Chicago has a wealth of awesome tourist attractions that encompass a broad spectrum of interests, from architecture tours along the Chicago Riverwalk to a night of comedy at the famous Second City comedy club.
Chicago is one of the largest cities in the nation, and each neighborhood bestows a distinct vibe and set of attractions.
While you may spend most of your time downtown or in the districts bordering Lake Michigan’s coastline, you’ll also want to explore the inner-city neighborhoods for more cultural gems.
Chicago’s central neighborhood of Bridgeport has a gritty, industrial history that has transformed into a hip, multicultural residential neighborhood with some of the best restaurants in town.
After spending the day exploring Bridgeport’s wonderful Palmisano Park or gazing at the latest artwork at the Zhou B Art Center, you can dine at one of Bridgeport’s many bakeries, restaurants, cafes, and eateries.
The best restaurants in Bridgeport showcase a culinary diversity equal to its multicultural demographic, with dining experiences and prices that will fit anyone’s preferences and budgets. Read on to explore all the restaurants in Bridgeport that have my enthusiastic seal of approval.
605 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616
Named for the Han Dynasty that spawned ancient China’s Golden Age, Han 202 Restaurant strives to evoke the same joyous renaissance through its culinary creations.
Located just a block from Humbert Park, Han 202 is a French and Pan Asian fusion bistro whose innovative plates and intimate pre-fixe multicourse meals have won a Michelin Bib Gourmand.
Han 202 has a full cocktail and sake bar as well as an a la carte sushi menu. The pre-fixe menu is very affordable for the multicourse meal of elegantly plated, high-quality cuisine.
I enjoyed the Shanghai pork dumplings with soy vinegar, followed by the seared red snapper filet with black bean sauce.
2724 S Lowe Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
Gio’s Café and Deli is a colorful, casual neighborhood favorite located just a couple of blocks from the Mark Sheridan Math & Science academy.
Gio’s Café is owned and operated by Giovanni Liuzzo, Ignacio Bautista, and Chef Victor Quezada.
Their pooled culinary talents, industry know-how, and Italian heritage have created a warm, welcoming environment to enjoy a gourmet Italian meal.
The Italian American deli has an abundance of Italian imports, from oils and sauces to olives and cheeses, plus some house-made giardiniera, pasta, cured meats, and more.
The classic Italian menu has antipasti, fresh pasta, hot and cold paninis, and entrees. I loved the scratch-made Rigatoni Vodka.
300 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616
Opened in 1989, Franco’s Ristorante is a Southside institution for authentic Italian classics in an old-school vintage-chic 40s era dining room.
Family-owned and operated, Franco’s consistently receives Diners Choice Awards from Open Table and the Chicago Reader.
The affordable prices and intimate, charming dining space makes it a great destination for a cheap yet memorable date night.
Their multicourse menu has all your favorite Italian pasta and antipasti dishes as well as modern takes on Italian food. I started with the delicious Pizzette with sausage, peppers, caramelized onions, and mozzarella.
The classic Chicken Marsala dish with mushrooms and sweet marsala wine sauce over fresh pasta was a delicious main course.
500 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60616
If you’re looking for an iconic Chicago-style hot dog, 35th Street Red Hot is the place for you.
Located right along Comiskey Park that houses the famous Guarantee Rate Field, home of the White Sox, 35th Street Red Hots is a colorful, fast-casual burger and hot dog shack from Chicago restauranteurs Jeff Greenfield and Barry Nemerow.
They serve the minimalist, old-school hot dog known as “the depression dog,” along with some of the best fries you’ll ever eat.
Everything’s gilled and fried to order and wrapped in wax paper to protect you from the run-off of greasy goodness that’s bound to burst out of every mouthwatering bite.
3129 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60608
Located a few blocks from Bridgeport’s Bosley Playground, Zaytune Mediterranean Grill is a small artisanal Mediterranean eatery with a full menu of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean favorites made-to-order using the freshest produce and Halal meats. The friendly and fast service makes it a great dine-in or takeout spot.
They make colorful, fresh, and authentic Mediterranean dishes from shawarma to falafel, and of course, all your favorite mezze dips and spreads.
I recommend the roasted red pepper hummus with garbanzo and olive tapenade and freshly grilled flatbread to start. The falafel, kebabs, and shawarma dishes come in salads, wraps, or platters.
A Place By Damao is a hip and trendy Chinese street-food restaurant specializing in the spicy and colorful culinary traditions of Sichuan Province’s city of Chengdu.
The incredible and novel flavors and dishes at A Place By Damao have earned wild acclaim from Chicago’s Best, the Chicago Tribune. They have even won the lofty Jean Banchet Award for Best Heritage Restaurant.
The Bridgeport location right near Henry C. Palmisano Nature Park is the latest of three lively locales around Chicago.
If you’re a fan of spicy foods, you’ll love these unique and tongue-searing dishes with everything from Chinese barbeque, soup and noodle dishes, hot pots, tapas, and sweets.
3642 S Parnell Ave, Chicago, IL 60609
Kathy De’s Deli is a friendly, casual sandwich shop, deli, and bakery inside a cute old 40s style house in front of Guarantee Rate Field.
Their gargantuan sandwiches feature freshly baked bread from the bakery and meats from the deli with interesting combos that have garnered acclaim from Chicago’s Best.
Their prepared food section has wonderful pasta salads, potato salads, and more, while their sandwiches range from classic sloppy joes to pastrami and corned beef.
I recommend their Italian sub on ciabatta bread with house-made hot peppers, salami, cured ham, provolone, and olive tapenade.
2701 S Eleanor St, Chicago, IL 60608
The Duck Inn is Michelin Starred Chef Kevin Hickey’s take on a modern American Tavern, serving craft cocktails, a wide selection of artisanal beer on tap, and award-winning New American cuisine in a 100-year-old pre-prohibition era tavern right along the Chicago River in Bridgeport.
The Duck Inn has won countless accolades, including The Chicago Tribune’s Best Chef and six consecutive Michelin Bib Gourmand awards.
Perhaps the basis of its name, The Duck Inn’s signature dish is whole rotisserie duck, served with greens, duck fat potatoes, and seasonal fruits with duck jus reduction.
However, Chef Hickey also makes high-quality bar fare like nationally acclaimed Chicago-style hot dogs. You can even get Duck in a hot dog!
954-960 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608
Only in Chicago will you find a Korean and Polish street food joint. Bridgeport’s characteristic multicultural appeal is the perfect setting for long-time friends to introduce a culinary tradition that fuses their multicultural heritage.
Kimski opened two blocks from the Bosley (William) Park as a collaboration between the Marszewski sons and Korean Chef Won Kim. Together, they offer creative, scratch-made street food in a sleek, trendy counter-service café.
You won’t find more unique fusion dishes anywhere else. I loved the Veggie Potskis with sauerkraut and mushroom filling, farmers’ cheese, soy cream, herb salad, and pickled onions to start.
The Kimski Poutine with kimchi beer gravy, cheese curds, kimchi, scallions, and sesame seeds over thick-cut fries is amazing.
2520 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608
Located inside a colorful graffitied storefront right across the interstate from the famous Henry C Palmisano Nature Park, Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken is a wildly popular Korean and Southern fusion fried chicken fast food restaurant.
You order your food from walk-up windows to enjoy in the colorful urban interior or as a tasty picnic at Palmisano Park.
In Korean fried chicken fashion, you can choose your spice level and dipping sauce from a selection of Korean Spicy, garlic soy, and non-spicy Big Boss classic.
You can order chicken sandwiches or whole chicken bundles with sides like macaroni and cheese, fried sweet potato, waffle fries, curry puff, and more.
252 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60616
Ricobebe’s is one of Chicago’s most iconic culinary treasures, opening its doors to the neighborhood in 1946. It’s right between the I-90 Express and Stevenson Expressway, near Ickes Praire Homes.
Ricobene’s is a classic Italian American pizzeria, slice shop, and sub shop in an old-school 40s style eatery. They’re famous for their breaded steak sandwich, which has won national acclaim as the best sandwich in the world by USA Today.
Their incredible New York-meets Chicago-style pizza has won its fair share of accolades as well, featured in the Chicago Tribune as one of the 25 best pizzas in Chicago.
Pizzas come in New York, Pan, and Deep-dish styles, all of which are incredible. Still, if there’s one dish to get, it’s the classic breaded steak sandwich with red gravy.
1102 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609
Phil’s Pizza is a counter-service pizza shop a few blocks from The Bridgeport Art Center and Bubbly Creek.
The casual, unassuming dining space is the corner shop of a brick building covered in a massive mural commissioned by Phil’s to honor its more than 70-year tenure as Bridgeport’s go-to pizza joint.
They specialize in tavern-style pizza, which is a thin yet chewy round-crust pizza that is cut into squares. They serve one or two-topping pizzas along with a small offering of baked pasta and Italian sandwiches. I recommend the sausage and mushroom pie.
752 W 33rd St, Chicago, IL 60616
Located in the heart of Bridgeport, Ajo is a festive, family-friendly Caribbean kitchen specializing in Puerto Rican and Cuban cuisine.
Ajo is family-owned and uses family recipes from their Puerto Rican and Cuban roots to prepare the most authentic dishes made to order.
Ajo’s simple and cute high-table dining space and fast-casual counter service make them a great lunch spot for professionals on the go.
You must try their perfectly fried plantains that come as maduros (sweet and soft) or tostones (crispy and savory) and served with sofrito aioli. I loved their Lechon Asado, roasted pork over white rice with black beans, pickled onions, crispy and sweet plantains, and aji Verde.
411 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616
Maxwell Street Depot is a 24-hour American comfort food counter near Armour Square that’s been serving a faithful following of Chicagoans for over 40 years.
Food is cheap, decadent, made to order, and covers all the fast-food favorites from pizza to subs to burgers to hot dogs. It’s certainly a favorite spot for a late-night meal after a night of drinking and dancing.
Maxwell Street Depot has daily specials that include a free pizza or sandwich with the purchase of a pizza, or a buy one slice get the second half-off deal.
Pizzas are thin-crust New York-style rounds you can buy whole or by the slice. I loved their breaded chicken parmesan sub.
3235 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608
Located along Bridgeport’s Halsted Street, an unofficial “restaurant row,” Min’s Noodle House is an authentic Chinese noodle house in a humble yet quaint wooden dining room with friendly and fast service.
Their low prices and giant portions of noodle soups and bowls or authentic Chinese stir-fries make them a popular neighborhood haunt.
The extensive menu of noodles in every form from wonton to dan dan noodles runs the regional gamut. They also offer rice bowls, bao, and a long list of Sichuan Tapas.
I recommend the Chunking Noodle soup in a rich pork broth with bok choy, braised egg, crushed peanuts, scallions, and braised pork belly.
1000 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609
Owned and operated by head Chef Rick Ortiz and creative director Ashley Ortiz, Antique Taco is a fashionable fast-casual farm-to-table taco counter and margarita bar.
They source all the seasonal ingredients from the local farms, make fresh-pressed corn tortillas for their authentic Mexican street tacos, and press all the fruit juices for their fantastic tropical cocktails. You can find them right across from the Zhou B Art Center.
I had a sweet and tangy blood orange margarita with my delectable pork carnitas tacos with tamarind barbecue sauce, spinach, queso, onion, avocado, and bacon. If you still have room, try the Horchata Milkshake!
3267 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608
From the owners of Ajo, Nana is a fast-casual counter café and eatery specializing in Latin-inspired New American cuisine.
Their modern, bright, and airy dining space is right on the corner of S Halsted Street and West 33rd Street.
They have a full cocktail bar, Mexican beer selection, and espresso bar to accompany an affordable and delicious lunch, dinner, and brunch.
I recommend their weekend brunch that features a variety of delicious brunch cocktails like bloody marys, cranberry hot toddies, and Mexican hot chocolate, as well as artisanal coffee drinks using locally roasted coffee beans.
The brunch menu has everything from guava-stuffed French toast to breakfast burritos. My favorite dish was their chilaquiles with crispy tortillas, scrambled eggs, refried beans, onions, queso fresco, sour cream, and poblano cream sauce with chicken tinga on top.
Bridgeport’s incredible restaurant scene has both age-old institutions and new, innovative fusion cafes that run the culinary gamut.
Whether you want an iconic Chicago hot dog or Polish and Korean street food, my list of amazing restaurants in Bridgeport offers both tried-and-true and exciting novelties of Chicago cuisine.
If you’re looking for more fantastic food in Chi-town, check out my list of the best sushi in Chicago.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
- Han 202 Restaurant
- Gio’s Cafe & Deli
- Franco’s Ristorante
- 35th Street Red Hots
- Zaytune Mediterranean Grill
- A Place By Damao
- Kathy De’s Deli
- The Duck Inn
- Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken
- Phil’s Pizza
- Maxwell Street Depot
- Min’s Noodle House
- Antique Taco Bridgeport
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