Chicago >Food & Dining > Topolobampo Frontera Grill
445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.890603 -87.630926
Tuesday From 11:45 AM To 02:00 PM Tuesday From 05:30 PM To 09:30 PM Wednesday To Thursday From 11:30 PM To 02:00 PM Wednesday To Thursday From 05:30 PM To 10:30 PM Friday To Saturday From 05:30 PM To 10:30 PM
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
Droolingly delicious, this restaurant was made famous by Rick Bayless' passion for fine Mexican cuisine. Committed to the environment as well as their customers, this restaurant is truly focused on bringing fresh healthy foods forward in a sustainable fashion and is a member of Chicago's Guaranteed Green Restaurant Coalition.
All Mexican food is not created equal, and I think Rick Bayless has proven that across the globe.
Rick Bayless's high end temple of Mexican cuisine. Worth every penny.
Chicago's quintessential upscale Mex spot. Make your reservation weeks in advance (really!), sip a Topolo margarita, and order extra guac.
Overrated – It's good, but overrated. Highly recommend the oysters and Marisol beer. Other than that, save your money, head up to Garcias on Lawrence/Western and have an equally fantastic Mexican meal for 1/4 of the price of Frontera.
Go somewhere else, enjoy more, spend less – Let me start by saying my wife and I are big fans of Top Chef. We were excited to see a hometown chef win Top Chef Masters so we excitedly decided to try his Topo Restaurant. Sadly, we were less than impressed with his food and restaurant. We were provided a guacamole appetizer that was only ok, Ive made better homemade guac myself. The Margaritas were all Tequila and no flair. We ordered 2 different flavors, but they both tasted the same. My wife ordered a Halibut meal that was awful, (she had to order something different and that was just OK) She is a huge fan of fish, and to her her dish was inedible, tasted like the fish had gone bad. My chicken dish came out without its sauce, and I had to wait for that. That was after everyone was served and eating before my food arrived. We are by no means food critics, however, we did expect WAY better than we received. Again, we were big fans of Rick, so we would like to believe this was just an off night, but we will not risk spending the amount of money we paid just to go and find out we were mistaken. Think twice about eating here, the hype of this restaurant is blown way out of proportion. ....sorry Rick :(
great food, terrible service at frontera – The food was great, but the service was terrible. The hostesses lied to us about our wait time, over and over -- it took over four hours before we got seated. Two hours in, we were having a great time at the bar down the street and they rushed us back saying that "our table" is finishing up. "Our table" proceeded to finish up for another 2 hours. Once we got seated the waiter was a jert, who would only recommend the most expensive dishes. Also, he tried to charge us for > $40 of apps that we did not have. Frontera ruined what should have been a great night with friends.
Maso o Maenos (OK food more or less) – The food just seemed OK. The ceviche was mushy and pretty nasty (our fault for ordering ceviche in Chicago). The rest of the food was just OK if overpriced. I would eat there again, if the prices were cheaper. The place is popular because of the celebrity owner, who was there, and was nice enough. Bottom line, save a trip downtown, unless you need to impress someone with a trendy place. We found 2 other Mexican places in town we will be sure to return to.
Disappointing Topolo – The worst service we've had in a long time, and we dine out a lot. We made reservations for us and our out-of-town guests weeks in advance, at their request. We arrived on time, had to wait 10-15 minutes in the very noisy entry area, and were given the worst table, right by the door and all the noise ("only available"). After no attention for 20 minutes, asked someone to find our server to take a drink order. When she eventually arrived (another 5 minutes or so), she wanted to immediately take our food order. Ah, no, we'll order our drinks now. The rest of the service was desultory, at best. The whole experience took 2 hours for drinks, entrees and dessert. Too bad it's not a place where management comes by from time to time to ask if everything is satisfactory. Food was interesting and good, but very small portions. We would never go back, nor recommend it. Our meal at a neighborhood place the previous evening provided much better service and the food ultimately was more satisfying--for half the price.
Who honestly thinks this is 5 stars? – I'm rather stunned that this restaurant gets all the hype it's getting. I agree with many reviews of the food being over-spiced--be it too much lime or simply too salty. And after you wait for this reservation and the experience--like you'll really send it back? I couldn't imagine eating at the Frontera side (even though my husband said the food looked better on that side), it was so loud you may as well eat under a plane for the same sound effect. Who really enjoys this?
Expensive mexican food in my book.
Pro: the decor of the place and the mango dessert
con: That we spent over 300 dollars and didn't enjoy it. Won't be back
Save your money – First, we tried to change our reservation from 2 people to 4. I called an hour ahead of time and the maitre d told me that this was not possible. Wrong answer. Fine-dining restaurants should do everything possible to accomadate their customers and, by looking around when we got there, they could have accomadated us--there were several empty tables! We were seated 15 minutes late from our reservation time, but once we sat down, the ambiance was great, so we thought we were in for a wonderful experience. Wrong. We both ordered from the five course tasting menu--70-85 dollars each--save your money! Everything we ate was overseasoned, heavy, and downright disgusting. Even when my entree came out--pork tendorloin--it was over-cooked and brittle. The waiter told us that the "dining experience" would take 2 hours, which was fine, but in hour 3 after we'd had horrible food, we asked the busboy to tell our waiter that we'd like the final course (dessert) to go. The waiter then came out hurridly and apologized saying "I know it took too long between the first and second course" thus admitting mistakes when we hadn't even complained. You would think he'd have comped part of the bill--no way. I was so unfullfilled with dinner that I went back to the hotel and scarfed down a bag of M&Ms.
Service was extemely poor and so was the food. – I have been to almost all of the fine dining restaurants in this city and I cannot believe that this deserves a four star rating. I went there last Tuesday for a friends birthday and we waited at least 10-15 minutes before a server came to our table to order a drink. Our server then made recommendations for our appetizer and entree. The appetizer was fair. Our entree was so spicy we could not even eat it. He brought us a sauce to calm it down, but it did nothing. He did not even offer to replace it. To pay $36.00 for a steak you can't even eat is ridiculous. It was the worse dining experience I have had in a long time and a ruined evening. An expensive tab, where we left still hungry. I would never go back.
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