There are so many culinary destinations on 53rd, it’s hard to keep track of them all! Below I’ve listed some of the culinary destinations I frequent most often.
Part III: On or Near 53rd
Harold’s: 1208 E 53rd Street
The best fried chicken hands-down, Harold’s is a spot that you must try during your first quarter at UChicago. With a student discount and specials throughout the week, Harold’s is perfect for a college student who just wants good, cheap food.
Favorite order: 8-piece dark bucket special, smothered in mild sauce
Shinju Sushi: 1462 E 53rd Street
Shinju offers a wide selection of delicious Japanese food, but the real reason to go here is for all-you-can-eat sushi for only 20 bucks.
Favorite Order: Godzilla maki, all-you-can-eat style
Native Foods: 1518 East Harper Court
In a city renowned for hot dogs and other meat dishes, Native Foods is a vegan’s dream nestled into the south side. Featuring dishes like vegan chicken wings and the rockin’ Moroccan Earth Bowl, you won’t even miss the meat (but if you do, Five Guys Burgers and Fries is just a few feet away).
Favorite Order: Avocado Crunch Wrap and Native Chicken wings
Giordano’s: 5311 S Blackstone Ave
Chicago’s original deep-dish pizza. No explanation needed.
Favorite Order: Special stuffed crust pizza (sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions)
Valois: 1518 E 53rd St
Valois is Obama’s favorite restaurant (which he has been known to frequent on occasion!). This cafeteria-style diner serves breakfast all day and other home-cooked specials like chicken pot pie and mac & cheese. Make sure you bring cash, and flash your ID for a student discount!
Favorite order: Any style omelette with hash browns. Check out Obama’s favorites, marked on a special menu.
The Promontory: 5311 S Lake Park Ave
Hearth to table food with decadent dishes like grilled gulf prawns, beignets, and gourmet burgers, all alongside live music almost every night! Its intimate atmosphere makes the Promontory the perfect place for a casual brunch with friends or a night out with someone special.
Favorite order: Slagel Farm lamb burger with an added egg
Clarke’s: 1447 E 53rd St
In the style of a traditional, 1950s-style diner, Clarke’s is open 24/7 and serves up everything from breakfast to burgers and desserts! Head there after a game of midnight soccer, or for celebratory waffles after finishing your last final.
Favorite Order: Any and everything, as long as it’s after midnight!