Hyde Park Restaurant Guide
A Perfect “10” For Curated Wining and Dining
A10’s expansive windows and prime location on the corner of 53rd and Harper give passers-by a tempting view into this upscale eatery’s alluring dining space and bar, and a peek at the fancy fare that draws diners in.
The menu changes from time to time, with specials like wood-fired strip steak smothered in anchovy butter and Maine lobster cappellini. A10’s owner hand-selects the wine, so guests sip only the best Bordeaux or Sauvignon Blanc. With desserts like creamy panna cotta and sumptuous soft-serve flavors like honey and rhubarb, diners have a difficult but assuredly delicious decision to make.
Hyde Park dwellers and Chicago visitors alike can ensure a special weekend with the popular Sunday Lunch menu, which features warm or cold sandwiches and wraps, and unique brunch options like the “Which Came First” sandwich – exquisite braised chicken paired with a fried egg atop fresh focaccia.
A10 Hyde Park Bar & Eatery
Bike Shop with a Café Tucked Inside
This convenient location isn’t your run-of-the mill coffeehouse. Doubling as a bike shop, you can grab some avocado toast while you get some new cycling gear.
Located right under the Metra line, the passionate baristas and free Wi-Fi make this the favorite coffee shop on 53rd. Music fans can catch a live show on jazz nights.
Ancien Cycles & Cafe
Where Vegan Cuisine Meets Comfort Food
If you’re new to the vegan lifestyle, the B’Gabs staff will be happy to enlighten you. The quality of the food is just as good as the quality of service.
Aside from the delicious and healthy smoothies, you can stock up on essential oils and incense. Part restaurant, part shop, all homey.
Bergstein’s NY Delicatessen
An NYC Sandwich with Chicago on the Side
Expect to see your favorites like corn beef and pastrami, along with local highlights such as a Chicago hotdog and Italian beef. Keep your Chicago street cred and skip the ketchup.
Bergstein’s NY Delicatessen
Bonjour Cafe Bakery
Parisian Pastries on the Prairie
If you’re in the mood for French fare without the airfare, Bonjour Cafe Bakery has just what you need!
The pastry selection on display is always a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds. For a little something sweet, try a passionfruit entremet, pear tart, or a few French macarons. Of course, coffee and foamy espresso drinks are available, but the Lorina lemonade is a particularly refreshing treat- especially when paired with a salade niçoise.
The savory selections are just as delicious as the sweets at this cute café. Bonjour’s grilled steak sandwich was featured in the Serious Eats 2013 edition, and the flavorful quiches and flaky croissants often garner praises from local publications and satisfied patrons alike. So forget that flight to France for the time being and say hello to Bonjour Cafe Bakery!
Bonjour Cafe Bakery
Bonne Sante Health Foods
Your Go-To for Healthy Goodness
Just a block from the 53rd Street Metra Station, Bonne Sante strives to keep your health and happiness levels high. The shelves are stocked with supplements and vitamins along with all-natural foods, beverages, and beauty products. Whether you’re in the mood for soy milk and gluten-free cookies, or looking to stock up on essential oils and aloe vera, Bonne Sante has you covered.
Besides the selection of health products, Bonne Sante also serves freshly-made paninis and salads. Plus, they have an in-house juice bar where you can sip freshly squeezed fruit and veggie juice. The smoothies and “super shakes” are a huge hit, too. Try the Smooth Move with coconut water, almond milk, oats, bananas, and flaxseed, or the Omegacado, a blend of fresh avocado, nut milk, agave and your choice of cinnamon or cayenne. How about one today and the other tomorrow?
Bonne Sante Health Foods
Hyde Park’s Comfy Coffee Haven
Cafe 53 is the perfect place to meet up with friends or catch up on some work. Customers love this cozy and modern cafe for its top-notch fare and free WiFi. They serve excellent coffee, delicious sandwiches, and dangerously tempting pastries and baked goods. Customers rave about the Vegan Sumac sandwiches, the ridiculously good Take a Hike scone, and the cafe’s various gluten-free options.
In the nicer seasons, the back patio is a cozy little spot to spend a sunny morning or warm afternoon. Bring your coffee back there and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of dappled shade and your beautiful Hyde Park surroundings.
Cedars Mediterranean Cafe
Quality Mediterranean Classics
A popular dining spot for over two decades, Cedars stands out for its fresh-high quality ingredients. You’ll find all the Mediterranean classics including chicken shawarma, kebobs, falafel, hummus, and scrumptious pita sandwiches. You can pair your meal with a soup or salad, and don’t forget to save room for dessert! Either their flaky baklava or creamy rice pudding is a perfect note to end on.
Though the welcoming atmosphere may entice you stay, if you must leave, the entire menu at Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen is also available for carry-out or delivery.
In addition, Cedar’s catering service gives you the opportunity to share your favorite Greek foods with friends and family. With huge trays and a seriously flavorful assortment available, it’s a guaranteed hit!
Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen
Asian Fusion and Good Music
Whether you’re looking for a unique dining experience for your family or just a chill night out with your friends, make your way over to Chant. This restaurant will simultaneously stimulate your musical taste and your taste buds. You can enjoy the comfortable and stylish décor while listening to live music multiple nights of the week. Make sure to visit the website for a calendar of events to see who’s playing!
Not only are there great tunes to listen to, there is also a variety of Asian cuisine. Everything is made with fresh, sustainable, seasonal products. They also carry countless delicious drinks and cocktails. Chant is a great place to go if you’re looking for some low-key night life without ever leaving Hyde Park.
The Cove Lounge
Friendly Folks, Good Vibes and Beer
Located on 55th Street between Everett Avenue and South Shore Drive, The Cove is one of Hyde Park’s hidden gems. For decades, The Cove has been a favorite dive bar for South Side loyalists, University students, and even the occasional North Sider stopping by for a brew after biking down the lakefront trail.
Don’t let the inconspicuous exterior fool you. Once you step inside, you will be greeted by friendly bartenders, a laid back atmosphere, the coveted juke box, and a wide selection of craft beers. There is a great Hyde-Park-inspired mural on the wall that really sets it apart as a neighborhood watering hole.
The Cove is a fun place to meet up with friends, watch the White Sox on their six plasma TVs, or just to get some simple and satisfying bar-fare.
The Cove Lounge
Cost-Effective, Quality Cuisine
A tasty Asian restaurant that’s known in the area for their reasonable prices and quick and friendly delivery men. Be sure to try their tasty crab Rangoon!
The Falcon Inn
Drinks with a Side of Fried Chicken
The Falcon Inn is more than just a bar, it has something for everyone. Live entertainment, open mic nights, and cheap beer make The Falcon a great place to hang out with friends or casually mingle with other locals.
A useful perk of the Falcon is that it has a sneaky window leading into Cholie’s Pizza next door. Guests can have a seat, grab some drinks, and then order some pizza or fried chicken to accompany their brews. The fried chicken is rumored to be the best chaser in town.
The entrance to the Falcon Inn can be a little confusing since it’s right alongside the entrance to the Metra station, but once you get inside, you’ll be glad you arrived. Fly on over to the Falcon Inn for a good time!
Hyde Park’s Bite of the National Burger Joint
When you can’t quash your craving for all-American favorites, stop by Five Guys on 53rd Street.
The national chain offers hot dogs and sandwiches, but they’re most famous for their made-to-order burgers which can be customized at no extra charge. With only the freshest ingredients as toppings, try one of the 250,000 mouth-watering possibilities and make sure to ask for a generous side of their legendary French fries, freshly cut from the best potatoes Idaho has to offer.
Start by munching on the complimentary peanuts while your burger sizzles away, and finish things off with an ice-cold drink and plenty of napkins.
Five Guys Burgers & Fries
Take a Trip to Senegal without a Passport
Looking for an adventure? The food, the décor, and hospitality is authentically Senegalese. It’s likely the chef or owner will come out to greet you and make some recommendations. Make sure you get the Hibiscus tea.
Harold’s Chicken Shack
All Hail the King of Chicken
Don’t let the unassuming plastic booths and straightforward menu signs fool you. Harold’s Chicken Shack, the self-proclaimed “King of Chicken,” is heralded as one of Chicago’s very best poultry eateries.
Upon entering, your senses will be overcome by the sweet smell of barbeque sauce and crispy wings. Though you’ll be tempted to order a 24-piece bucket of chicken immediately, the menu offers fish, grits, gizzards, and plenty of sides for a more diverse dining experience.
And, with a valid ID, seniors and students can enjoy their finger-lickin’ food at a 10% discount. Enjoy responsibly!
Harold’s Chicken Shack
For Sushi-philes Everywhere
Despite having opened just a decade ago, Kikuya has established itself as an integral part of Hyde Park. City dwellers come from all over to enjoy their classic Japanese cuisine, both in raw sushi and cooked entree form.
Even the soup and starters are top notch, as evidenced by rave reviews of Kikuya’s miso soup and tempura. Guests also appreciate the fact that this eatery is BYOB, so they can pick up their favorite bottle of wine or beer and bring it along. The main event here, however, is the sushi, which has been lauded as some of the best in Hyde Park.
If you’re looking for some scrumptious sushi or other authentic Japanese food but you don’t want to leave the neighborhood, then head over to Kikuya. Your taste buds will be pleased that you did.
Kikuya Japanese Restaurant
Good Ol’ Fashioned Sweets & Treats
At Kilwin’s, candy is much more than just a sweet treat- It’s a full-on nostalgic experience. That’s because this popular spot is modeled after old-fashioned candy shops. When you bite into a piece of chocolate, fudge, or gooey taffy here, it’s like taking a trip back in time.
You’ll find a huge array of sweets, from toffee bars and ice cream to chewy caramels, clusters, chocolate pretzels, and Kilwin’s signature “tuttles.” Don’t skip the fudge: It’s the company’s top seller, followed closely by candy corns and brittles, both made in old-fashioned copper kettles.
Here’s some sweet praise from one Kilwin’s lover: “I just can’t say anything bad about this place. We were here recently for a family get together and everything in the store tasted so buttery and good and sweet that I thought I was in Candyland.”
Kimbark Beverage Shoppe
Cheers to Fifty Years
Any wine and spirits store that endures for half a century must be doing something right. Kimbark Beverage Shoppe, located on 53rd Street, recently celebrated its 50th birthday. The Hyde Park institution has flourished for five decades thanks to its impressive selection of wine, beer, and liquor.
If you can’t find your favorite craft beer elsewhere, chances are you’ll find it at Kimbark. Many microbrews and other high-end varieties are available by the case, too. When it comes to wine, the array is just as wide-ranging. From domestic Napa Valley pours to vintages from France and Italy, Kimbark Beverage Shoppe’s selection is sure to have the perfect wine pairing for your dinner and their stunning selection of liquors helps you mix up the perfect cocktail every time.
If you aren’t quite sure which wine or beer to take home, stop by for a tasting. That way, you can sample a few different brews and bottles before committing to one. Or two… or three…
Kimbark Beverage Shoppe
La Petite Folie
An Authentic French Experience
If you’re craving some authentic French cuisine, then La Petite Folie is the place to go. It is a small, quaint restaurant with an elegant atmosphere. You can have a French getaway while never leaving Hyde Park.
This Chicago spot is a charming and relaxing restaurant, perfect for enjoying a delicious lunch or glass of wine. For lunch, nibble a three-cheese omelet served with a toasted baguette, potato galette, and cherry tomato compote. The menu also boasts Smoked Duck Spinach Salad, Smoked Salmon Omelet, Chicken Crepes, and Sausages & Sauerkraut.
An extensive list of French wines is offered, and desserts include a Belgian chocolate torte and, of course, Crème Brûlée. Feast on three courses for just $32 during the Prixe Fixe Special from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. This upscale spot fills up quickly, so don’t forget to book a table in advance.
La Petite Folie
Italian-Inspired & Family-Friendly
Located at the corner of 53rd and Woodlawn, Leona’s Restaurant serves Italian and American food in a cozy, family-friendly setting. A chain restaurant with multiple locations across Chicago, the Hyde Park location draws in customers with the promise of delicious pizza and keeps them coming back with reasonable prices, large portions, and a variety of entrees.
If you want pizza, Leona’s is the place for you. They also serve chicken, burgers, pasta, and much more. You won’t run out of options at Leona’s and the food doesn’t disappoint!
Head over to this cute little restaurant and enjoy a meal with your family or friends, then take your leftovers home and enjoy it again the next day!
Leona’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant
Litehouse Whole Food Grill
A Whole Lotta Love for Litehouse
The founder of Hyde Park’s beloved Litehouse was inspired by both his faith and his family’s diverse culinary proclivities. Caught between his vegetarian wife, ‘meatatarian’ daughter, and three other young omnivores, he wanted to create a haven for healthy eating that everyone could enjoy. He also felt called to reach the community and spread God’s message. Thus, he opened Litehouse, bringing the Light of Christ and ‘lite’ organic foods together under one roof.
Whether vegan, meat-loving, or otherwise, locals adore the diverse and delicious menu at this fast-casual eatery. All the wraps, bowls, burritos, and salads can be customized with the freshest organic and natural ingredients. The jerk chicken is spoken highly of, but pescatarians will love the Fire-Blazed Salmon Bowl – a salmon filet sizzling atop a bed of fresh romaine and tomatoes, tossed with rotini pasta and shredded mozzarella, finished with a drizzle of tangy honey mustard dressing. Add a side of seasoned sweet potato fries and you won’t be able to stay away from Litehouse for long!
Litehouse Whole Food Grill
A Hidden Gem in the Heart of Hyde Park
A small cafeteria in the Lutheran School of Theology is a great deal. The only catch is that it’s tough to find and even tougher to park near.
Spicing Up Your Day or Night
Open daily, Maravillas Restaurant brings an authentic taste of Mexico to Hyde Park. This is a no-frills, casual eatery that allows its tasty Mexican cuisine to take center stage. From the nachos, tostadas, and tacos to the soups and burritos, everything on the menu at Maravillas receives high marks from Hyde Park regulars.
For those who prefer to stick with all-American cuisine, burgers are also on the menu. Either way, be sure to order a margarita!
Maravillas is open late, until 2:00 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, which makes this the perfect destination for your late-night cravings for Mexican fare. Both delivery and take-out are available for those who like to eat at home!
Medici on 57th
It’s a Bakery, it’s a Gallery, it’s… Medici!
What do you get when you cross an art gallery, coffeehouse, bakery restaurant and lively staff? Medici.
Medici is a solid choice for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, or dinner. They offer a selection of pastries from their own adjoining bakery, including seven different croissants (savory and sweet), biscuits, and cinnamon rolls. For lunch or dinner, you can get made-from-scratch beef chili, the tuna steak sandwich, or the spicy black bean burger for vegetarians. The pizzas here receive high marks from regulars, available in either thin or pan crust. It might be a good idea to save some room for dessert, too, their chocolate cheesecake is decadence to die for!
Medici is also a good place to stop in for a freshly brewed coffee or espresso. Organic coffee beans are roasted in small batches, just for Medici. Bring a pen, mark your place on graphitized booths and become part of Hyde Park history.
Medici on 57th
Breakfast & XL Burgers with a 70’s Vibe
You can’t miss this 1970’s inspired restaurant when you’re walking down 53rd street. Step inside, and you’ll find a casual and friendly atmosphere in a dining room revolving around the large stovepipe fireplace centerpiece. When it first opened in Hyde Park in 1976, Mellow Yellow served mostly crepes. Over time, their reach has broadened to other breakfast options, plus plenty of delicious lunch and dinner dishes.
If you come in for dinner, customers highly recommend the chili cheese fries, covered in an aged cheddar sauce and piping hot chili, served with a side of sour cream. Still, the real treats at Mellow Yellow are served in the morning. Over 30 years of specializing in crepes, they have perfected both the fruity-sweet and savory crepes. La Normandie is a favorite, filled with bacon and spinach soufflé, topped with Swiss cheese and a white sauce.
Fun fact about the name: The owner’s daughters wrote to the singer Donovan for permission to use the title of his 1966 hit song for their restaurant. He said absolutely, and at no charge!
Mikkey’s Retro Grill
Retro Restaurant Serving Burgers & Beyond
Despite being one of the newest restaurants in the area, Mikkey’s instantly become a local favorite. Brought to Hyde Park by the folks of Litehouse Whole Food Grill, the friendly staff at Mikkey’s serve up sizzling burgers, wings, deliciously seasoned fries, milkshakes, and even treats like funnel cake until the early morning – 4am on most days!
Though you can order Mikkey’s to-go, you’ll definitely want to stay and enjoy the ambiance. The bright red retro-style barstools and huge windows fill the entire space with light and energy. Plus, the busy kitchen and upbeat patrons ensure a flurry of activity and a fun vibe on both sides of the counter.
You can’t go wrong with the Hey Mikkey Classic, hand-cut fries and an ice cold soda… though the Toure’s Turkey Burger topped with fresh avocado might just hit the spot.
Mikkey’s Retro Grill
Morry Orman came to Hyde Park in 1960 with a simple concept for an eatery: he wanted to open a classic deli. Morry’s daughter Suze Orman, now a household name, first learned how to handle money at the family deli. Today she serves as a financial advisor trusted by millions.
Suffice it to say, the Ormans know what they’re doing when it comes to business. However, even someone without any knowledge of Morry’s history can still appreciate the triple-decker and barbecue sandwiches, two customer favorites. The house’s soup of the day is often a crowd pleaser as well. Regardless of what you order, feel free to stay a while and dine in at the deli, or take your sandwich home.
At Morry’s, Hyde Parkers have always been able to count on a large, fresh sandwich, and that’s why they continue to flock here.
Hyde Park’s Best Chicken-Chicken
Step into an upbeat and fun atmosphere. Born in South Africa, this fast-casual restaurant made its way to Chicago. A great place for friends to gather for an easy dinner.
If you have a craving for Mediterranean food, such as hummus, falafel, kebabs, or chicken shawarma, you don’t even have to leave your apartment. You can order it straight from Nile’s website and have it delivered right to your door. Since it’s located a short distance away in East Hyde Park, it will still be piping hot upon arrival. If you want to add some Mediterranean flavor to your walk to the park, walk right in and enjoy this homey respite.
The biggest difficulty might be deciding what to order. Regulars enjoy the lamb chops, which are marinated, seasoned, broiled, and served with pita bread. Another favorite, the generously-sized falafel sandwich, is sure to leave you with leftovers to enjoy. Nile Restaurant is also accommodating to vegetarians who can enjoy the maklouba, made of eggplant, carrots, chickpeas, and rice, topped with pine nuts and served with house-made yogurt.
End your meal on a sweet note with one of Nile Restaurant’s signature desserts, such as the sticky-sweet baklava or rice pudding.
Huge Servings and Student-Friendly Prices
Whether you’re craving a heaping bowl of Ramen or a huge plate of Pad Thai, Noodles Etc. on Campus is there for you. This Hyde Park institution resides right alongside the University of Chicago’s campus. However, students aren’t the only loyal patrons who go to Noodles for pan-Asian cuisine; you’ll probably encounter Hyde Park families there, too.
Perhaps that’s because the food is made from fresh ingredients, well-priced, and well-portioned. Signature dishes include the Tom Yum Soup and Japanese Udon Noodles. The kitchen also crafts stir-fry dishes like Chow Mein and Drunken Noodles. If you prefer a base of rice instead, try the Ginger Chicken or Beef Broccoli. And for an extra dollar, you can substitute white rice for fiber-rich brown rice.
Trust Noodles Etc. to fill your noodle needs every night until 10:00pm, except for Sunday when they close half an hour early.
Noodles Etc. On Campus
Fresh Fruit and Veggies All Night
Fresh fruit, nuts, vegetables, and more are on sale at Open Produce, a great store in Hyde Park near the Del Prado apartments. After a walk along the Lakefront Trail, head to this casual store to pick up fresh, local produce. Many of the items were grown right here in Chicago!
The friendly staff is always happy to help you find something like fresh baked bread or locally produced milk. If there’s a product the store doesn’t sell that you’d like, just tell the staff. They’re will always listen to your suggestions. The store sells great products and it is very convenient for anyone in a Mac Apartment.
Bonus: It’s open till 2:00am every day!
The Original Pancake House
You’ll Never Want IHOP Again
Original Pancake House might be a chain restaurant, but Hyde Park diners say it’s still a well-loved spot for a few reasons: the food served here is consistently good, the service is friendly and efficient, and the portions are large. Not only that, they also offer some unique breakfast dishes that you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else.
Original Pancake House is known for its signature apple pancake – one huge flapjack crowned with warm sautéed apples and cinnamon sugar, then slipped into the oven to bake. Another loved dish is the Dutch Baby – a large, round air-puffed piece of dough, which is then baked and topped with lemon, whipped butter, and powdered sugar. Original Pancake House also has the classics, such as omelets, waffles, crepes, bacon, and sausage.
Regulars warn that there might be a bit of a wait for a table on weekend mornings, but after the description of their food, it seems like the wait will be worth it. Now, stop drooling and head over to grab a few yummy plates for yourself!
The Original Pancake House
Vietnamese Noodle & Grill
Combining high-quality and healthy food, Pho55 is a Vietnamese-fusion restaurant that’s well regarded in the Hyde Park neighborhood.
Authentic Italian for Lunch or Dinner
Piccolo Mondo is an inviting and intimate restaurant located in the Windermere. They have a great menu full of flavorful Italian meals for either lunch or dinner.
Tasty appetizers are available to start things off – try the Antipasto Italiano with shrimp, scallops, and calamari in a lemon and white wine sauce.
Next, order one of the delicious pasta dishes like Fusilli Piccolo Mondo with corkscrew pasta, chicken breast, and Italian bacon; Spaghetti Puttanesca with olives, capers, and anchovies in a marinara sauce; or the Pasta Duet with spaghetti, ravioli, and meatballs. Or, enjoy a meatier entrée like the popular Vitello Marsala with veal and mushrooms in Marsala wine sauce or the Pollo ala Vodka, which is chicken with vodka in a light cream sauce. Delizioso!
Finally, finish off your evening with a cup of coffee and one of the delicious desserts like cannoli or tiramisu.
Piccolo Mondo Restaurant
A Cozy Corner Spot with Pizza & Pasta Galore
This Italian restaurant brings hearty, wholesome food to your table or your door. With classics like Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Alfredo, made-to-order from scratch, this hot spot is hard to pass up!
Cozy seating and candle centerpieces create an intimate ambience indoors, while outdoor seating offers the charming atmosphere of 53rd Street.
Before your meal even arrives, you’ll find a basket of bread accompanied by Pizza Capri’s famous olive oil infused with Italian herbs and spices. While they do make great pizzas, customers say the chefs’ pasta dishes stand out the most. Try their Rotini Tuscany with grilled chicken, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, thyme, parmesan and olive oil.
Have a desire for an authentic Italian meal? Head over to Pizza Capri. Feel like you’d rather have a night at home? Pizza Capri also offers delivery.
Toasty Warm Subs & Quick Service
Starting on Chicago’s north side in 1977 and since expanding across the globe, Potbelly’s fast-casual sandwich spots are distinctively charming in their quirky décor with dark wood booths nestled amidst patterned wallpaper, tin ceiling tiles, and antique potbelly stoves.
The menu includes soups, salads, and signature subs made-to-order. All of Potbelly’s sandwiches are toasted for melt-y cheese perfection in every bite, with Skinny options like the Mushroom Melt and the Lil Tuna available for those who prefer a lighter lunch.
A hearty bowl of chili or a meatball sub will warm you up on a chilly afternoon, while the Oreo Milkshake and gooey Chocolate Brownie Cookie are just two irresistible options for the sandwich-lover’s sweet tooth.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Fresh and Innovative
This holy grail of Hyde Park offers a rustic lunch, brunch, and dinner atmosphere. Enjoy their staple chickpea fries for lunch while the natural light floods in, or for dinner while you watch a live performance.
Parking may be tough to find, but the drinks and the community more than make up for it.
Indian, Cajun, or Both!
Looking for an exciting meal that’ll awaken your taste buds? Hyde Park’s Rajun Cajun is where you need to be. Despite what the restaurant’s name suggests, this eatery is much more than Cajun cuisine; Rajun Cajun serves Indian-Cajun Fusion dishes that combine the spicy, bold flavors of both the Middle East and the Deep South. Their menu includes Samosas, Paneer Tikka Masala, and Fried Chicken with Collard Greens.
Rajun Cajun’s decor is as vibrant as the food, with bright yellow walls and funky pink lighting. When the restuaruant owners took over a comfort food restaurant, they decided to incorporate some of the more popular dishes into the Rajun Cajun design.
If you’re looking for exciting food in an exciting place, Rajun Cajun should be at the top of your list of places in Hyde Park to visit.
Roti Modern Mediterranean
Food That Loves You Back
It’s a chain restaurant that feels like Hyde Park; you’ll see everyone there. Go for the falafel or kabobs. It’s all fresh, organic, and everybody loves eating the antibiotic free & vegetarian fed chicken (except the actual chicken).
Roti Modern Mediterranean
Breakfast that Can’t be Beat- And More
Need a little fuel to start your day? Step into this classic little diner for some of the hearty breakfast dishes that Salonica offers all day long. With quirky names like “Chicks on a Raft” (eggs on toast) or “Vermont Stack” (pancakes with maple syrup), you might even start your meal with a chuckle. You’ll also definitely want to try the steak and eggs, an Athenian Omelet, or the French toast.
If you would rather have lunch, they have popular sandwiches which include a Greek gyro, Reuben, ham and cheese, and a hot roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy. Of course, this classic diner also serves burgers, plus as all of the tasty Greek and Italian specials you would expect, such as moussaka, Athenian Chicken, shish kabobs, pistachio, spanakopita, and chicken parmesan. Seafood lovers will also enjoy the diner, where they will find platters of fried shrimp and perch served with the soup of the day.
Salonica is truly for everyone, so if you’re anyone, head on over for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Korean Food for the Soul
Whether you’re seeking the Koren comfort food you love or are looking to try something new, Seoul Corea is the right place. You’ll find straightforward Korean home cooking at this cozy mom-and-pop restaurant, where the hot stone bibimbap, bulgolgi, and paejon come highly recommended.
One local said the owner is like “the food-savvy uncle we all wish we had,” and another raved about the restaurant’s atmosphere that keeps him coming back: “I love the fact that we almost always end up having a conversation with the table next to us and with floor to ceiling windows you get some great street watching.”
To cool off, try one of the canned Korean drinks or mochi ice cream for dessert. Of course, there’s always take-out for when curling up on the couch with a steamy bowl of noodles is just too tempting.
Seoul Corea Korean Restaurant
All You Can Eat!
Although Hyde Park is over 6300 miles away from Japan, you can find fresh Japanese fare just around the corner at Shinju Sushi.
The BYOB restaurant is famous for its all-you-can-eat sushi menu, making Thrillist’s list of Chicago’s best unlimited sushi spots. The offer is available throughout the day, but what really sweetens the deal is the cool scoop of ice cream at the end.
Shinju has your favorite classic rolls, but be sure to also try something different- maybe a Godzilla Roll, stuffed with tempura shrimp, avocado, cream cheese, spicy mayo, masago, and fresh green onion. While you await the delivery of your beautifully presented sushi platter, you’ll be transfixed by the restaurant’s myriad of aquariums, complete with blue tang fish and other fascinating critters.
Shinju Sushi Japanese Restaurant
Great Specials & Spicy Thai
Recognizable by its green and yellow awning and casual interior, Siam is a low-key Hyde Park hidden gem for authentic Thai food.
Since the restaurant is BYOB, you may want to pick up a few drinks before heading over for dinner. Or skip the liquor and let a delicioulsy sweet Thai iced tea cool your tastebuds. Grab some potstickers and crab rangoons to share, and then spice things up with a hearty bowl of yellow curry shrimp or the spicy basil chicken, which is ground and stir-fried with basil leaves, bell peppers, and chili peppers. For a perfect no-meat option, try the tofu pad see eiw.
No matter the time of day, you can take advantage of the reasonably priced lunch and dinner specials, too.
Siam Thai Restaurant
Sip & Savor
Fair Trade Coffees in Creative Blends
Nestled beneath the Del Prado apartment building on the corner of 53rd Street and Hyde Park Boulevard is Sip & Savor. Step into this location – or the sister Sip in Bronzeville – and you’ll find the friendly baristas brewing teas and certified fair trade coffees, blending frappes and smoothies, and plating up pastries and bites from local Chicago bakeries.
The menu offers traditional brews for the coffee connoisseur plus quirky cups like the Honey Vanilla Latte, mint chocolate Bull Frog Mocha, and Mocha Bama: The POTUS Hookup – this one blends dark and white chocolate sauce, pineapple and coconut syrup, espresso, and steamed milk beneath a swirl of whipped cream.
With plenty of cozy seating nooks and charging outlets, once you grab a muffin and get connected to Sip & Savor’s free Wi-Fi you’ll want to stay the whole afternoon.
Sip and Savor
The Sit Down
Sandwiches, Soups and Sushi, Oh My!
Sit back and relax at The Sit Down. With free lunchtime WiFi, welcoming staff, and daily drink specials, you’ll be comfortable spending some quality time with the varied menu.
Try an Italian classic like the prosciutto and melon starter with a caprese salad, or spice things up with a bowl of Jambalaya. But locals will tell you that The Sit Down’s signature is it’s sushi selection. From the 53rd, a roll with smoked salmon, spicy shrimp, avocado and radish sprouts, to the Feisty Flamingo, with tempura shrimp, avocado, and spicy crab, you’ll soon find your own go-to roll.
The Sit Down now delivers through GrubHub, for those times when you’re craving a Crunchy Crab Roll but can’t dine-in.
The Sit Down Café & Sushi Bar
The Snail Thai Cuisine
Fresh in Atmosphere as well as Food
Thai food is well-liked for its freshness and spice, both of which you’ll find here at The Snail Thai Cuisine. Serving the Hyde Park neighborhood since 1993, the restaurant is known for its bright and inviting ambiance and, according to the Chicago Reader, it “makes a case for itself with what by all reports is exceedingly friendly, assiduous service and a menu that offers more than most.”
Diners name the restaurant’s hearty Bangkok chicken and duck and eggplant curry some of the top menu items. Plus, the extensive list of starters – ranging from chive dumplings, duck spring rolls, fried squid, and northern Thai sausage – makes it hard to narrow your options.
If you need some relief from the spice, the mango ice cream is a perfect solution. And since Snail Thai is BYOB with no uncorking fee, you can casually sip a sweet rosé or red to balance the flavors. It’s a popular spot here in Hyde Park, so you might want to place a reservation first.
The Snail Thai Cuisine
Casual-Cool Spot for Classic Tacos
A relatively new restaurant on the corner of Dorchester and 53rd Street, Taco Station is a great place to stop in for a few tacos, guacamole and chips with friends. The bright décor, bar seating and casual atmosphere makes this an awesome lunch stop. You can even get your tacos to-go and enjoy them near the fountain in Nichol’s Park, just a few steps away!
Taco Station’s mission is “complete guest satisfaction via authentic Latin street fare [and] quality innovative Mexican Cuisine utilizing fresh ingredients.” They serve are classic meat, chicken, and seafood tacos and burritos, along with a Vegan Fuel veggie taco stuffed with cauliflower, zucchini, squash, eggplant, potatoes and shiitake mushrooms. Try one of the three salsa varieties for added kick.
Hyde Park Taco Station
Incredibly Flavorful Classic Thai Dishes
To break away from the daily grind, stop into Thai 55 for some new and exciting flavors. The chefs at this Hyde Park eatery pack tons of flavor into each and every bite. And it’s not because they load the food up with heavy sauces, it’s because of their adept knowledge and use of Thai spices and seasonings.
Thai 55’s fiery curries have earned them a loyal following of Hyde Park foodies. Served piping hot to your desired level of spiciness, Massaman, Green, Yellow, and Red curries are brimming with fresh veggies and your choice of meat or seafood. Be sure to also sample the Pad Thai, Roasted Duck, Bangkok Shrimp, Thai Pepper Steak, or Basil Eggplant.
On top of the exciting dishes are the low prices. Thai 55 is great for a college budget or for anyone looking for lots of bang for their buck. Keep Thai 55 in mind when you’re craving some Thai food, but don’t want to travel across the world to get it.
President Obama Approved
The Hyde Park neighborhood was made famous across the nation for a noteworthy pair of patrons: The First Couple. Rumor has it that the best way to satisfy a presidential appetite is down at Valois, a local staple serving up cafeteria-style food.
Though the popular spot sometimes has a line going out the door, it won’t take long for you to arrive at the counter. When you get there, no-frills American classics await. Their breakfast and omelettes are extremely popular, but they also serve hamburgers, roast beef sandwiches, baked pork chops, and mashed potatoes with gravy. For inspiration, refer to the Obama Specials, which are regularly order by the POTUS himself. Finally, sweeten things up with a fruit cobbler or slice of pie before leaving the line.
Valois is cash-only, so bring your bills to enjoy a hearty meal with quick service, lots of seating, and plenty of locals.
An organic and community-minded food and produce store.
As America’s first organically-certified grocer, Whole Foods specializes in selling goods that are void of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats. Their focus is quality, natural goods and produces with an emphasis on products purchased locally.
A Low-Key Sandwich Spot in the Windy City
This Hyde Park deli delivers big flavorful sandwiches at a small price. Serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week, Windy’s is best known for its sandwiches with savory meats piled high atop fresh breads with all your favorite add-ons.
Locals recommend the Reuben – it’s topped with egg salad for an unexpected yet pleasantly balanced combination. Alternatively, try a chicken salad, hot dog, gyros or Polish sausage to satisfy your comfort food cravings.
Windy’s Deli has a great low-key vibe, with lottery tickets and DVDs for sale in addition to the food. One regular captured the atmosphere perfectly: “This place has an ole-timey feel. You know, I could totally see my Gramps hanging out here, scratching off lottery tickets and digging into a Pastrami on Rye.” Those both sound good, but no matter what you try, don’t forget chips and a drink to round out the perfect deli experience.
Retro Wings & Things
Wingers is the perfect spot for casual dining in a retro atmosphere. Red and black décor is carried across the comfy booth seating and barstools to lock in the throwback diner vibe.
As referenced in their name, Wingers is popular for their high-quality wings and wide array of sauce options. There is the traditional BBQ, honey BBQ, buffalo, teriyaki, and lemon pepper – a tangy favorite.
Wingers’ mozzarella sticks and heaping servings of fries are staples, but the varied menu spans from to classic hamburgers to Italian beef, and even ventures into the Mediterranean with gyros. For something a little lighter, go ahead and try a Caesar salad. Remember to save a little room for one (or two) of their homemade chocolate chip and butter cookies!
A Classic and Beloved Hyde Park Dive
In operation since 1948, Woodlawn Tap is a classic Hyde Park dive bar. To those in the know, the bar is actually called Jimmy’s, named after the original owner who ran the joint for 50 years. Apart from its history, Woodlawn Tap is known as a great casual bar with reasonable prices on classic pub grub and drinks.
It’s a favorite for University of Chicago students looking to kick back and relax. On Sundays, they even have entertaining live jazz and blues performances. Woodlawn Tap is open from lunchtime until 2:00am every night, and Saturdays until 3:00am.
Make a pit stop at the ATM before heading in, since the bar is cash-only.
Woodlawn Tap Bar
Asian Fusion Meets Hyde Park
Yusho Hyde Park takes the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s street food scene into the heart of the South Side of Chicago. The baby sister of the award-winning Logan Square location, you’ll find the same dedication to the excitement and intrigue of Japanese cooking.
Steaming bowls of ramen and soft, savory steam buns pair with traditional Sake, American craft beers, and ever-changing cocktails to ensure a uniquely satisfying meal on each visit.
Yusho offers a daily lunch special, evening happy hour and bi-weekly ‘Bun Fights’, pitting the imaginations of local chefs and contributors against each other to create the most flavorful steam bun.
With vinyl playing all day and projections featuring the crazy worlds of Japanese comedy, tiny foods and anime, Yusho Hyde Park is an ideal place to try an old favorite or something new and delicious!
Frosty FroYo Creations
A neighborhood froyo favorite, ZBerry on 53rd Street offers Hyde Park a creative outlet through the artistic medium of frozen yogurt.
Start with just one of the five self-serve frozen yogurt flavors or the non-dairy sorbet, or better yet, swirl together a few. The peanut butter and cake batter varieties come highly recommended, and flavors rotate throughout the year allowing for delicious experimentation. Mix and match toppings from the selection of fresh fruits, candy pieces, mochi, gummies, cookies and more to crown your creation. Can’t decide on just a few? No worries — try them all and pay by the ounce.
To make a sunny summer’s day special, enjoy your frosty treat with friends around an outdoor table. Stop by in the autumn as well — ZBerry offers hot apple cider and five different ways to enjoy hot chocolate, including a non-dairy vegan variety.