While UChicago is home to some fantastic on-campus dining (Bartlett fans represent!), the culinary options of Hyde Park at large shouldn’t be overlooked. With local standbys like the Med, Shinju Sushi, and Salonica, there are plenty of spots for students to grab a bite. Here’s my guide to food options in Hyde Park!
Valois: Located on 53rd Street, Valois is a cafeteria-style restaurant and staple of the community. It’s a great spot for a slice of pie and a cup of coffee, and they offer a nice discount if you show a UChicago ID. This cash-only establishment is also said to be one of former President (and former UChicago Law professor) Barack Obama’s favorite restaurants and features a menu of his favorite orders.
Medici: Better known by its nickname, the Med is an iconic part of the Hyde Park community. Dating back to 1962, it’s been a favorite of everyone from the Chicago Seven to Elena Kagan! I can never stop by without having one of their delicious milkshakes—I’m a particular fan of their Mexicana shake, featuring Mexican chocolate and cinnamon.
Shinju Sushi: Another 53rd Street standby, Shinju is known for its all-you-can-eat deals and low prices. Though it’s best known for its sushi, you can also grab such entrees as ramen, udon, or a bento box. It’s been home to plenty of late night revelry and is a pleasantly accessible option.
Ellis Ave Food Trucks: During a busy day of classes, it can be tough to fit in a run to the dining hall. Fortunately, loads of food trucks park along Ellis Avenue (which runs parallel to the west side of the main quad) every day of the week. There are few greater joys than stretching out on the quad with close friends next to you, the sun on your face, and a belly full of good food.
Salonica: Found on 57th Street, Salonica is a tasty Greek diner with an expansive menu. I’ll often head over with friends for a lazy breakfast before crossing the street to browse around Powell’s Books. Salonica is one of my favorite Hyde Park restaurants, and I can’t wait to get back as soon as possible!
Of course, this list is only the tip of the iceberg! No matter your tastes, it's easy to track down a restaurant that’ll sate your cravings and help you support local businesses in Hyde Park at the same time!