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Cafe Tola Loncheria y Tacos

Cafe Tola Loncheria y Tacos
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  • Cafe Tola Loncheria y Tacos

    Post #1 - December 4th, 2017, 3:58 pm
    Post #1 - December 4th, 2017, 3:58 pm Post #1 - December 4th, 2017, 3:58 pm
    I didn't see anything about Cafe Tola, the restaurant on the site (a mention in the empanadas post). It's at the old Hot Doug's spot on California and Roscoe. I've been here a couple of times now and I have to admit that this it almost the definition of a LTH GNR. The menu includes the excellent empanadas from the Southport location. Also with some coffee service. It also has tacos, burritos, tortas, and a good pozole (Daily Special). Also excellent graphics on the outside. I'm not there early enough for the breakfast service, but they seem to do some mean breakfast burritos and tacos. For me, it's got a edginess that's not found at the usual taqueria. Excellent street food (with some twists), cool murals I just really like the place.

    Cafe Tola Loncheria y Tacos
    3324 N. California
    Chicago, IL 60618
    https://www.cafetola.com/
  • Post #2 - December 6th, 2017, 11:55 am
    Post #2 - December 6th, 2017, 11:55 am Post #2 - December 6th, 2017, 11:55 am
    It's really good. Been there a bunch of times with the wife for dinner. We don't even get the empanadas, all the other stuff is really good. Really like the chicken mole taco, al pastor, goat and the breakfast taco.
  • Post #3 - December 6th, 2017, 12:16 pm
    Post #3 - December 6th, 2017, 12:16 pm Post #3 - December 6th, 2017, 12:16 pm
    Love this place and am very glad to see the thread started. Arguably some of the best empanadas in town (though, I do have a few other favorites) and just about everything else I've had here has been delicious, too.

    This past summer I picked up a dozen empanadas on my way to work and achieved Hero status amongst my co-workers before lunch time. :lol:

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - December 6th, 2017, 2:12 pm
    Post #4 - December 6th, 2017, 2:12 pm Post #4 - December 6th, 2017, 2:12 pm
    For a full year, I had the pleasure of living about 200 yards from Cafe Tola. It was a life saver when it opened, as there were no real places to get coffee within walking distance, save the Starbucks inside the Target on Addison. The "$5 empanada and coffee before 9a" promotion when they first opening had me hooked, and they honored it for me long past the time that they stopped promoting it. With their rotating flavors of excellent empanadas, this alone would be a huge asset to the neighborhood - but pastor tacos, the pozole on weekends, and the genuinely friendly service makes it a true gem. I moved away from Chicago 4 months ago, and living within short proximity from Tola is one of the things I miss the most.
  • Post #5 - December 6th, 2017, 4:28 pm
    Post #5 - December 6th, 2017, 4:28 pm Post #5 - December 6th, 2017, 4:28 pm
    Not to torment anyone but here's a shot of one of the best things I ate in 2016 . . .

    Image
    Ropa Vieja Empanada from Cafe Tola

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #6 - December 6th, 2017, 4:44 pm
    Post #6 - December 6th, 2017, 4:44 pm Post #6 - December 6th, 2017, 4:44 pm
    I had lunch there today, and the lechon empanada was really outstanding. Sorry, no picture.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #7 - March 4th, 2018, 2:37 pm
    Post #7 - March 4th, 2018, 2:37 pm Post #7 - March 4th, 2018, 2:37 pm
    Sister Vikki and I on our Sunday funday in my new hood just got back. 5 for 5 and loved the vibe. Besides great visuals and feel we had 3 empanadas- the most excellent aforementioned lechon, the tinga and a killer pintos y queso. All so satisfying, just a great pastry w/sapinchebroso fillings. Crisp pork belly tacos, made to order guac and a beautifully complex house hot sauce came to $30 w/tip.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #8 - March 4th, 2018, 3:20 pm
    Post #8 - March 4th, 2018, 3:20 pm Post #8 - March 4th, 2018, 3:20 pm
    Jazzfood wrote:Sister Vikki and I on our Sunday funday in my new hood just got back. 5 for 5 and loved the vibe. Besides great visuals and feel we had 3 empanadas- the most excellent aforementioned lechon, the tinga and a killer pintos y queso. All so satisfying, just a great pastry w/sapinchebroso fillings. Crisp pork belly tacos, made to order guac and a beautifully complex house hot sauce came to $30 w/tip.

    By sheer coincidence, I just polished off (moments ago) a couple of few-day-old empanadas that I reheated back to absolute glory at 350f for about 30 minutes. These 2 were Pintos & Cheese and Rajas, both of which were delightful.

    A few visits back, I ate in and had the Chicken Pozole Verde, which was also stellar . . .

    Image
    Chicken Pozole Verde

    I just love this place . . . the food, the vibe and the incredibly friendly service. That it's about a mile from the abode is a terrific bonus.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #9 - March 21st, 2018, 2:04 pm
    Post #9 - March 21st, 2018, 2:04 pm Post #9 - March 21st, 2018, 2:04 pm
    Since I ride the bus past it everyday, I was surprised to see the butcher paper gone and the bright pink neon lights. Cafe Tola #3 (or Tola Tacos) is open. I haven't eaten there yet, but the lights are on and there are reviews on Google. It's behind the PNC bank on Ashland and Addison. If it's anywhere close to the quality of #1 or #2 is should another neighborhood home run.

    1625 W Addison St
    Chicago, IL 60613
  • Post #10 - October 17th, 2018, 4:10 pm
    Post #10 - October 17th, 2018, 4:10 pm Post #10 - October 17th, 2018, 4:10 pm
    Celebrated Empanada Maker Cafe Tola To Open at River North’s Ohio House Motel

    https://chicago.eater.com/2018/10/17/17 ... restaurant
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #11 - August 26th, 2019, 10:04 am
    Post #11 - August 26th, 2019, 10:04 am Post #11 - August 26th, 2019, 10:04 am
    As part of a spontaneous afternoon of fun on Saturday, we ordered food to go from Cafe Tola on California. Chicken pozole, one chicken verde taco, one veggie taco and dealer's choice of empanadas. We loved the pozole and the chicken taco. The veggie taco was decent-- might be the first time for broccoli and cauliflower on a taco for me. I wish I knew what the empanadas were. One was spinach/ricotta (and was delicious). We were very happy with our order and enjoyed eating it at the dog-friendly Lizard's Lounge with a cold Oberon.
    -Mary

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