Best of the South Side 2009

Chicago is regularly billed as a city of neighborhoods, but there’s an unfortunate tendency to find dozens lumped together in the phrase “South Side.” In addition to masking the distinctions between neighborhoods south of the Loop, it implies a totally unwarranted dismissal of more than half of the city’s area. There is life south of Roosevelt Road, and it isn’t limited to the South Loop and Hyde Park. Music has a strong presence, from Pilsen’s loft venues to the blues clubs of Grand Crossing. And for art, Pilsen and Bridgeport are home to many galleries and performance spaces. Then there’s food. It should be no surprise that an area as large and diverse as the South Side should host more than a few great restaurants. Curious palates will find some of the city’s best Mexican, Chinese, Lithuanian, barbecue, and more. And for a night out on the town, there are options ranging from South Chicago’s neighborhood bars to the South Loop’s new African-themed nightclub the Shrine.

Of course, there’s a lot more to the South Side than a good time. As in any settlement of almost a million people, there are heroes, criminals, controversies, charities, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, scientists, aldermen, everyday folks, and, above all, stories. At the Chicago Weekly, both in print and in our new blog, we do our best to bring those stories to you. So keep reading, keep exploring–and never underestimate our half of the city.

Hyde Park and Kenwood
South Shore and Woodlawn
South Loop
Chinatown
Bronzeville
Grand Crossing and Chatham
Pilsen
Bridgeport
Southwest Side
Beverly