Be it because of the influence of the world renowned University of Chicago or the complicated history of the South Side leading to changing waves of influence, there are few neighborhoods in Chicago with a restaurant scene as varied as Hyde Park‘s. From modest to opulent, there’s a lot to choose from. Here’s a list of our favorites.
Known as simply ‘the Med’ to locals, this two-building operation features a restaurant, deli, and bakery that provide a mixture of ways to experience delicious American fare. Sit down for a meal at the Medici on 57th restaurant first so that, in addition to downing one of the delicious milkshakes, you can take in the original art decorating the dining area, from a stone gargoyle gobbling a burger, to an elevated statue rotating so slowly you won’t realize it until it’s staring right at you.
From wagyu steak to sweet beignets, any meal at The Promontory will leave you feeling full and spoiled. The menu includes items inspired by the surrounding neighborhood, including a Hyde Park colada and the Point breakfast, named after the nearby park. This is more than just a restaurant, though; the Promontory also features a bar and music venue that are each worth a visit, as well.
Don’t let the name fool you! Rajun Cajun is a no-frills Indian restaurant that offers the best curry and samosas on the South Side. Its menu has all your favorites, including Tandoori chicken and a variety of curries; all at affordable prices, so you can find your favorite without breaking the bank. Add in the Southern standards like corn muffins, collard greens, and mac and cheese, and you’ll find Rajun Cajun offers the ultimate comfort food.
Café Corea has only a handful of small tables and a menu full of traditional Korean cuisine. Not that familiar with this kind of fare? Don’t worry, Café Corea offers a casual dining experience that makes it easy to relax and try something new and delicious. Order a few dishes for the table, so you can try as much as possible.
High quality traditional French food is a real treasure outside of France, so you might be surprised to find this Michelin Guide restaurant in a neighborhood dominated by college students. La Petite Folie is the real deal when it comes to authentic French food, with full lunch and dinner menus in addition to a prix fixe option. Your meal is guaranteed to not only be delicious, but beautiful, as well.
This cafeteria style restaurant is a Hyde Park institution with legendary breakfast service. Don’t let the plastic trays at Valois fool you; many entrées are made to order. Murals of the neighborhood and city cover the restaurant’s walls, and the mixture of neighborhood residents and college students let you know you’ve stumbled upon something off the tourist track.
This café and sushi bar is the perfect spot when your group can’t agree on a single food style. The Sit Down offers an eclectic array of options, from Italian bruschetta and pizzas to a wide variety of sushi rolls and platters. The café is a great place for both work (with wi-fi available during lunch) and fun (with drink specials most nights).
This restaurant has a sleek modern design that’s paired with a menu full of traditional Mediterranean fare. At Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen you’ll leave full even after ordering a lighter meal option, with pita sandwiches nearly bursting with spicy cauliflower or fresh falafel. Just make sure you end every meal with a couple pieces of baklava. What’s more, this BYOB favorite is just two doors down from local liquor store Kimbark Beverage Shoppe.
In a neighborhood full of Thai restaurants, it can be hard to know which place is the best. Luckily, Snail Thai is so good it makes the choice easy. This casual café offers your favorite noodle dishes and curries in addition to some sweet bubble teas. Even if you can’t make it to the restaurant, you can enjoy the recipes at home with Snail Thai’s new cooking channel on YouTube.
This reimagined dumplings spot may be new to the neighborhood, but it’s already making its mark on Hyde Park residents. Packed has an inventive seasonal menu that’s perfect for anyone looking for food made with farm-fresh ingredients. It offers a light but flavorful dining experience, and it’s sure to develop into a restaurant that can’t be beat.
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