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Cruz Blanca Cerveceria

Restaurants, Mexican West Loop
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
Cruz Blanca
Photograph: Galdones Photography
Photograph: Nick Murway
Photograph: Courtesy Cerveceria Cruz Blanca

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At Cruz Blanca’s Taquería, you'll choose from half-cured flank tasajo, red chile pork cecina, chorizo, chicken or portobello taqueros, piling them all on a big beer tray with accompaniments of wood-grilled knob onions and peppers, smoky Oaxacan pasilla salsa, avocado salsa, crunchy pico de gallo, grilled nopal cactus and limey cucumbers. Not into tacos? They offer Oaxcan-style tlayudas—giant, shareable tostadas with black bean spread, cheese, grilled knob onions, güero chile, green salsa and your choice of wood-grilled protein—and encamaronadas, a cheesy shrimp quesadilla with pico de gallo. Cruz Blanca also makes new world interpretations of classic German, Austrian and French styles of beer. So look for German pilsners and Vienna lagers, German Berliner Weisse, wiessbier, lactic acidic beers and French style Bieres de Garde, as well as a few contemporary American styles utilizing traditional Mexican and locally–sourced ingredients.




Venue name: Cruz Blanca Cerveceria
Address: 904 West Randolph Street
Cross street: between North Peoria Street and North Sangamon Street
Opening hours: Tues-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12pm, Sun 11am-9pm
Transport: El: Green, Pink to Morgan. Bus: 8.
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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The ambiance of this place is excellent. It's very quick and easy. You order your food, and they give you a buzzer. When the buzzer goes off, you grab your food and sit wherever you like. This place is also a brewery. They have quite a few selections of beers, and the cocktails look great. The guac and chips come with salsas, so you don't have to order that separately. 

So many restaurants have been started with the business plan of "it's just like Chipotle" that it's effectively it's own genre nowadays. Cruz Blanca is different… it REALLY IS a better Chipotle! Similar menu, but $12 instead of $8 and over a wood fire. It seems to be the only place on Randolph street that I've been able to duck into last minute with friends WITHOUT waiting outside like a hipster for half an hour. While they're trying to get known for their admittedly good brews, I'd suggest one of their two mescal cocktails… an old fashioned and a margarita. The tacos are a great take on street tacos, with most of the flavor coming from Bayless's classic flavor profile of smokey meat, vinegar, pepper, lime, onion. 

It's a great place to get upscale food without the "plan two days ahead for a burger" inconvenience that has become standard for many Randolph street locations. 

Amy's Allergy Alerts

Wherever we go we like to check for the restaurant's ability to accommodate Gluten Free and Dairy Free. I'm happy to report that Cruz Blanca gets a perfect score for allergy awareness, preparedness, and avoidance of cross contamination! All of the food is prepared gluten free and dairy free… the only real gluten in the whole place is the beer, which is prepared far enough away to avoid any spills. In fact, the two main "bar" areas are completely removed from the food preparation area, further reducing chances of problems. 

All in all, Cruz Blanca is now a top pick for Allergy Free dining! If you're with friends, want to get a quick hip bite and a drink, feel free to finally have a place that you can go without preplanning and without worry!


My friend and I checked out Cruz Blanca last Friday around noon and stayed until around 3 p.m. The second floor has awesome windows that open up halfway, and it was nearly empty up there. Well, except for Rick Bayless, who was doing a photo shoot with some ceviche plates at the table next to us haha. 

It was a little confusing when ordering downstairs but still very fast and efficient overall. I got the flank steak tacos, which were incredible. So delicious and I loved the build-it-yourself format, plus that huge roasted pepper was super fun to bite into. I added the guacamole on the side--a must. 

Then we sampled all of the beers. Lol. My favorite was definitely the Smoke Alley, a dry-hopped smoked wheat ale. You can order it as a radler mixed with agua fresca and add a shot, for something different. Overall we loved it! I would definitely go back! 


Located next door to his other new restaurant (much like Frontera, and Topolobampo,) Lena Brava, Rick Bayless opened up a more casual brewery and taqueria called Cruz Blanca. It is a counter service restaurant where you choose your filling, they assemble a platter for you, and you take a seat at one of their picnic bench style tables to assemble your own tacos while you enjoy a selection of in house beers, as well as a couple outside brews on tap (you have to order those separately at the bar)

I ordered the Beef Tasajo which was a marinated skirt steak, and it was served with grilled güero chiles, and knob onions, as well as their amazing house made corn tortillas. I had to order guacamole on the side which was excellent. The beef itself was a bit over salted for my taste. I am not sure if it was due to the marinade, or extra added on in the grilling process, but it was a bit much at times. The lime helped to cut it down, however. The spice of the grilled chilis, and the crunch from the onions made for a nice combination of flavors. 

The beer that I enjoyed was their Smoke Alley, which is a dry-hopped smoked wheat ale. I am a sucker for anything smoked from tequila to ribs, so this was a nice brew that had a wonderful smoky flavor that complimented the hoppyness quite well.