One of our favorite places to make a hot cocoa pit stop during the chilly winter months is Xoco. This gem of a cafe offers Mexico's best street food from one of America's top chefs, Chicago's very own Rick Bayless. The tortas and caldos are delicious, but in the wintertime, we pop in for our favorite Mexican street sweets: churros and house made hot chocolate. My son and his Xoco (Xoco means "little sister" in the ancient Aztec language), jump for joy when it comes to sweet churros and hot chocolate at Xoco on a cold winter's day.
Xoco prides itself on making sure that its offerings are fresh and homemade in small batches. Indeed each hot chocolate is whipped to a froth as you watch. Order an authentic hot cocoa (freshly ground cocoa and water), tingle your taste buds with an Aztec (fresh-ground chocolate, water, chili, allspice), live it up with a rich Almendrado (chocolate shot and almond milk), or be boring and go for the classic hot cocoa, made with 2% milk. I also love the Champurrado, a thick, rich Mexico-city style winter cocoa drink, guaranteed to stick to your bones and ward off the chill factor.
The churros, deep-fried donut-like tubes of deliciousness rolled in sugar and cinnamon, are to die for. If you're feeling especially decadent, order a chocolate shot or some house made Mexican vanilla soft serve ice cream with chocolate or caramel sauce for dipping your churros - but warm hot cocoa is always the best side for a plate of piping hot churros.
XOCO is located at 449 North Clark Street (enter on Illinois St.), and is open Tuesday - Thursday: 8am-9pm; Friday & Saturday: 8am-10pm. Closed Sunday and Monday. For more info and a menu, click here.