Time Out Love Chicago Awards 2014: South Side

A locals' guide to the South Side. Here are the area’s top stores, bars, coffee shops, music venues and restaurants
By Time Out contributors, edited by Laura Baginski |
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Time Out readers have spoken, and below are the venues they named their absolute favorite in Beverly, Bridgeport, Bronzeville, Chinatown, Hyde Park, Little Italy, Pilsen and University Village. So the next time you’re on the South Side and in need of food, drink or retail therapy, make a beeline for these places and you won’t go wrong.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of Time Out Love Chicago Awards winners

The winners

Restaurants, Bakery

RESTAURANT: Pleasant House Bakery

icon-location-pin Bridgeport

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.

Bars, Pubs

BAR: Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar

icon-location-pin Bridgeport

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.

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Restaurants, Coffee shops

COFFEE SHOP: Nitecap Coffee Bar

icon-location-pin Lower West Side

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.

Shopping, Design and interiors

SHOP: Modern Co-op

icon-location-pin Pilsen

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.

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Music, Music venues

MUSIC VENUE: Thalia Hall

icon-location-pin Lower West Side

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.…

View winners by category

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