Situated on bustling U Street, Taqueria Xochi (924 U St. NW) oﬀers unique and authentic Mexican bites to go. The quick service window serves a variety of dishes from central Mexico, including cemitas (Mexican style sandwiches) and many diﬀerent varieties of tacos and taco/quesadilla-hybrid mulitas.
Chef/owner Teresa Padilla and Director of Operations Geraldine Mendoza both lost their restaurant jobs due to the pandemic. Padilla had always wanted to introduce authentic Mexican bites to the District, and with Geraldine’s help, used her furlough as an opportunity to open the fast-casual Mexican restaurant.
Both Padilla and Mendoza are from Mexico. The restaurant is named after the ruins of Xochitecatl in Tlaxcala, Mexico where Padilla is from. Taqueria Xochi started out in a ghost kitchen, where they worked together to expand the menu and eventually opened their Shaw outpost.
Mendoza and Padilla love the location and say it “works perfectly” with the concept they had in mind for the restaurant.
“It has been great,” Mendoza said. “We have a lot of supporters. People always come by and say they love the food, they love that we’re in the neighborhood, and we just love being there. We’re just so glad that we got that space.”
The duo were eager to open the restaurant in DC because both she and Padilla had mostly worked in the District’s restaurant industry. She also emphasized their passion and appreciation for how accepting the community is in DC.
“I think people in DC are a little bit more open minded about their food,” Mendoza said. “They love to try new things.”
Many customers say Taqueria Xochi’s birria are the standout on the menu. Dip the lamb tacos and beef quesabirrias into the zesty red broth and you’re suddenly in Jalisco. Add tres leches cake or chocoflan for a sweet finale.
Taqueria Xochi is open Sunday and Monday, 4 – 10 p.m., Tues. – Thurs.
4 – 11 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. 4 p.m. – 1 a.m. You can explore the menu and place orders for pickup and delivery at taqueriaxochi.com.
Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.