Serving up generous portions of portions of casual, cravable Mexican food, Xoco (pronounced, “sho-ko,” btw) offers a respite for the rest of Raleigh. Beyond one of the most unique waitstaff we’ve ever seen (a toy train that we’ll discuss later) and a full menu of classic dishes, they’ve got a drink menu that’s almost—dare we say—too much fun. Their cocktails are over-the-top, oversized, and often over-proof. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Plus, they’ve got a decked out patio and all their decor is funky and eclectic with just the right amount of kitsch. The only thing to do with a place as colorful as Xoco? Escape there and embrace it...immediately.
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Why dine indoors when you can feast al fresco? Xoco’s fully covered (and heated!), garden patio means you can people watch your heart out year round. Featuring lush foliage and colorful tiling, Xoco’s patio will transport you straight from Glenwood South to some far off tropical land where the margs are massive, the guac is plentiful and the chips just keep on comin’.
Just when you thought topical cocktails couldn’t get any more perfect, Xoco goes and whips up an avocado version that has us millennials straight-up shook. Served in a full-on majestic goblet, this cocktail honestly feels more akin to a boozy milkshake than anything else—but since it’s made with avocado (hello, it’s a fruit) we’re fine telling ourselves it’s healthy and ordering up a second round. We simply avo-can’t get enough. (#SorryNotSorry).
And avocados are just the tip of the iceberg at Xoco. Their list of creative cocktail concoctions is about as lengthy (and fun!) as their entire food menu: they’ve got everything from “trash can” margaritas and frozen drinks to Tequinis and a vast selection of Mexican beers—all scratch made and fresh.
Our top picks (beyond the Avo Painkiller, of course)? The Saint Padres Long Island Margarita is a fan favorite (and strong as hell) and they’ve got a blue tequila that’s as pretty as it is delicious. Cheers, y’all!
[REMINDER FOR OFFLINE PREMIUM MEMBERS: Unfortunately, due to NC State liquor laws, your $25 Premium Perk cannot be used on alcohol. Silver lining? You’ve now got a larger tab to put towards extra guac. And, in our humble opinion, drinks are still v much part of the experience and def worth shelling out a few bucks for.]
Waiters are cool and all, but have you ever had your food delivered via toy train? No? Well then saddle up to a booth, keep your elbows tucked in and let Xoco’s resident train roll up to your table. Delivering precious cargo (complimentary chips and salsa FTW), this baby will make you wonder why all restaurants don’t have a delivery service that’s this cute.
And, TBH, we’re not exactly sure *why* the train exists, but it’s adorable and makes for perfect boomerang so let’s not question it, mmk? We’re just getting aboard.
Raleigh’s great at a lot of things, but we’re the first to admit that our late night options are a bit limited. Enter Xoco. Their dedicated late-night menu goes from 9p-11p Sunday through Thursday, and 10p-2a on Friday and Saturday nights. It features all your faves—everything from guacamole to fajitas. Just you try and tell us that after a long night on the town, a hot, gooey quesadilla isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered.
Ready to ball out on a budget? If you time your visit to Xoco just right, and you’ll find deals that’ll keep both your stomach and wallet happy (but your liver, not so much).
Hit them up from 4:30p-6:30p during the week and you’ll score five, perfectly-portioned, tacos for just five bucks. And on Thursdays, you can get a MASSIVE Coronita and three tacos for $15—all day long.
There’s a new drink special everyday, perfect for when you’re feeling overwhelmed by that aforementioned *extensive* cocktail list. They’ve got so many specials in fact, we couldn’t list them all here. Click here for the full rundown. (Spoiler alert, you’ll find a bunch of options under $4. Like we said, consider yourself warned).
Xoco has been a favorite Glenwood South haunt for years—literally. There are rumors the building Xoco resides in is haunted; so enter at your own risk if you believe in that sort of thing. The folks at Xoco certainly do, and they’ll be happy to regale you with some scary stories if you ask nicely.
Xoco’s certainly got a lot to talk about, but we couldn’t get through this article without mentioning our fave dishes.
The Chicken Fajitas ($13.86) come out on a sizzling skillet overflowing with peppers, onions and thick slices of chicken breast, accompanied by alllll the necessary accoutrements. Trust us, you will walk away with a doggie bag.
Also, the Enchiladas Mexicans ($15.24) give you three different kinds of enchiladas, each topped with a different sauce so your plate resembles the Mexican flag.
And if you’re dining with a group, the La Nina Nachos ($11.09+) have got freshly-fried tortilla chips topped with avocado, pico de gallo and a homemade cheese sauce that’s unbelievably rich and creamy. On second thought, you may not want to share these. It’s the perfect time to use that “nach-yours” line anyway.