That’s it. We officially declare the intersection of Clark and Hubbard to be Rick Bayless Way. Xoco, located in a LEED-certified space just around the corner from Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, is the natural extension of the chef’s bold Mexican empire; he’s downshifting into tortas and churros—the street foods that have long dominated his trips south of the border. It’s a fast-casual concept, but you can expect the usual Baylessian attention to detail applied to artisanal sandwiches from a wood-burning oven, offbeat homemade ice creams (lime, corn), and churros with hot chocolate. “And we’re grinding our own Tabasco chocolate from Mexican cacao beans,” Bayless says. “Right in the front window.” Crowd control might be in order. 449 N. Clark St.
Photograph: Anna Knott