Marooners’ Guide to Hidden Gems On and Around Campus

We asked our staff what their favorite places to eat, think, and be are. Here’s what they said.

By The Maroon Staff

Welcome to Hyde Park! After a year of remote learning, we miss the campus and the neighborhood as much as anyone. Getting to know a new place (or returning to an old one) might seem overwhelming, so we asked our staff about their favorite places to eat, work, and explore!

Bonjour Cafe Bakery

“I love to grab a coffee and pastry from Bonjour Café Bakery and sit on its delightful patio space. Tucked away near the Trader Joe’s on East 55th Street, the bakery has some of the most delightful morning rolls and croissants. All year round, I find it to be the perfect way to decompress on a weekend morning.”

— Alison Gill, Sports Editor

Eto’o Modern Asian Cuisine

“In the shadow of Shinju Sushi, Eto’o serves up some sexy food. Did I get yelled at by a random customer for talking too loudly? Yes. Does that event play back in my head every night before I go to bed? Yes. Yet I still go there at least once a month. It’s that good. Don’t pass it up.”

— Gage Gramlick, Head Viewpoints Editor

Foster Hall

“I love Foster Hall! It originally was a (really fancy) women’s dormitory and now houses faculty offices. Of the four former women’s dorms on the quad, it’s overall seen the least renovation (Kelly, Beecher, and Green Halls were gutted in the ’60s), and it’s quite lovely inside and out.”

— Gabi Garcia, Head Arts Editor

Café 53

“I’m always shocked when a student or alumnus tells me they’ve never been to Café 53. It’s perfect for coffee dates, grabbing lunch or dinner when you don’t have time to cook, and getting work done when you’re sick of your apartment and the library. They have great vegetarian and vegan options and a beautiful back patio to enjoy in the spring, summer, and fall.

-Ruby Rorty, Editor-in-Chief

Promontory Point

“Promontory Point is, hands down, the best place in Hyde Park. A man-made peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan at the 55th Street parallel, the Point is a great place to go for a swim, traverse our neck of the fantastic, 18-mile-long Lakefront Trail, or just enjoy the fresh air. In my experience, when school or work feel overwhelming, sitting next to one of the largest lakes in the world really helps put matters into perspective. (Especially at sunrise or sunset!)”

— Laura Gersony, News and Grey City Editor

57th Street Books

“57th Street Books is one of my favorite places to waste an hour. This cozier, less refined sister store to the Seminary Co-op sells more literary fiction options, as well as stationery and other knickknacks. I go for its discount shelf, where I’ve gotten hardcovers for $12 and built a bookshelf out of bestsellers from five years ago.”

— Kate Mabus, News Editor

Hutchinson Commons a.k.a. “Hutch”

“Offering abridged menus from a number of local restaurants, Hutchinson Commons, in the Reynolds Club—the big pointy building across the street from Bartlett Dining Hall—allows students to take a break from UChicago’s dining hall food. Hutch really shines on Wednesdays with its milkshakes. While they aren’t anything special, they’re only a dollar—and they can be paid for with Maroon Dollars.”

— Nikhil Jaiswal, Senior News Reporter