Early this year, foodies from across the city and around the country converged on over 250 of the city’s best eateries for the eighth annual Chicago Restaurant Week. Fewer than two dozen of this year’s participating restaurants were located on the South Side. For nearly two weeks, those interested in exploring perhaps America’s greatest food town were led to believe—by breathless reviews and top-heavy maps published and promoted by the city’s tourism office and the local press—that most of the food in the city worth eating lay north of Roosevelt.
To believe that commonplace rendering of our city’s food culture is to believe that the South Side and the nearly one million Chicagoans who call it home lack culinary traditions and talent worthy of wide attention. As we at the Weekly have endeavored to demonstrate in this, our first-ever Food Issue, nothing could be further from the truth.
Although this issue covers ground from Pilsen to Pullman and tracks South Side eats from farm to table, we’ve only scratched the surface of the food culture this part of the city has to offer, a culture defined by an array of cuisines as rich and diverse as ourselves and the stories we have to tell. These pieces are mere morsels—a sampling drawn from a vast feast we hope you’ll start digging into if you haven’t already.
As journalists, we at the Weekly are incredibly fortunate to belong to a community that puts so much on our plates so often. This week, this is especially true.