It’s not only the South Side that’s crazy about this no-frills British bakery. Pleasant House is best known for its classic savory pies, but you can also indulge in British classics like Scotch eggs and thick-cut chips (that’s fries to us) doused in gravy and sharp cheddar cheese. Your sweet tooth is covered, too, with a rotating selection of pies, scones and other sugary treats.
Walk into this classic Bridgeport spot and you might have trouble making it all the way to the bar. First you’ll have to get past the display of specialty beer in the boutique bottle shop that takes up the front room. Venture further back and you’ll be rewarded. The bar serves a selection of pitch-perfect cocktails, a great draft selection and, as the bar’s name promises, tons of locals.
Pilsen's cozy hidden gem has a full-service espresso bar, a super-rich hot chocolate and a rotating selection of sandwiches and pastries (plus it’s BYOB). With lots of art and an eclectic assortment of furnishings, it’s an ideal place to settle in for the day.
A favorite for vintage hunters, Modern Co-op is known for its well-chosen selection of midcentury-modern furniture. The shop also shows strong support for local designers by featuring the works of artists who create pieces using repurposed materials.
It was a battle of newcomers on the South Side—both launched in 2014 by Bruce Finkelman of the Empty Bottle and Craig Golden of Evanston's SPACE. In the end, the gorgeous Thalia Hall in Pilsen beat Hyde Park's the Promontory. With Dusek's and Punch House attached, it's kind of a no-brainer. Plus, Thalia's ornate room, fitted with opera boxes, hosted some of those behind our favorite albums of the year—Angel Olsen, Ty Segall, Panda Bear… We can't wait to go back for Ariel Pink, Andrew W.K.…