travel

Exploring Far South

Morning

Mingle with University of Chicago students over good coffee and great pancakes at the Original Pancake House , where the sweet, baked Apple Dutch Baby is a must-try. From there, walk about a mile (1.6 km) south or hop on the no. 28 bus at the corner of Hyde Park Boulevard and Lake Park Avenue to visit the Museum of Science & Industry , where you can easily spend an engrossing few hours exploring the hands-on exhibits. For lunch, skip the museum food and head west about a mile (1.6 km) to Medici , a great student and faculty hangout, known for its delicious pizzas. The extravagant Garbage Pizza is a favorite.

Afternoon

Stroll about four blocks southwest to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago whose museum will transport you back to ancient times. Its Suq gift shop offers unique souvenirs, such as a replica of an ancient board game. Just east of the institute is Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece of Prairie-style architecture, Robie House. Take a tour of this to really gain some insight into the great man’s vision. Then stroll around the university’s leafy quadrangles if it’s good weather, or backtrack a little to the Smart Museum of Art if you’d rather be inside. Either way, round off your day with some good ol’ home-style Southern cooking at the no-frills Dixie Kitchen .

Shops

  1. Powell’s Bookstore

    Here, used books in top condition are stacked floor to ceiling on painted wood shelves, with antique editions protected behind glass.

    • 1501 E. 57th St.

  2. Seminary Co-op Bookstore

    Housed in the basement of the Chicago Theological Seminary on the University of Chicago campus, it’s fitting that this bookstore has a well-respected academic section, especially humanities and social sciences.

    • 5757 S. University Ave

  3. 57th Street Books

    This basement-level shop carries new fiction, children’s books, and African-American interest titles. Low ceilings, brick walls, and a painted cement floor all create a cozy atmosphere, con­ducive to browsing.

    • 1301 E. 57th St.

    • No DA

  4. The Co-op Market

    Mingle with the melting pot of shoppers at this cooperative market, where aisles are dominated by organic, vegetarian, and international foodstuffs.

    • 1526 E. 55th Street

  5. House of Africa

    The scent of sandalwood incense fills this small boutique that sells African artifacts, carved wooden sculptures, and CDs of music from all over the continent.

    • 1352 E. 53rd St.

    • Closed Sun

    House of Africa
  6. Alise’s Designer Shoes

    Shop for the latest men’s and women’s designer shoe fashions from Italy, France, Brazil, and the Far East, as well as ladies’ bags, fine jewelry, and men’s belts.

    • 5210C S. Harper Ave

  7. Toys, Etc.

    This inviting store focuses on non-violent toys galore. Good-old standbys include kites, face-painting kits, balls, and dress-up clothes.

    • 5211 S. Harper Ave

  8. Little Black Pearl Workshop

    The gift shop at this children’s arts program and cultural arts center sells the students’ amazing creations, such as one-of-a-kind painted furniture and vibrant mosaics.

    • 1060 E. 47th St.

    • Closed Sun

  9. Collections

    Chic club clothes and look- at-me leather shoes are sparsely displayed along the walls in this boutique. Many of the designs are straight off Italian runways, while others are custom-made by the shop’s owner.

    • 1360 E. 53rd St.

    • Closed Sun

    Leather shoes, Collections
  10. Artisans 21

    This gallery showcases locally made art. You can purchase designs both to wear and to show, from whimsical ceramics to fringed silk scarves and handpainted jackets.

    • 5225 S. Harper

    • No DA

Most of these shops are usually open at least 10am–6pm Mon–Sat and noon–5pm Sun, and unless specified have DA


Places to Eat

  1. La Petite Folie

    An upscale French restaurant offering a fixed-price menu, as well as entrées featuring ingredients such as rabbit and quail.

    • 1504 E. 55th St.

    • 1 773 493 1394

    • Closed Mon, Sat & Sun lunch

  2. Florian Caffé

    This no-reservations hangout for pizza and pasta also specializes in mile-high cakes, rich with chocolate, strawberry, coconut, and thick frosting.

    • 1450 E. 57th St.

    • 1 773 752 4100

  3. Calypso Café

    In this feel-good Caribbean joint, jerk chicken is a favorite, and Key Lime pie is the must-do dessert.

    • 5211 S. Harper St.

    • 1 773 955 0229

  4. Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop

    A taste of America’s South, serving fried catfish, crawfish étouffée, and jambalaya in a setting reminiscent of an old bait shop.

    • 5225 S. Harper Ave

    • 1 773 363 4943

    Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop
  5. Medici on 57th

    Great pizza draws the crowds, but sandwiches on home-baked bread and rich milkshakes are also offered.

    • 1327 E. 57th St.

    • 1 773 667 7394

  6. Cedars of Lebanon

    Delicious falafel, lamb kebobs, hummus, and dozens of other Middle Eastern dishes will fill you up for next to nothing at this BYO spot.

    • Kimbark Plaza, 1618 E. 53rd St.

    • 1 773 324 6227

  7. Nile Restaurant

    The extensive menu at this Middle Eastern diner makes decisions difficult, but combination plates let you try an assortment.

    • 1611 E. 55th St.

    • 1 773 324 9499

    • No DA

  8. Woodlawn Tap

    A casual dress code, good food, and cheap beer attract all types to this bar especially for burgers and hearty soup.

    • 1172 E. 55th St.

    • 1 773 643 5516

  9. Mellow Yellow

    This laid-back eatery offers specialties of rotisserie chicken and sweet or savory crepes. There’s also a separate bar.

    • 1508 E. 53rd St.

    • 1 773 667 2000

  10. Original Pancake House

    This homey breakfast haven does everything well, but its signature dish is the apple pancake.

    • 1517 E. Hyde Park Ave

    • 1 773 288 2322

    • Closed dinner

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