Food from these places might actually be less nutritious than ramen, but they are loved all the same.
809 East 63rd Street
A historic diner that has been owned and operated by the same family (no relation to the mayoral contenders) since the 1920s. Stop in and ask for Mike, the owner…. He’ll hook you up. Excellent Midwestern diner fare; similar to Valois but with more options. For South Campus residents, this is your break from the horror of Subway. Dinners run less than $10 and include an entrée, two sides, and cornbread.
Harold’s Chicken Shack #14
Fried chicken, Southern, casual
1208 East 53rd Street
Excellent fried chicken for Eisenhower-era prices. Go on Sunday through Wednesday to take advantage of the half-dark special—half a fried chicken for $3.51…$3.19 if UChicago ID is shown. Location next to Kimbark Liquors and a laundromat makes for choice one-stop shopping.
5220 South Lake Park Avenue
Perhaps the slowest service out of any McDonald’s anywhere, but that’s Hyde Park. Like Harold’s, Donald’s House bails you out when you’re eating alone and have no more than four dollars to spend on Saturday night dinner. Don’t be sad. Have a sack of McDoubles.
American, breakfast, casual
1518 East 53rd Street
Officially endorsed by Obama, but whatever. The draw here is excellent and heavy breakfast food that is not for the faint of heart, pun intended. Weekend revelers and Reg dwellers alike eat here at 5:30 a.m., for obvious reasons.
Impress your date.
1462 East 53rd Street
Trendy and chic. Ideal for a third date, or if you don’t like money.
6100 South Blackstone Avenue
Within the bowels of the UChicago steam plant, which keeps your dorm warm, is B’Gabs…a vegan eatery which will certainly warm your insides. Food is high-quality and innovative, as exemplified by the vegan tacos.
1601 East 55th Street
Good for sushi when the point is to enjoy it, rather than to eat as much as you possibly can. Attentive wait staff and pleasant decor combine to make this a viable choice for a date.
Sweets, ice cream
5226 South Harper Avenue
Once you get past the fact that you paid five dollars for an ice cream cone, it’s all gravy. Cute store layout combined with a location right next to Harper Theater (5238 South Harper Avenue) makes an excellent movie/ice cream date easy to finagle.
1649 East 55th Street
The best among the strip of three or four Thai restaurants on 55th Street. Status quo: delicious. This is how food should taste.
Bring a group or friends, or just your B.A. draft. These restaurants work in any scenario.
Diner, late night
2441 North Lincoln Avenue
Service and food quality are somewhat inconsistent, but being open 24 hours is a major credit in a neighborhood where everything seems to shut down at 9 p.m. Have Greek fries and a choc milkshake.
5311 South Blackstone Avenue
As Edwardo’s on 57th officially hit the bricks lastsSpring, Giordano’s is now the only deep-dish pizza game in HP. Eating here means eating an absurd amount of cheese, so bring/prepare to drink a gallon of water over the course of your evening.
1236 East 53rd Street
Leona’s serves solid lunches and dinners which revolve around the pizza/salad/sandwich train. Drawback is inconsistent service; enjoyment of dining here depends on frame of mind (*Is* that plate of pasta bigger than your head?!)
1327 East 57th Street
Eating here is a no-risk proposition. Take your boss, a date, or your dad out to lunch at the Med and he or she will certainly find something enjoyable. Personal-size $10 deep-dish pizzas are a great idea, and are an even better idea during a mid-winter Reg binge.
1440 East 57th Street
Solid diner fare at reasonable prices. Its location, a block west of Stony Island Avenue, also makes Salonica a desirable stop before leaving Hyde Park via the Metra or the #6 bus.
1375 East 53rd Street
Ohhhh, shit. Get your group of hungry college students together for all-you-can-eat sushi, which runs about $22 a head after tax. The food quality is decent.
Produce and Grocery
Fruits, vegetables, specialty
1635 East 55th Street
The riddle of why Hyde Park can churn out Nobel laureates like a juggernaut but is foreign to a decent apple has been mostly solved by Open Produce. Decent selection of fruits and vegetables year-round, plus they let you use their industrial coffee grinder for free, even if you bring beans you didn’t buy there.
Hyde Park Produce
1226 East 53rd Street
Beats the price of prepared food by a wide margin. Produce selection and closer-to-campus location are marginally better than rival Treasure Island (1526 East 55th Street).
Greater South Side
Beyond the gown.
8251 South Cottage Grove Avenue
Makes both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme look scrub. Consider purchasing the Big Dat, a glazed doughnut four times the size of any other on the market, for about $3.20. Dat also shares building space with a good barbecue joint if a war declaration on the intestines is imminent.
311 East 75th Street
Unique among South Side barbecue, Lem’s slathers its offerings in a delicious vinegar-infused sauce. Get the rib tips.
Bartlett Dining Commons
5640 South University Avenue
Verbatim, from Yelp: “Judging by the number of people who frequent Bartlett Dining Hall, it seems to be a very popular dining destination especially popular among the hip, young crowd…. Overall, the first couple meals here are not bad, but the next hundred or so tend to feel somewhat repetitive.”
Kimbark Beverage Shoppe
1214 East 53rd Street
Wine has calories, right?