Food and drink can often provide Chicagoans an escape from frosty temperatures or summer heat and that’s what XO Marshmallow Cafe + Wonderland intends to do when it opens today. Chicago’s first dedicated marshmallow cafe, now open in Rogers Park, whisks visitors back to their childhoods with an assortment of unique desserts powered by XO’s fresh marshmallows in varieties like Kahlua, champagne, and (eventually) Nutella. There’s nowhere else in the city for visitors to eat marshmallow tacos made with waffle shells.
It’s a tiny space, but the women behind the cafe, Kat Connor and Lindzi Shanks, have packed a lot of fun inside. The interiors are littered with positive messages, complimenting guests on their tastes and offering affection. The words are nice but aren’t any substitute for the love that comes from biting into a s’more. Staff will melt the marshmallows with hand-held torches. The desserts beg guests to whip out their phones and post photographs to social media. There’s also a full espresso bar and coffees from Two Brothers Coffee Roasters. Yes, it’s the same company that brews the beer.
It’s not the world’s first marshmallow cafe, but the concept is a rarity. A Kickstarter funded the project, allowing ownership to create a space Willy Wonka would love — check out the photo tour below. Sweets lovers can get some love from XO Marshmallow starting at noon on Tuesday.
XO Marshmallow Cafe + Wonderland, 6977 N. Sheridan Road, preliminary hours noon to 7 p.m.; regular hours start next week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; closed on Monday.