I am moving to Hyde Park in August and coming for a visit next week. Does anyone have any suggestions for good places to eat? I get the impression that it's not the best place to live entertainment-wise, but will be in school and want to be close. Thanks!
"I get the impression that it's not the best place to live entertainment-wise"
True enough, but things are looking up with the opening of the New Checkerboard Lounge near Harper Court. Otherwise, most of the entertainment possibilities are university connected, altho Doc Films is one of the best university film societies in the country. But you'll probably be too busy studying, anyway . . .
For eating, control + F + Hyde Park: you should find plenty of suggestions. For openers, tho, you might want to stop by at the Medici (on 57th St.). Respectable hamburgers, salads, and a good intro to deep-dish pan pizza (try the spinach and goat cheese).
Most people can also find some Thai food to their liking in Hyde Park. My personal preference is The Snail. The food is superior to that of the other Thai places on 55th Street in my estimation (some of the other spots have some pretty gloppy sauces), and Marisa and Chom (the owners) make the place so warm and friendly. I recommend the chicken and rice soup for when you're sick, too. It's packed with ginger.
Passable Mexican can be found at Maravillas (delivery is sometimes a pain, though; they often get your order wrong, so I'd recommend going there when you're in the mood). Also in Harper Court are Dixie Kitchen (fried green tomatoes and baby catfish - yum!) and Calypso Cafe (plaintain chips and most of the entrees are great).
Harold's on 53rd in Kimbark Plaza has awesome fried chicken, and Bonjour Bakery in the Co-op plaza is a delightful french bakery.
I'd stay away from any of the chinese places, but otherwise, have fun exploring! There's also middle eastern, indian, and a couple of Italian places (Pizza Capri over Piccolo Mondo for me).
re: Mike McElliott
Hyde Park is not packed with eating establishments like on the North Side, but there are few notables. To start with, Hyde Park is home to two of the best bakeries in the whole city. One is the Medici Bakery on 57th Street. They make great breads, especially their cinnamon raisin, their small and large ciabattas, and their basic white. The other is Bon Jour. I've never had their coffee, but their morning rolls, rugala, and cakes are amazing. Very buttery but not greasy. (For the greasy--but still good!--pasteries, go to the Medici.) Bon Jour takes orders for special cakes around the holidays. Go for their sweets, because their breads are okay but not amazing.
While other places in the neighborhood are worth trying (and here I have to disagree with the tip about Thai food in Hyde Park--those aren't the places worth exploring), like Dixie Kitchen and Cedar's, it is the larger South Side deserving of your exploratory dining attentions. Franco's in Bridgeport, BJ's in Chatham, a number of notable joints in Chinatown, Mabenka out by Ford City, etc.
Having started a new job at UCH, I too, am on the quest for good food in Hyde Park. BonJour is truly fantastic and the rugala are divine! Also, I highly recommend Cedars for Lebanese fare - service is excellent. Next door is a liquor store that has a decent selection of wine. I heard great things about the cheap thai food, i.e Snail, but haven't ventured there yet.
There are a wide variety of Thai places in Hyde Park, none remarkable, but most are good and all are cheap. My favorite is Snail (55th St.), but Thai Twee (53rd St.), Siam (55th St.) and Noodles, Etc. (57th St.) are all decent.
Other Places to go:
- The Medici!!! I think SmithClay was thinking of the Mexican Milkshake at Medici, which is really good. The Medici is not haute cuisine, but its fun and it does its thing well.
- Edwardo's and Giordano's each have an outpost in Hyde Park.
- I second the recs for Cedars, Pizza Capri, and Calypso. I went to all of them on a regular basis when I lived there.
In general the service at restaurants in Hyde Park leaves a lot to be desired, but it is particularly bad at Dixie Kitchen (the food is good though), and Mellow Yellow (don't even bother).
Also Orly's (55th and Hyde Park Blvd.) just opened a bakery. I haven't been, but I've heard its good.
Actually, I was at Orly's last night for dinner (for the first time). They have a massive dinner menu that includes everything from Chinese to Mexican, which was understandably overwhelming. While my meal was fine (service a bit slow, but fine by Hyde Park standards), I'd suggest going for breakfast.
The owner came by and brought our table some fresh baked goods from the bakery, which was thoughtful. The banana bread with chocolate chips was great.
I regularly get the Mexicana milkshake at the Med. Last December I remember getting some type of coffee drink with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. I think it was just one of those drinks that appears and disappears on the chalkboard.
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