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Cherry blossoms obstructed a waterfront view of a museum.
The Museum of Science and Industry is among Hyde Park’s treasures.
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Where to Eat in Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the most unique neighborhoods in Chicago

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The Museum of Science and Industry is among Hyde Park’s treasures.
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There’s much more to Hyde Park than its reputation of being the residence of former President Barack Obama as well as the home to the prestigious University of Chicago. It’s also a thriving restaurant community with plenty of culturally diverse offerings, enough to feed the more than 22,000 residents as well as others commuting to the South Side neighborhood.

What are the hot spots as well as classic places to dine in Hyde Park? They vary from old-school diner Valois to the award-winning, Southern-focused Virtue.

As of April 29, Chicago restaurants are permitted to serve customers indoors with a 50 percent maximum capacity per room, or 100 people — whichever is fewer. Regardless, the state requires reservations for both indoor and outdoor dining. However, this should not be taken as an endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Nella Pizza e Pasta

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1125 E 55th St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 643-0603
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One of two Hyde Park restaurants selected as a Michelin Bib Gourmand, the tire guide’s list that recognizes affordable and quality food, Nella Pizza e Pasta features Neapolitan pies in a casual atmosphere. Braised calamari and house-made pastas are other stars on the menu. 

2. Cedars Mediterranean - Takeout + Delivery

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1206 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 324-6227
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For almost 30 years, Cedars has fed its customers tasty Mediterranean fare. The cute, intimate setting makes for a great casual date destination, and the dining room is always lively. You’ll find classic Mediterranean eats here like crispy falafel, chicken shawarma, and lamb kebab, but also harissa-glazed chicken wings and ever-popular hummus that’s accompanied by mango amba and jalapeno roasted corn. 

3. Plein Air Cafe

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5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 966-7531
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You’ll find this unique student hangout on the campus of University of Chicago, right next door to the historic Robey House. Plein Air offers coffee, sandwiches, seasonal selections, and now wines by the bottle. It’s open for breakfast through the early evening with a gallery of revolving artwork serving as a great conversation starter. Menu favorites range from a jalapeno chicken bowl to the spinach royal pie that’s topped with a farm egg and cheddar. 

4. The Soul Shack

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1368 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 891-0126
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Down-home cooking that’s been modernized is the theme over at Soul Shack, situated directly across the street from Sophy Hotel. The restaurant’s inventive in the sense that classic dishes are turned up a notch with Southern flair. Particular of note are the signature soul rolls filled with macaroni and cheese, greens, and fried yams; jerked Cornish hens; and fried smothered chicken.

5. Virtue Restaurant

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1462 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 947-8831
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Chef Erick Williams did for Hyde Park’s dining scene the same that chefs Charlie Trotter and Grant Achatz did for Lincoln Park: He put it on the culinary map. Williams elevated the neighborhood with a chef-driven destination, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s cooking from his heart. Virtue pays homage to his mother, aunts, and grandmother with dishes he learned how to cook from them. Of course, they’ve been modernized, from his fried green tomatoes that have been inventively paired with shrimp and a special remoulade to blackened catfish that comes with barbecued carrots and Carolina gold rice.

6. Chant Restaurant In Hyde Park

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1509 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 324-1999
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A wealth of global dishes may be found on the menu at this popular gathering spot that also regularly hosts modern jazz bands and deejays (postponed until further notice). At Chant, you cannot go wrong whether you order from the small plates or big plates menu. Just some of the stars: lobster rangoon, turkey basil spring rolls, samba fried catfish over a bed of macaroni and cheese, and salmon BLT burger.  

7. La Petite Folie

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1504 E 55th St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 493-1394
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Tucked away in the Hyde Park Shopping Center is this classic French bistro that’s been around for more than 20 years. With its white tablecloths and slightly haughty air of authenticity, La Petite Folie is the neighborhood venue to visit to mark a special occasion. Recommended faves: smoked trout with warm potato salad, steak au poivre, and Basque chicken that’s accompanied by saffron rice. 

8. Ascione Bistro

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1500 E 55th St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 363-8161
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With all the college students frequenting Hyde Park, pizza is commonplace. But an upscale, Italian eatery? That’s new to these parts. With Ascione, residents finally have a contemporary option to add to their lists. The signature meatball, pastas, and gnocchi are all handmade, and there are even gluten-free offerings. One of Ascione’s best bets is the share-able veal shank, which arrives ossobuco style.

9. Ja' Grill Hyde Park

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1510 E Harper Ct
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 752-5375
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Ja’Grill has been thriving ever since it left Lincoln Park for Hyde Park several years ago. Here, they’ve gone all out with Jamaican décor and murals throughout the space. Of course, they brought the infamous Ja’ Rum Punch with them – and it’s more potent than ever. Food consists of classic Jamaican cuisine, from heaving plates of jerk chicken with rice and peas to a host of curry dishes (chicken, goat, red snapper) and hearty stews. 

10. Valois Restaurant

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1518 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 667-0647
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A local politicians’ hangout long before Obama’s favorite dishes made the menu, Valois is an unpretentious, no-frills cafeteria. If you go the Obama route, you’ll want to chow down on New York steak and eggs or a Mediterranean omelet made with spinach, tomatoes, and feta. Or, you can go for one of the many handheld lunch delights, such as the Southwest chicken wrap.

11. 14 Parish

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1644 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(312) 291-8379
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This Caribbean-inspired establishment embraces its theme without the usual kitsch. While there are a few nods to island living (mural of palm trees, various ceramic memorabilia, etc.), much of the focus at 14 Parish is on the food and beverage programs. Highlights are the sweet and spicy short rib, coconut curry shrimp, caramel rum cake, and extensive rum list. Get the Parish Punch of dark rum, tropical juices, pomegranate, and lime for a good buzz.

12. Sip and Savor 53rd

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5301 S Hyde Park Blvd
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 952-4532
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The Hyde Park location for Sip and Savor — only a minute stroll to Lake Michigan — is the glossiest to date. It’s bright and spacious with plenty of places to chill or use as a work-from-home station. The ultimate coffee lover will have so many decisions to make because choices include the classics (Americano, cappuccino, café au lait, etc.), plus lattes, mochas, and blended drinks. There are also smoothies and a host of tea selections for the non-coffee drinkers. 

1. Nella Pizza e Pasta

1125 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615

One of two Hyde Park restaurants selected as a Michelin Bib Gourmand, the tire guide’s list that recognizes affordable and quality food, Nella Pizza e Pasta features Neapolitan pies in a casual atmosphere. Braised calamari and house-made pastas are other stars on the menu. 

1125 E 55th St
Chicago, IL 60615

2. Cedars Mediterranean - Takeout + Delivery

1206 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

For almost 30 years, Cedars has fed its customers tasty Mediterranean fare. The cute, intimate setting makes for a great casual date destination, and the dining room is always lively. You’ll find classic Mediterranean eats here like crispy falafel, chicken shawarma, and lamb kebab, but also harissa-glazed chicken wings and ever-popular hummus that’s accompanied by mango amba and jalapeno roasted corn. 

1206 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

3. Plein Air Cafe

5751 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

You’ll find this unique student hangout on the campus of University of Chicago, right next door to the historic Robey House. Plein Air offers coffee, sandwiches, seasonal selections, and now wines by the bottle. It’s open for breakfast through the early evening with a gallery of revolving artwork serving as a great conversation starter. Menu favorites range from a jalapeno chicken bowl to the spinach royal pie that’s topped with a farm egg and cheddar. 

5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

4. The Soul Shack

1368 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

Down-home cooking that’s been modernized is the theme over at Soul Shack, situated directly across the street from Sophy Hotel. The restaurant’s inventive in the sense that classic dishes are turned up a notch with Southern flair. Particular of note are the signature soul rolls filled with macaroni and cheese, greens, and fried yams; jerked Cornish hens; and fried smothered chicken.

1368 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

5. Virtue Restaurant

1462 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

Chef Erick Williams did for Hyde Park’s dining scene the same that chefs Charlie Trotter and Grant Achatz did for Lincoln Park: He put it on the culinary map. Williams elevated the neighborhood with a chef-driven destination, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s cooking from his heart. Virtue pays homage to his mother, aunts, and grandmother with dishes he learned how to cook from them. Of course, they’ve been modernized, from his fried green tomatoes that have been inventively paired with shrimp and a special remoulade to blackened catfish that comes with barbecued carrots and Carolina gold rice.

1462 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

6. Chant Restaurant In Hyde Park

1509 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

A wealth of global dishes may be found on the menu at this popular gathering spot that also regularly hosts modern jazz bands and deejays (postponed until further notice). At Chant, you cannot go wrong whether you order from the small plates or big plates menu. Just some of the stars: lobster rangoon, turkey basil spring rolls, samba fried catfish over a bed of macaroni and cheese, and salmon BLT burger.  

1509 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

7. La Petite Folie

1504 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615

Tucked away in the Hyde Park Shopping Center is this classic French bistro that’s been around for more than 20 years. With its white tablecloths and slightly haughty air of authenticity, La Petite Folie is the neighborhood venue to visit to mark a special occasion. Recommended faves: smoked trout with warm potato salad, steak au poivre, and Basque chicken that’s accompanied by saffron rice. 

1504 E 55th St
Chicago, IL 60615

8. Ascione Bistro

1500 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615

With all the college students frequenting Hyde Park, pizza is commonplace. But an upscale, Italian eatery? That’s new to these parts. With Ascione, residents finally have a contemporary option to add to their lists. The signature meatball, pastas, and gnocchi are all handmade, and there are even gluten-free offerings. One of Ascione’s best bets is the share-able veal shank, which arrives ossobuco style.

1500 E 55th St
Chicago, IL 60615

9. Ja' Grill Hyde Park

1510 E Harper Ct, Chicago, IL 60615

Ja’Grill has been thriving ever since it left Lincoln Park for Hyde Park several years ago. Here, they’ve gone all out with Jamaican décor and murals throughout the space. Of course, they brought the infamous Ja’ Rum Punch with them – and it’s more potent than ever. Food consists of classic Jamaican cuisine, from heaving plates of jerk chicken with rice and peas to a host of curry dishes (chicken, goat, red snapper) and hearty stews. 

1510 E Harper Ct
Chicago, IL 60615

10. Valois Restaurant

1518 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

A local politicians’ hangout long before Obama’s favorite dishes made the menu, Valois is an unpretentious, no-frills cafeteria. If you go the Obama route, you’ll want to chow down on New York steak and eggs or a Mediterranean omelet made with spinach, tomatoes, and feta. Or, you can go for one of the many handheld lunch delights, such as the Southwest chicken wrap.

1518 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

11. 14 Parish

1644 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

This Caribbean-inspired establishment embraces its theme without the usual kitsch. While there are a few nods to island living (mural of palm trees, various ceramic memorabilia, etc.), much of the focus at 14 Parish is on the food and beverage programs. Highlights are the sweet and spicy short rib, coconut curry shrimp, caramel rum cake, and extensive rum list. Get the Parish Punch of dark rum, tropical juices, pomegranate, and lime for a good buzz.

1644 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

12. Sip and Savor 53rd

5301 S Hyde Park Blvd, Chicago, IL 60615

The Hyde Park location for Sip and Savor — only a minute stroll to Lake Michigan — is the glossiest to date. It’s bright and spacious with plenty of places to chill or use as a work-from-home station. The ultimate coffee lover will have so many decisions to make because choices include the classics (Americano, cappuccino, café au lait, etc.), plus lattes, mochas, and blended drinks. There are also smoothies and a host of tea selections for the non-coffee drinkers. 

5301 S Hyde Park Blvd
Chicago, IL 60615

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