are dish was perfect. The Halibut was thick and tender with the earthy sauce to compliment it more. Loved the sweet potatoes and spinach too. All the unique ingredients and sauces were greatly appreciated. And, our sever was patient and knowledgeable to help us pick our choices. Thank You, Robin Marie Fleischer6/14/2013 12:00:00 AMdependable great timeFood beverage and servicE are always impeccable. Always fun, accomodating, never stuffy.
The atmosphere is as vibrant as the original Frontera with a more sophisticted bent.
Noise level isn't bad after a a few drinks. We had very loud diners seater next to us. No faulr of the Restaurant.
Even the price is still reasonabLe.6/13/2013 12:00:00 AM"I love the relaxed feel of"I love the relaxed feel of this place - like a comfortable dining room in a friends home. I definitely would return to try more dishes. The service of the entire staff was truly outstanding, very friendly, helpful, without pressure. The persons in the kitchen even shared a recipe with my (Mexican) wife.6/13/2013 12:00:00 AMRick Bayless menu to die forBayless' definitely shines at this joint. RSVP is a must unless you want an to stand in line. Ceviche is excellent and the house guacamole is to die for. Will return back to taste the rest of the menu6/7/2013 12:00:00 AMWorth every pennyWe arrived at Topolo expecting a great meal at one of Chicago's finest, and we were not disappointed. The tasting menus, while a little pricey, were spectacular! I loved every bite of my meal.
Additionally, my friends and I were seated near the kitchen, which I realize isn't always the preferred location, however on this particular evening it proved providential. Moments after being seated, Rick Bayless passed by the doorway. Our server told us Chef Bayless wasn't going to come out to our table, but she was see what she could do. Ultimately, we were able to go back into the kitchen and meet Chef Bayless, which just made the night.6/6/2013 12:00:00 AMTopo is a nice place for quietTopo is a nice place for quiet dining with Rick Bayless food. We all agreed that Frontera is a lot more fun.6/5/2013 12:00:00 AMMexican food like you've never seenI love the multiple tasting menus they had available, one street food themed, one mole themed, and a "Topolo classics" menu, which is what we tried since I'd never been before. I would skip the wine pairings next time as none of the wines really wowed me. The food has such interesting flavors and I love how thoroughly Bayless explores Oaxacan cuisine. Even the contemporary art collection is very Latin/Mexican-centric, which adds to the restaurant's charm. I like how Topolobampo is separated from Frontera, which gets incredibly loud. Topolo is still energetic but you can at least hear your table mates. My favorite course was the mole ribeye steak and seared foie gras, although I also loved the bite-sized tacos.6/4/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent dining experienceWe went to celebrate an anniversary and the staff was so nice and made us feel very special. Food was a little party in the taste buds. The mescal cocktails were excellent6/4/2013 12:00:00 AMoutstanding food and I loveoutstanding food and I love the fixed price options. Drinks are imaginative and delicious. The only really negative were the small portions for pricey dishes.6/1/2013 12:00:00 AMWorth every penny!The freshest of ingredients creatively prepared and served with panache. We did two of the three tasting menus with wine pairings and it was worth every penny. Each of the five courses brought a new sensation, perfectly balanced with a half pour of a different wine. I was swooning over the mole tasting menus, each mole different, none too piquant. The service in this compact and fully booked room is beautifully coordinated, especially critical for a tasting menu. You can also order a la carte and they allow you to have tasting and a la carte diners at the same table. When I asked at the end for another quick leak at the menu to remind myself of all the courses, our main wait staff woman asked if I would like to have a copy to take home.6/1/2013 12:00:00 AMTasty!!We had a great time at Topolobampo. Good food all around. Excellent beer specially made by Goose Island for the restaurant, highly recommend trying it.
The only complaint I had was that the waitstaff seemed resistant to our *simple* requests, such as: "Could we have some bread with this dish?" (Many of the dishes are served with delicious mole sauces). These kinds of requests were met by perplexed looks on the faces of the waitstaff. They would proceed to make excuses for why they couldn't fulfill our request, which they eventually did fulfill and it made them look quite unprofessional.
Sorry, wonderful experience other than that little bit. I came to enjoy myself, not criticized by waitstaff for how I like to enjoy my food.6/1/2013 12:00:00 AMWent there celebrating myWent there celebrating my wedding anniversary. Phenomenal flavor, fantastic service, completely loved the entire experience. Ordered a 5 course meal, but got 8!! Super delicious, appreciate and respect Mr. Bayless's talent with sauces!!5/29/2013 12:00:00 AMExceptional and unique foodExceptional and unique food as always. Service was very attentive, but a little slower than usual.5/28/2013 12:00:00 AMDelish!!!!Who knew these flavors even existed. Did 2of the 3 tasting menus for dinner. Everything was perfect!!!5/25/2013 12:00:00 AMContinues to impressTopolabampo remains one of the best Mexican restaurants in the world. Excellent food and knowledgeable servers.5/25/2013 12:00:00 AMFantastic Food!This was the first time we dined at Topolobampo. The food and Service was outstanding!! The food was full of flavor without added sauces to mask the taste. The lunch crowd was energetic and everyone seemed to be enjoying their food. We would definitely eat here again.5/24/2013 12:00:00 AMWhat great food!!!Seriously, this was a fantastic evening! Hard to tell much from the menu so I asked waiter for a recommendation and had a pork dish that was unforgettable (and the BEST margarita I've ever had)!5/23/2013 12:00:00 AMthe greatestWe were in Chicago on vacation and had always wanted to eat at Rick Bayless' restaurant. We were not disappointed at all and the food was better than our wildest dreams. The ceviche was outstanding. Can't say enough about the food, just the greatest. Must also recommend the champagne-tequila cocktail as being one to try. This will definitely be on our "to do" list when next in Chicago.5/23/2013 12:00:00 AMblown awayI have always heard rave reviews about the food and the food definitely rose to the occasion, but it was the service that blew us away! Kyle the dining room manager and his staff were over the top! They were all so friendly and fun but noit in an intrusive way. At the end of the night it started pouring raining and Kyle made sure his guests were well taken care of and were situated with umbrellas and rides, etc. He went above and beyond the call of duty to insure this!! Would love to come back and would like to check out Frontera next time!!5/20/2013 12:00:00 AMRockin MoleThe Oaxacan Mole is the most complexly delicious thing that has crossed my lips! The meal was incredible from the amuse bouche to the final dessert tidbit, the margarita was brilliant and refreshing and the waitress was a wealth of information to help with our choices. I am looking forward to recommending to all of my family and friends to go to Topolo!5/19/2013 12:00:00 AMBeen waiting 10 years!My parents have been wanting to try Topolobampo for 10 years now and were obviously looking forward to the experience. Of the 4 of us, 3 of us tried the tasting menus with wine pairings. We each got a different one so we did a lot of tasting as well with each menu (we're a sharing family). The food was very good and the sauces were great! Our actual server was slow to bring out our wine pairings prior to when our next course would come out. Several times throughout the tasting menu we'd get a new plate of food but no wine pairing and then suddenly the waiter would run back, slam a glass down and rush through the description of what we were having. However, despite the small waiter snafu it was delicious and we enjoyed our experience.5/19/2013 12:00:00 AMAmazing foodI've been a huge fan of Rick Bayless since I was a kid. I've always wanted to go to Frontera or Topolabampo. My wife and I spent a night of our honeymoon in Chicago and had dinner here. The food was amazing, the wait staff was very friendly, and the atmosphere was very fancy. I really enjoyed myself and I would love to come back for another meal.5/19/2013 12:00:00 AMFlawless!This was, by far, the best meal and dining experience I've ever had. Absolutely flawless - I've already told my friends from coast to coast that if they're headed to Chicago, this is a MUST. Wow!! Food was fantastic - complex and delicious favors. Service was perfect. My friend and I each got the Topolo tasting menu, and every single bite was just phenomenal!! I couldn't have enjoyed it more.5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMWe were all disappointed inWe were all disappointed in the food. It takes such a long time to get a reservation in this restaurant, we thought the food would be spectacular but it was good but not outstanding Service was great and our table location was very good too. Just kind of average food. Not worth the months long wait to get in. We prefer Frontera Grill, actually5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMEven better than the first timeWell, you did it again Rick, we had another amazing experience at Topolobampo. The service was outstanding, everyone that visited our table had something valuable to share and everyone working seemed to love being there. The good vibes were infectious. The food as always was complex and well balanced. Working together, but still maintaining their independence, I don't know how you do that, but that is what makes visiting your restaurant such an enjoyable treat. And the Ramp flan amuse bouche was lovely.
Thank you for again making it such a special evening!5/16/2013 12:00:00 AMChicago FavoriteWe have dined here many times and always try to get in when visiting Chicago. This is a small restaurant inside a much lager causal restaurant. Once seated, you'd never know that just outside the door there is a noisy restaurant.
The food is spectacular, original, fresh. The SW flavors are wonderful. Whether one orders a tasting menu or goes a la carte, there will be no disappointment. The service won't disappoint either. Another great pouch is, because we have dined there before, they know what we like and even an allergy we mentioned.
We can hardly wait to return.5/16/2013 12:00:00 AMA Pleasant Twist to MexicanIf you think you know Mexican than prepare to have your palet challenged. The service was top notch and the food excellent, to get the most bang for your buck you have to go with the tasting menu. The meal portions were just the right size that you didnt leave stuffed nor were we left feeling hungry. This was a pleasant twist on mexican fair. The amience tookk some getting used to as it shares space with its sister restaraunt so their is a buzz when it comes to noise level but hey, it's chicago. I will be eating there again soon.5/16/2013 12:00:00 AMThe best food you could experience!Wow, what a tremendous experience. The food and margaritas are the best I have experienced in a very long time. The city of Chicago has a truly exceptional chef in the fold. I would go broke eating at Topolo if I lived in the city!5/16/2013 12:00:00 AMAlways awesomeWe've been going for something like 15 years. It never ceases to amaze, on all fronts, but particularly the food, of course. We had the Topolo Classics tasting menu and the Street Food tasting menu, with wine pairings (the sommelier does an incredible job) and both were simply stellar.5/15/2013 12:00:00 AMFantastic new flavorsWe did the tasting menus--Topolo Classics and the Streetfood options w/ the wine pairings. Definitely the way to go--expensive, but a great way to try a lot of the dishes. There were bold flavors in every dish that we had not tasted before. The wine pairings were surprising, in some cases, but worked remarkably well with their dishes. Bayliss has a knack for creating remarkable depth of flavor without confusing your tastebuds. The service was fantastic, the waitstaff was extremely knowledgeable about the dishes, the farms ingredients came from and the wines. We didn't look at the rest of the menu but it seemed relatively extensive, so a variety of tastes can be accommodated. We will certainly go back.5/15/2013 12:00:00 AMAmazing Dining Experience!I am a huge foodie from San Francisco. After Rick Bayless won Top Chef Masters, I told myself that if I ever went to Chicago, that I would go try Rick Bayless' Oaxacan black mole and it did not disappoint!!! I also saw Rick Bayless walk down the aisle making sure things were in place. I heard that he likes his restaurants (Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Xoco) all close by so that he can really be there everyday making sure his food is up to par. We had an amazing waiter that knew the menu extremely well and gave us descriptons of each dish. Even the desserts were amazing. I love this place and would highly recommend it. I would go back to try other dishes as well. So Yummy!5/14/2013 12:00:00 AMFlavors aboundThe main attraction is the food followed by their margaritas. Our reservations were on Saturday evening, the busiest night of the week and the place was lively. Too lively to easily hear each other so we had to speak louder than normal. Not really a place for a quiet, romantic dinner but we definitely enjoyed the dishes from the tasting menu and the drinks. It worth trying at least once.5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMUnique cuisine, perfectlyUnique cuisine, perfectly executed and beautifully presented. Pricey but worth the money.5/10/2013 12:00:00 AMExotic delicious foodTopolobampo is not an ordinary Mexican restaurant by any means. I had an incredible intensely flavored carnitas dish, and of course, one of the special Margaritas. Would definitely recommend this place - but don't both with the cookbooks unless you just like looking at them. You will never be able to re-create the dishes in your home kitchen - and why would you want to try?5/8/2013 12:00:00 AMexcellent creative foodThe Alaskan black cod with a green chile puree was excellent, as was the selection of oysters. However, the Chef's ramp triad creation served as an intro/aperitif was phenomenal. It included a ramp gel on the bottom, followed by a thick ramp puree, and then topped with chopped ramps. It was made with ramps from the Bayless' garden.5/8/2013 12:00:00 AMWow!What a treasure! Went for lunch, as that was the only time we could get a reservation for the week we were in Chicago. Mexican like I've never had before. Fabulous ceviche, unbelievably tender calamari, great house margarita, wonderful service. Would go again in a heartbeat next time I visit Chicago!5/8/2013 12:00:00 AMNothing like itWe love Mexican food. We've been to a few "upscale" Mexican restaurants. Topolobampo is in its own category. Inspired and creative. Leave the guacamole & chips and experience the finest in Mexican food. Best way to enjoy this restaurant if you're going for the first time is to do the tasting menu. Each course is more than "tapas" -- in fact, quite ample, and by the time you do all 5 courses, you'll be full, but won't regret it. Topolo was recommended to me, and now I know why. I'll be recommending it to others.5/7/2013 12:00:00 AMNot Your Grandmother's Mexican FoodIt's hard to imagine how a restaurant could be better. From the warm greeting, to the sense that everybody wanted us to enjoy ourselves, to dishes that were based on Mexican Food with new layers of creativity, our evening was a total delight. My wife and I each ordered a different 5 course tasting menu, "Street Food" and "Oaxacan". Nine dishes were spectacular--my winner was grilled octopus--and the tenth was just good. I expressed my very slight disappointment of that tenth dish because I thought the Mole' sauce was not the type I liked. Shortly afterward our server brought me a bowl of the Mole" sauce that I had been expecting. It doesn't come cheap, our evening cost $300, but it felt like it was worth every penny5/7/2013 12:00:00 AMWow!Service wa exceptional, food was beyond outstanding, price was so worth it. Everyone in my party agreed.5/3/2013 12:00:00 AMNever fails to amazeTopolobampo never fails to amaze visitors from out of town. First, it changes the way they think about Mexican food and second, it is in Chicago. The food and experience are consistently outstanding.5/2/2013 12:00:00 AMAlways so good, very happyAlways so good, very happy to have this restaurant in Chicago. I've been a customer since 1987, and it never disappoints. They keep pushing the envelope, but the food is still the star.5/1/2013 12:00:00 AMAmazing dining experienceThere are so many unique choices on the menu that Topolobampo is an adventure in dining. Every course was better than the next and the presentation was beautiful. Even the drink menu provided choices you wouldn't find on a typical night out. Well worth a visit but book months in advance.5/1/2013 12:00:00 AMOur first time at Topo andOur first time at Topo and we were very impressed. Service was stellar and food was outstanding. We were very impressed by the atmostphere, food, and service. The service was friendly and extremely helpful but was also suited to a higher-end experience than average. We had lunch and were impressed by how quiet it was but there it was only about 30% full at the time.
Drinks were very good. We both had margaritas with our lunch (we're on vacation!) and were impressed by the quality of them. The flavors of the tequila came through without being overpowering.
Only one complaint comes to mind and it is the volume of the music. At busy times, it's probably fine but at lunch and not full, it's too much.
We will definitely be back!4/30/2013 12:00:00 AMOf course the food was spectacular.Of course the food was spectacular... but the service was even better. By the end of the night we knew so much about the background of the ingredients and how the dishes were prepared. Getting to know your food... FUN!4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMServer attitude was excellentServer attitude was excellent but service was way too rushed and dishes on tasting menu needed clearer description when delivered. We enjoyed the meal but felt at a loss to know what we were eating.pr4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMAn all around terrific diningAn all around terrific dining experience. Food and service were both terrific, room was intimate without being dull and boring.4/26/2013 12:00:00 AM