Chicago/Hyde Park

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States Illinois Chicago Chicago/Hyde Park

edit

Introduction

Hyde Park is one of the most famous and quirky neighborhoods in Chicago. Many famous and important events happened in Hyde Parks short history. It is the location of the first sustained nuclear reaction, first Heisman trophy, the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder, the 1893 World’s Fair, home of the University of Chicago with over 80 Nobel Laureates, the Museum of Science and Industry, stunning parks and lakefront views, along with the birthplace of improv comedy and the first issue of Playboy magazine. Lastly in 2008 the citizens of the United States elected Barack Obama, a local Hyde Parker, to be president of the USA!

Hyde Park also has a beautiful location in the city, bordered by Jackson Park to the south, Washington Park to the west, Lake Michigan to the east and the stunning mansions of Kenwood to the north. On a summer day the beaches offer an excellent place to swim and the parks have lovely walks. Because of the many parks and lagoons Hyde Park is a major stop over for many migratory birds. During the wintertime it is even possible to spot swans on the lake at 57th Street Beach.

Neighbourhoods

Kenwood developed into one of Chicago's most upscale suburbs after the Civil War, and its Kenwood Historic District between Cottage Grove & Blackstone and 47th & 51st is a treasure trove of mansions representing virtually all the fashionable architectural styles of the late 19th century (including an excellent collection of early houses by Frank Lloyd Wright). The mansion owners are of interest too — their ranks include Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, the Obama family, and the city's oldest Jewish community. Former residents range from the infamous Leopold and Loeb, Muhammad Ali, the fictional Dalton family from Native Son, and the founder of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad.

The central Hyde Park neighborhood is the biggest draw, dominated by the rather awesome presence of the University of Chicago. During the 1950s, desegregation fueled extensive "white flight" from this area, transforming the racial make up of nearly the entire South Side from all white to all black. Here, however, the University of Chicago leveraged its financial power, political clout, and social engineering brainpower to muscle through the city's first "urban renewal" project. This project, unflatteringly referred to by many neighborhood residents as "urban removal," used eminent domain powers to demolish urban housing developments, to remove nightclubs and bars, and to make the neighborhood more suburban in character (and to decimate the commercial strip on 55th St west of the railroad).

The project was paternalist, classist, and evicted many if not the majority of the neighborhood's low-income residents, but the end result of the University-driven "renewal" project is that Hyde Park is to this day one of the nation's most durable mixed-income, mixed-race neighborhoods, and is home to one of the only significant white communities for miles on the South Side. Hyde Park maintains its unique characteristics in its unique isolation from the rest of the city: no convenient L service, giant Washington Park to the west, frigid-in-the-winter Midway Plaisance to the south, and persistent redevelopment projects pushing to the north through Kenwood and to the south through Woodlawn.

Today, Hyde Park is full of amazing bookstores, leafy streets, the siren song of cheap greasy food, great museums, and more Nobel Prizes per square kilometer than any other neighborhood on Earth.

Woodlawn, to the south of the Midway, south of the University, is characterized by urban blight. With high levels of violent crime (especially by the 63rd St Green Line stops), blocks worth of vacant lots, and lacking in commercial activity, Woodlawn is well off the beaten tourist path. But Jackson Park (as well as the areas of Woodlawn close to the park) is perfectly safe, and a beautiful place for a walk. 63rd St still has a few remaining businesses from its salad days, but is not a great place to hang out after dark.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Museums

Hyde Park is home to several stunning museums including the Museum of Science and Industry, Oriental Institute of Chicago, Smart Museum, Robie House and DuSable Museum of African American History. For more information read the article: Museums in Chicago

Parks

Wooden Island, Jackson Park

Wooden Island, Jackson Park

© Lavafalls

Jackson Park is a stellar park along the lake just south of the Museum of Science and Industry. The park was originally the location of the 1893 World’s Fair. The fair grounds were covered in a white city that looked like ancient Rome. The only building that was meant to be permanent is the current Museum of Science and Industry. The only other existing feature of the park that was around during the fair is the Wooden Island located in the logon. The Japanese Gardens of the fair has been restored and is open to the public. The park has great biking trails and is an excellent green space. If going to the Museum of Science and Industry there is free parking located right by the Henry Crown Space Center, which is also an entrance to the museum. Exit Lake Shore Drive just beyond 57th Street exit, to go behind the museum to the marina and free parking.

The other famous event that involved the park was the gruesome Leopold and Loeb murder of 1924. The two bright young men believed they were Nietzschean supermen and decided they would commit the perfect crime. After kidnapping their own cousin they killed the child and placed the body in Indiana. When the body was found the two men claimed to be golfing in Jackson Park. The only reason why the two men were convicted was because Leopold left his glasses at the scene of the crime. The glasses had a special hinge on them that only three men had on their glasses in all of Chicago. The two men confessed and were sentenced to life in prison after a famous tail in which they were defended by Clarence Darrow.

Washington Park is a nice park located on the western edge of the neighborhood and bordered by the CTA Green Line Train. This park offers a great green space and has nice Biking trails plus playing fields for baseball, soccer, cricket and ultimate frisbee. More soccer and football fields are located in Jackson Park. If Chicago is awarded the 2016 Olympic Games the main stadium will be built in Washington Park and several other events will be held in the park. Washington Park can get dangerous at night and is recommended to avoid it late at night.

The Promontory Point, called The Point by locals, this park is a manmade peninsula. The open green space in the center of the peninsula is used for sports and picnics. There are several fire rings located around the edge with great Lake Michigan views, this one of the few parks in the city where people can have open fires in the fire rings. The park offers great views of downtown from the south on a clear day. Lastly there is a very popular illegal beach off the rocks on the north side of The Point. Remember, although many people swim here, it is illegal; there are no lifeguards and the police can give you a ticket.

Beaches

There are several nice beaches in and near Hyde Park. Unlike the north side beaches most of these beaches have plenty of free parking and don't get as crowded on the weekends. Also many of these beaches will rent boats and other stuff for a small fee.

  • 57th Street Beach is a nice beach located right next the Museum of Science and Industry.
  • 63rd Street Beach is at the southern end of Jackson Park and is a great beach with a nicely rebuilt beach house.
  • South Shore Cultural Center is a restored country club that is now a public beach and located at 7059 South Shore Drive. This is a great beach and the best way to reach it is to drive south on Lake Shore Drive until you see the large gates. There is a large free parking lot. Also just south of the beach is a rebuilt marshland with elevated walkways. This beach is actually in the neighborhood of South Shore just south of Jackson Park

Houses

There are many lovely houses in the Hyde Park Kenwood area. This is mainly due to the face that in the 19th century many of Chicago's great industrialists lived in Hyde Park or Kenwood. The best way to enjoy them is to drive or bike around southern Kenwood, which is bordered by Hyde Park blvd to the south, 47th Street to the north, Cottage Grove to the west and Lake Park blvd to the east.

Shopping

There is some street shopping along 53rd street between Lake Park and Kenwood. Two medium sized out door shopping centers in Hyde Park are located in this area.

  • Harper Court is a small shopping center with many restaurants on 53rd street.
  • Hyde Park Shopping Center is a small shopping center with a full grocery store, toy store, several restaurants, hardware store, bike shop, bakery, post office, office depot and a Walgreens with a pharmacy at the intersection of 55th street and Lake Park.

Other Sights and Activities

  • The Start and Finish for the First Car Race in America, go see the plaque that honors were the first automobile race was held in America on Thanksgiving Day November 28th, 1895. The race started in Hyde Park went to Evanston and then back again. The location is roughly at the corner of Stony Island and 60th Street towards the park and near the southwest corner of the circle garden.
  • Barack Obama's House is located on the corner of Hyde Park Blvd and Greenwood across the street from KAM Synagogue. When the president is home security is very tight and nobody is allowed to walk on the street. Depending on the security issues at the time it is sometimes possible to walk up Hyde Park Blvd to the house, it is not possible to drive unless you live on the block.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

  • 57th Street Art Fair is one of the largest art fairs in Chicago, oldest in the world and was originally started in 1948. Hundreds of artists from all over the world partacipating in this juried art fair. The smaller Hyde Park Community Art Fair blends in with the 57th street Art Fair. The Hyde Park Community Art Fair features local artists from the Chicago area. Both art fairs are run at the same time each year during the first weekend in June. The fair is located at 57th street and Kenwood. Parking is limited so it is recommended to take public transportation if possible.
  • The Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company presents a Gilbert and Sullivan play in the 2nd or 3rd week of March annually. The production is very good and worth checking out if you are visiting Chicago in March. Tickets are $15.
  • Hyde Park Garden Fair is a fair that sells many plants and gardening supplies.

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Train

  • Red line, get off at the 55th street stop then take the 55th Street bus east till Hyde Park.
  • Green line, get off at the 55th street stop then take the 55th Street bus eat till Hyde Park.
  • Metra South Line (Electric District), Metra has several stops in Hyde Park at 47th Street, 53rd street, 57th street and 59th Street with regular service.

By Car

Coming south on Lake Shore Drive, it is most convenient to take the southbound exit at 51st St/Hyde Park Blvd for a drive, or the 57th St exit for the Museum of Science and Industry and the University. Coming from the southeast on the Chicago Skyway, get off early at the Stony Island Ave exit and follow it north. From the Dan Ryan Expressway, you'll definitely want to take the 55th St/Garfield Blvd east exit, which will take you into the heart of Hyde Park through Washington Park.

A car is not a bad way to see Hyde Park, especially if you plan to cover a lot of territory. Free on-street parking is generally easy to find. The most difficult area to park is without question the area around the University of Chicago, where the street parking during the day is limited and policed with an iron fist by the University Police. Even in this area, however, it is usually possible (if a bit frustrating) to find metered parking, or to just pay at one of the big university or hospital lots. Try looking on the Midway, or on a less safe street to the south of the university. It can also be difficult to find free parking right by the Museum of Science and Industry during tourist season, but there is always room in the museum's pay lots.

By Bus

You can get to Hyde Park by taking several CTA buses from downtown Chicago. Routes #6 (Hyde Park Express) and #4 (Cottage Grove) are common choices. The 55/Garfield bus is a very cheap and efficient way to travel between Midway Airport and Hyde Park. It passes by the University of Chicago and terminates at the Museum of Science and Industry. To get from place to place within the area, CTA offers several useful neighborhood routes between the University and other points in the district, the #171 between the University and the Museum of Science and Industry being the most useful.

By Bicycle

Hyde Park is a fairly easy 7-mile ride (11 km) from the Loop using the Chicago Lakefront Path. You may cross under Lake Shore Dr at either the 51st St pedestrian bridge or the 55th or 57th St underpasses. The 57th St underpass will take you to the Museum of Science and Industry, of which the main body of the University of Chicago campus is 3 blocks west.

Hyde Park is quite accommodating to cyclists; many students and faculty at the University ride around the neighborhood, making bikes fairly visible entities.

Top

edit

Getting Around

Archeologist in Jackson Park

Archeologist in Jackson Park

© Lavafalls

By Car

Driving around Hyde Park can be difficult because many streets are one way streets. It would best to stick to 57th, 55th, 53rd and 51st Street for east-west streets. Stick to Woodlawn and Cottage Grove for north-south streets.

By Public Transport

The 55th street bus runs east-west through Hyde Park. The number 6 Bus runs north-south on the east side of the neighborhood

By Foot

If visiting the area around the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry walking is fine. If wanting to see the old houses around Kenwood a bike or a car would be useful.

By Bike

Bike trails go north and south along the lakefront on the east side of Hyde Park. Most of the streets are very bike friendly.

Top

edit

Eat

The center of dining in the Hyde Park neighborhood is along 53rd St and Harper Ct, although there are also several popular restaurants along 57th St. There is a significant difference in atmosphere between the two dining centers, with the latter being more collegiate. Almost anyone would agree that you can have a fine meal in Hyde Park in any price category, but the neighborhood is infamous for not having any truly great, standout or "destination" restaurants, as it suffers from a captive audience — it is quite difficult to get to any other dining hot spots in the city without a car (the nearest being Chinatown or soul food and BBQ in Chatham). Despite this the Hyde Park culinary scene is slowly transforming itself with the openings of a handful of trendy, upscale spots on 53rd and in Harper Court, of which Park 52 (now closed) and the Sitdown Cafe have arguably received the highest accolades from food critics.

The odd "Thai Row" on 55th St deserves a mention. These are definitely not the best Thai restaurants in Chicago, but they serve tasty, greasy food in large portions on the cheap. No one seems to know why these Thai restaurants congregated in this one spot.

  • Café Florian is an excellent burger and pizza restaurant located at 1459 East 57th Street near the intersection of Blackstone and 57th Street. This good restaurant is only a short walk away from the Museum of Science and Industry making it an excellent spot to have a cheap dinner. A personal pizza starts at around $7 and a burger is about $6. Sun-Thu 11am to 11pm, Fri-Sat 11am to 12am
  • The Medici on 57th is located at 1327 East 57th Street close to the University of Chicago. This restaurant is considered one of the best burger places in Chicago and has pretty good pizza also. The bakery next door is associated with the restaurant. Meals per person are around $9.
  • Noodle Ect. is located at 1333 East 57th street and is a great Thai noodle restaurant with other good pan Asian food. Mains for around $6.
  • Morry’s Deli is a good cheap lunch place with a great corn beef sandwich and is located at 5500 South Cornell Ave.
  • Café Corea is a good small Korean restaurant at 1603 East 55th Street.
  • Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop and Calypso Cafe, was merged into one an amazing restaurant. Dixie Kitchen and is one of the best places in the city if you are looking for roadside Southern Cooking and Calypso has great Caribbean food with a jerk chicken the rival any. Dixie Kitchen is located at 5225 S. Harper Ave.
  • Pizza Capri is a good pizza place located at Harper and 53rd.
  • Harolds Fried Chicken is an excellent local fried chicken chain with a branch at 53rd and Woodlawn.

Daley's Restaurant, 809 E 63rd St, ☏ +1-773-643-6670. 6AM-7PM daily. Huh? Daley worship in Woodlawn? No, that couldn't be and it isn't. Built by one John Daley, Chicago's oldest eatery has served as Woodlawn's neighborhood restaurant for about 120 years! As the Irish fled to the suburbs, the menu shifted towards offering nothing but the soulest soul food around (the breakfast is a particular draw — wonderful French toast). Owing to the housing projects just north, the area around this Green Line stop is on the rough side, but Daley's will treat you to a strong dose of delicious food and friendly service with nice atmosphere. $4-12.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 1456 E 53rd St, ☏ +1-773-363-6090. 11AM-10PM daily. The Hyde Park outpost of this popular burger chain includes the usual features of a Five Guys experience: delicious cheeseburgers with way too many toppings, an excessive serving of fries, a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, and free peanuts. $8-12.
Café 57, 1520 E 57th St, ☏ +1-773-499-6381. M-Su 8AM-5PM. Premium coffee and an assortment of well-prepared sandwiches and pastries served right under the Metra stop. $3-9.
The Nile, 1611 E 55th St, ☏ +1-773-324-9499. M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su noon-8PM. Though the décor is somewhat dated, the warm pita is plentiful (and best enjoyed with the homemade hummus) and the schwarma wraps are cheap, delicious, and filling. The red lentil soup is another yummy (and budget-friendly) option. Very popular with students. $5-12.
Original Pancake House, 1358 E 47th St, ☏ +1-773-285-1400. M-F 7AM-3PM, Sa Su 7AM-5PM. Often called the best pancake house in Chicago, vindicated by the ostentatiously long line on weekends. An exhaustive pancake menu and delightful service. As you would expect, though, it is extremely crowded, and on weekends you will be packed in with strangers like sardines. $5-10.
Rajun Cajun, 1459 E 53rd St, ☏ +1-773-955-1145. M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su 11AM-7:30PM. A hole-in-the-wall that, interestingly enough, serves a combination of Indian and soul food. Probably the only place around where you can sip a mango lassi while eating collard greens and fried chicken. While the seating area is a little neglected, the atmosphere benefits from the waiting-in-line dancing to the Hindi club/rock music. $5-10.
Ribs 'N' Bibs, 5300 S Dorchester Ave, ☏ +1-773-493-0400. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-1AM (sometimes closes early without warning). A true Hyde Park institution serving BBQ sauce over everything, from the $2 Bronco Burger to more expensive rib plates. Food is smoked in a traditional wood-burning stove, which gives the neighborhood its salivatory smell. The BBQ here is actually pretty mediocre (at best), and there is far better cue to be had in Bronzeville and Chatham, but this one is awful convenient. Limited seating. $2-20.
Siam Thai Restaurant, 1639 E 55th St, ☏ +1-773-324-9296. 11AM-9PM daily. Choose this one over the others if you are in the mood for pad thai. $5-12.
Snail Thai Cuisine, 1649 E 55th St, ☏ +1-773-667-5423. Tu-Su 11AM-10PM. Weird name, but this is the most popular and brightly lit of the three Thai places on Thai Row. Try the cashew chicken, the yellow curry tofu, and the eggrolls. $5-12.
Thai 55, 1607 E 55th St, ☏ +1-773-363-7119. 11AM-10PM daily. Probably the least popular of the three Thai Row locations, but the best bet for pad see ew and bubble tea. $5-12.
Valois, 1518 E 53rd St, ☏ +1-773-667-0647. 5:30AM-10PM daily, breakfast until 4PM. Cash only diner/cafeteria institution for about 80 years that serves as the heart of the Hyde Park community — a favorite with lifelong Hyde Parkers, bleary-eyed graduate students, police officers, tweed-jacket sporting professors, and a certain U.S. President. $5-8.
Edwardo's Natural Pizza Restaurant, 1321 E 57th St, ☏ +1-773-241-7960. Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM. Come here specifically for its famous stuffed spinach pizza and you won't regret it — well, you may regret the weight-gaining aftermath, but you won't regret the immediate experience. $8-15.
Giordano's, 5309 S Blackstone Ave, ☏ +1-773-947-0200. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. Not all Giordano's are created equal, but this is the original location and one of the better places in the city to try Chicago stuffed pizza. If some in your party are afraid to face the behemoth, there are plenty of non-pizza options on the menu. $10-23.
Kikuya, 1601 E 55th St, ☏ +1-773-667-3727. M 4PM-9:30PM, Tu-Su 11:30AM-9:30PM. Fresh, high quality, traditional Japanese food. $10-15.
Pizza Capri, 1501 E 53rd St, ☏ +1-773-324-7777. 10AM-10PM daily. Good upscale Italian cuisine and stuffed pizza at a reliable Chicagoland chain. Try the gourmet ingredients like feta cheese and fine sausage on a stuffed pizza for a deliciously fattening night. Great bread. $11-20.
Salonica, 1440 E 57th St, ☏ +1-773-752-3899. 7AM-10PM daily. Adequate, but overpriced, diner fare with some Greek and Mexican entries, and a constant flow of coffee. The nice atmosphere and comfy booths are the real reason to come and lounge about. $7-14.
Sitdown Cafe, 1312 E 53rd St, ☏ +1-773-324-3700. Su-Th 11AM-9:30PM, F Sa 11AM-10:30PM. Italian cafe/sushi bar serving up eclectic menu of fresh sushi, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Standout dishes include, oddly enough, their thin crust pizzas ($7 plain!), edamame (boiled peas on the pod done right), and a few favorite rolls like Chicago Fire and crunchy crab. Loft-casual decor with outdoor seating and full bar. $8-25.
Nella Pizza e Pasta, 1125 E 55th St, ☏ +1 773 643-0603. M–Th 10:30AM–10PM; Fri 10:30AM–11PM; Sat 9:30AM–11PM; Sun 9:30AM–10PM. If you're looking for something unusual and fun, try the "Bombe" stuffed pizza. The toppings are stuffed between the two crusts, and the result puffs up like a volcano that's about to explode. Brunch on the weekends. $12–$25.
Cedar's Mediterranean Kitchen, 1206 E 53rd St, ☏ +1-773-324-6227. Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F Sa 11:30AM-11PM. Cedar's is the most stylish choice of restaurants in Hyde Park, and the Lebanese cuisine should not disappoint. $13-19.
La Petite Folie, 1504 E 55th St, ☏ +1-773-493-1394. lunch: Tu-F 11:30AM-2PM, dinner seating: Tu-Su 5PM-8PM, pre-theater menu 5PM-6:30PM. A very good, unpretentious French restaurant on the south end of the Lake Shore shopping center. The U of C alumnae who own the place apparently tired of scientific research and moved to France for a while to graduate with honors from the prestigious Cordon Bleu Paris school of gastronomy. And Hyde Park rejoices. $20-40, pre-theater: $32.
Shinju Sushi, 1375 E 53rd St, ☏ +1-773-966-6669. 11AM-10PM. A good Japanese restaurant known for its all-you-can-eat sushi. $14.99 for the lunch buffet, $20.99 for the dinner buffet.

Top

edit

Drink

Hyde Park does not have the clubs or bars with the 4 am liquor licenses of the north side but it does have several nice neighborhood pubs. Also the bars in Hyde Park are much cheaper then the north side watering holes. Most of the bars are located on 55th Street but there are a few on their own.

  • Bar Louie Hyde Park is located at 5500 S Shore Dr and is a pretty swanky place for Hyde Park. The restaurant is a pretty good but a little pricey and drinks can get pretty expensive to. This place is very popular with the executive African American crowd.
  • The Cove is located at 1750 East 55th Street is best described by one local as “a place where men go who have wives that won’t let them drink at home although it does have a juke box.” The Cove is truly a dive bar. If you are looking for a night on the cheap and do not want to chat with many people the Cove is a good place to go. Pitchers start at $8, open till 2 am.
  • Woodlawn Tap, more commonly known as Jimmy’s, is located at 1172 East 55th Street. This is the main bar of Hyde Park and the University of Chicago. In the early evening it is primarily a working class/professor bar and slowly morphs into a student bar around 11 pm at night. Bar food, such as burgers and fries, is served till 12:30.
  • Seven Ten Lanes is located at 1055 East 55th Street and call for reservations at 773-347-2695. Seven Ten Lanes is a restaurant, bar, pool hall and bowling alley all in one. Make sure to reserve bowling times in advance. Open till 2 am.
  • Ida Noyes Pub is located at 1212 East 59th in the basement of Ida Noyes Hall on the University of Chicago campus. The pub is a private drinking club for the University of Chicago although non members can get in for a 1 dollar cover. The pub has several bar games, like foosball, and good bar food-including fish and chips. Also the jukebox is a good time.
  • Falcon Inn is located at 1601 East 53rd Street near Cornell. This is a super cheap dive bar. This place can be a little seedy and sometimes it is an unofficial gay bar. On the brighter side the décor on the inside is awesome, the bar tender Ray is super friendly and Cholie’s pizza next door is pretty good.
  • Checkerboard Lounge is a local Jazz and Blues club that has different styles of music on different nights. The bar is located at 5201 S Harper Ct. and there phone number is 773 684 1472. It is best to call beforehand to see what is playing that night.

CHANT, 1509 E 53rd St, ☏ +1-773-324-1999. M noon-10PM, Tu-Th 11:30AM-midnight, F-Sa 11:30AM-1AM, Su 11AM-10PM. CHANT is a restaurant and bar, but skip the food and go straight to the bar. (The food is fine, but the service is not.) The decor is extraordinarily chic for Hyde Park, and there's live entertainment (often jazz) F Sa starting at 9:30PM.

Top

edit

Sleep

There is talk of building some larger and newer hotels in Hyde Park but they are still on the drawing board. Currently the only hotel in Hyde Park is the Ramada Inn located at 4900 S Lake Shore Drive. This is a pretty basic place and it is better to stay downtown. There are also a few bed and breakfasts located around the neighborhood that are good.

  • University Quarters is a B&B located at 6137 South Kimbark Avenue, 1st Floor Chicago, Illinois 60637-2844. For reservations call (866)-712-6166.
  • Abode Ltd. is a bed breakfast located at 5412 S. Blackstone Ave, Chicago IL 60615, for reservations call (312)-576-4299. Room rates range from $140 to $170.

Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center, 5225 S Harper Ave, ☏ +1-773-752-5300. Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center is a new hotel (opened in September 2013) that is located in the heart of Hyde Park's new Harper Court development. The hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to the University of Chicago.
Hyde Park Arms Hotel, 5316 S Harper Ave, ☏ +1-773-493-3500. If Kerouac and the Blues Brothers have interested you in checking into a transient hotel, the Hyde Park Arms is the place for you, as it is far cleaner and safer than its peers elsewhere. Hotel rooms leased weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The 70 rooms include standard hotel furnishings and a fridge, but no stove or microwave; all utilities are paid by the building, unless you want cable. Per week $145-155.
International House, 1414 E 59th St, ☏ +1-773-753-2270, fax: +1-773-753-1227, ✉ i-house-housing@uchicago.edu. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. A student dormitory, which provides budget short-term accommodations to those "affiliated with either the University of Chicago or another cultural, educational or professional institution" (and their guests). They do their reservations (and information requests) by email. The rooms are mostly dorm rooms, but there are a couple nicer ones with private baths available (at significantly higher rates). Discounted weekly rates ares also available. $60-128.
Chicago Lake Shore Hotel, 4900 S Lake Shore Dr, ☏ +1 773-280-5507. Check-in: noon, check-out: 3PM. This hotel is unfortunately far from anything in the area of interest, but its rates are low and it has plenty of free parking and a downtown shuttle. $125-140.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

There is an internet cafe located on 55th Street near South Shore Drive. There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Public Library

Blackstone Branch - Is located at 4905 South Lake Park Ave. This small branch is in a very pretty building and has a good recreational collection.

Chicago/Hyde Park Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Chicago/Hyde Park

This is version 27. Last edited at 8:20 on Sep 23, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License