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September 19, 2010

Neighborhood Dining Part Seven

"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.

Salonica, 1440 East 57th Street » If you need an omelet in two minutes or less, Salonica is the place for you. Breakfast is served all day, which is always a good option, although they make a mean moussaka. To be fair, it’s pretty typical Greek diner food, but it sure hits the spot. We only wish they were open all night. Cash only. (773) 752-3899

Sammy’s Touch, 5659 South Cottage Grove Avenue » The outside reads “Beef Gyros Cigarettes,” which pretty much says it all. Despite the incredibly greasy menu, the place is full of lab coats from the adjacent U of C hospitals. Don’t they know this food will clog their arteries? But, oh, what a delicious way to die. (773) 288-2645

Seoul Corea, 1603 East 55th Street » Formerly known as Café Corea, Seoul is a tad pricier than other restaurants on 55th Street. The chef cooks up reasonably authentic Korean cuisine, which means spicy. If you’re looking for a quiet place to dine, there are only four tables here, making it one of the coziest restaurants in Hyde Park. (773) 288-1795

Seven Ten Lanes, 1055 East 55th St » If Jimmy’s and Bar Louie had a love child, it would be Seven Ten Lanes. It’s your typical bar and grill, only with a small bowling alley on one side and pool tables on the other end. The prices aren’t terrible, and it’s open late every night. For those two weeks of good weather during the school year, Seven Ten Lanes is also one of the few restaurants in Hyde Park that features outdoor seating. (773) 347-2695

Siam Restaurant, 1639 East 55th Street » The most overlooked of the establishments on Thai Row, Siam gets a bum rap. Try to find someone who has actually eaten there. Hard, right? Which is a shame, especially if you’re a fan of flavorful curry and green tea milkshakes. (773) 324-9296

The Sit Down Cafe & Sushi Bar, 1312 East 53rd Street » From the marvelous folks who brought you Hyde Park Produce comes this odd hybrid of a restaurant: part sushi bar, part coffee shop, part diner. If you’re ever in the mood for a smoothie, a dragon roll, and a club sandwich, the Sit Down is equipped to handle your cravings. It recently acquired a liquor license, making it a nice spot to take the ’rents or a date. (773) 324-3700

Shinju Sushi, 1375 East 53rd Street » Hyde Park has an all-you-can-eat sushi joint?! The end may be nigh. In that case, you should hit up their $20 lunch and order as much nigiri as your broke college-student tummy can hold. Just make sure not to order more than you can plausibly finish—they charge you for any pieces left on your plate. (773) 966-6669

The Snail Thai Cuisine, 1649 East 55th Street » Even though the Thai restaurants that line 55th Street are almost indistinguishable, students show a marked, mysterious preference for the Snail. Maybe it’s the rice served in silver-colored tureens? Maybe the complimentary fried noodles at the beginning of a meal? In any case, love it or hate it, it’s pretty darn similar to its neighboring rivals. (773) 667-5423

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