"Hit or miss" would be a charitable way of describing Hyde Park's dining options. Use this guide to make your meals more of the former.
Homemade Pizza Co., 1546 East 55th Street » Craving pizza but feeling neither Dominos nor Tombstone? Create your own gourmet pie at this niche Chicago-area chain next door to Walgreens. They’ll assemble your personalized pizza with fresh ingredients to order, then wrap it up for you to take home and bake in your oven. You’ll get the added bonus of having your dorm kitchen smell like freshly baked crust One caveat: Pizza here is much pricier than typical delivery fare. (773) 493-2000
Hyde Park Gyros, 1368 East 53rd Street » The hygiene at this South Side dive leaves something to be desired, so if you're dying for a greasy-but-oh-so-delicious gyro, you’re probably better off ordering delivery. Some things are just better left unseen. The prices are unbeatable, though, with a Cyclops-sized gyro, a veritable mountain of fries, and a 16 oz. soda running you $5.65. Be sure to order some extra tzatziki to dip your fries in—it beats ketchup any day. (773) 947-8229
Istria Café, 1520 East 57th Street » The location under the Metra tracks is unfortunate, but this brightly colored coffee shop makes up for the setting with its delicious (and reasonably priced!) gelato. If you can get a table, Istria is a nice, quiet place to study. Just be prepared to fight for a spot. (773) 955-2556
Italian Fiesta Pizzeria, 1400 East 47th Street » Billed as “Obama’s Favorite Pizza,” the owners were flown to Washington, D.C. before the 2009 Inauguration to make pizza for the President. Italian Fiesta Pizzeria has some of the best thin crust pizza in Chicago, and although it’s located on 47th Street, a good walk from where most dorms and student apartments, they deliver throughout Hyde Park. Whole pizzas only, no slices. (773) 684-2222
Woodlawn Tap (Jimmy’s), 1172 East 55th Street » Jimmy’s doles out the typical burgers-and-brats bar food along with their liquor. The grilled Swiss is unmatched, we are told. Frankly, though, you’re probably not going to go to Jimmy’s for the food. If you’re under 21, you can’t get in, not even just to eat. (773) 643-5516
Jimmy John’s, 1519 E 55th St » Nothing stands out about this Jimmy John’s, except that it’s better than the Subway in Hutch. Like other Jimmy John’s, it has cheap, tasty sandwiches backed up by spotty service. According to the neon sign in the window, the shop offers “free smells,” which might be a plus. Best if you need a fast lunch. (773) 241–5190