As you progress through your first year in college, you might crave a break from the dining hall food every now and then. Below is a list of restaurants in Hyde Park recommended by upperclassmen. Included are suggestions from the Foodie app, an app created by recent UChicago graduates that autonomously crowdsources and analyzes ratings from publicly available restaurant reviews.
Salonica is a local breakfast favorite located on 57th Street. They serve large portions and have reasonably priced diner-style Greek food. The place is usually is bustling, but always cozy. Popular dishes include their gyro sandwich and French toast. Foodie suggests French toast (9 ratings, 4.1 stars) and skirt steak and eggs (3 ratings, 4.3 stars). Come by to relax after a busy week! 1440 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
Known as Barack Obama’s favorite breakfast place in Hyde Park, this cafeteria-style diner gathers huge crowds on weekends. Valois cooks food fresh in front of you and is reasonably priced. Second-year Emily Schmitt recommends the Mediterranean Special, and second-year Matthew Pinna recommends the hamburger steak and a biscuit with a chef salad. Popular dishes on Foodie include the steak and eggs (4.7 stars, 19 ratings) and the veggie and cheese omelet (3 ratings, 5 stars). 1518 East 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615, 5:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Ah, the famed Chicago deep-dish pizza. One of Chicago’s oldest pizzerias, it offers favorites like the Chicago Classic and the Special. Or you can go rogue with Giordano’s customizable deep-dish option! Each deep-dish takes around 45 minutes to bake. Foodie recommends the Giordano’s sampler (48 ratings, 3.8 stars). 5311 South Blackstone Avenue, Chicago, IL 60615, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. (opens at noon on Sundays).
Harold’s Chicken Shack
This Chicago classic is bound to fill your chicken wing hankerings. A student favorite for celebrations or simply fuel for an all-nighter, some of its best options are the Chicken Bucket and the Wing Dinner. Favorite dishes are the hot sauce (24 ratings, 4.1 stars), and BBQ sauce (10 ratings, 4.0 stars). 1208 East 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615, 10 a.m.–11 p.m. (hours vary)
Nando’s Peri Peri
Another spot serving many chicken varieties, this casual eatery offers favorite dishes like the Peri Peri Chicken and the Chicken Breast Pita. Fourth-year Shannon Sheu recommends its corn on the cob and lemonade. Foodie recommends the chicken “burger” (3 ratings, 4.3 stars). 1447 East 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday)
Native Foods Cafe
Looking for a place with good vegan food? Native Foods Cafe serves a diverse range of plant-based and sustainable dishes. Second-year Sydney Jackson recommends the “chicken” & waffles and the jalepeño burger, while second-year Anna Whitney recommends the BBQ burger. Foodie suggests the peanut butter parfait (4 ratings, 4.5 stars) and the chicken, bacon & avocado club (1 rating, 5 stars). Note that Valois only accepts cash.1518 East Harper Court, Chicago, IL 60615, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Serving fresh, reasonably priced Italian food with a stellar European ambience, Pizza Capri is an experience for anyone looking to break out of monotony. Popular dishes here include the BBQ Blast and Veggie Twist pizzas. Foodie suggests tiramisu (3 ratings, 4.7 stars), tequila lime chicken pasta (6 ratings, 4.3 stars) and Thai pie (2 ratings, 4 stars). 1501 East 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Do you like to be surprised by your food? If so, try out this Indian-Asian fusion cuisine. The restaurant is quirky and eclectic and features live music on the weekends. Special dishes include the Chant Pad Thai, Crazy Cashew Chicken and the Drunken Noodles. Foodie suggests the Lobster Rangoon (6 ratings, 4.3 stars) and fried rice (11 ratings, 4.3 stars). 1509 East 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615, 11:30 a.m.–midnight (hours vary)
If you’re in the mood for Senegalese food, Gorée Cuisine’s got you covered. With a variety of seafood and vegetable offerings, and an elegant atmosphere, Goree is great to visit with friends or family. Third-year Felix Lecocq recommends the Dibi chicken or the House Tiebu Dejun. Popular dishes on Foodie include the Djolof Rice (2 ratings, 4.5 stars) and Yassa Shrimp Lunch (3 ratings, 4.3 stars). 1126 East 47th Street, Chicago, IL 60653, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. (hours vary)
Kikuya Japanese Restaurant
Kikuya Japanese Restaurant serves authentic Japanese food and is famous for its fresh sushi and Gyoza. Second-year Pallavi Anand recommends the Crunchy Maki and fourth-year Shannon Sheu likes the Age Dashi Tofu, Katsu Don, Sukiyaki Don, and the side salad. Kikuya include the Curry noodle (spicy) (6 ratings,4.5 stars) and the Beef noodle (4 ratings, 4.8 stars). Second-year Jon Angel recommends the Pad See Eu. 1601 East 55th Street, Chicago, IL 60615, noon–9:30 p.m. (hours vary)
Noodles Etc. serves a diverse range of affordable Asian food with a minimalist decor. Special dishes are the Crab Rangoon and Gyozas. Second-year Jon Angel recommends the Pad Se-eu. Foodie suggests the Red Curry (9 ratings, 4.6 stars), Curry Noodle (spicy) (6 ratings, 4.5 stars), Pancit (12 ratings, 4.1 stars). 1333 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. (hours vary)
Serving fresh and creative versions of American, Italian, and Belgian Food, Friistyle is a new neighborhood eatery that has quickly gained fame. It is known for its inventive take on fries. Second-year Ty Heard highly recommends the Wing Frites. 5059 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60615, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (hours vary, closed on Monday and Tuesday)
Café Corea serves and delivers authentic Korean food. Special dishes from here are their Jjigae and Bulgogi. Third-year Qingfeng Chai recommends the Beef Bibimbap. 1603 East 55th Street, Chicago, IL 60615, 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m., closed on Sundays
If you’re looking for an elegant place to take your parents for brunch or dinner, the Promontory is the place to go. It offers American and Italian food and has a bar and with live music, shows, and dancing. Special dishes include the albacore tuna and key lime posset. 5311 South Lake Park Avenue W, Chicago, IL 60615, 5–11 p.m. (hours vary)
Medici, nicknamed “the Med,” is a very popular with students. Although priced on the higher end, it has great milkshakes and pizzas. Fourth-year Shannon Sheu recommends trying the garlic bread appetizer and the fruit tart. Foodie suggests the ice cream (15 ratings, 4.2 stars), Mexicana Hot Chocolate (21 ratings, 4.0 stars) and Strawberry Lemonade (11 ratings, 4.0 stars). 1327 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. (open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday)
Piccolo Mondo is another restaurant you can take your parents for a meal. It is a fine dining experience that serves fresh Italian food. Second-year Robert Belin recommends any of their pastas. Popular on Foodie are the Penne Con Salisicco (3 ratings, 4.7 stars) and Queso de Cabra con Tomato (2 ratings, 5.0 stars). 1642 East 56th Street #1, Chicago, IL 60637, 11:30 a.m.–8:45 p.m. (open until 9:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday)
If you’re looking for a casual place to do homework while eating fresh food, Café 53 is the place to go. With great tasting coffee and crisp sandwiches, it is a good place to go with your friends. Popular on Foodie are the Sumac Chicken Sandwich (13 ratings, 4.9 stars), Vegan Garlic Chicken (4 ratings, 4.8 ratings) and Garlic Chicken Sandwich (8 ratings, 5.0 stars). 1369 East 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. (open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday)
The Foodie app launches to UChicago students in October. Join the waiting list for the Foodie app at www.thefoodieapp.com.