Photo by Amanda Diaz

Located in the Bush, the northeast section of South Chicago, on 83rd and Houston, takeout-only Chico’s Oven offers sweet treats that are bound to improve any visit to Russell Square Park, an afternoon walk, or commute to the Metra Electric 83rd St. Station. Walking up to the takeout window at Chico’s is always a joy, especially on weekend trips to the park with my nieces. In addition to the fluffiest donuts in South Chicago, they feature bolillo sandwiches on housebaked rolls and pizza, which comes very close to New York-style pizza (noteworthy if you’re a fan like me).

The business holds a family history that reflects the legacy of South Chicago’s steelworkers. Jorge Perez  Sr. worked swing shifts at the mill, and owned the family grocery store and bakery for twenty-eight years, until his son bought it from him in the mid-90s. Today Jorge “Chico” Perez Jr.—who also works in economic development—serves up recipes his father learned as a baker in Mexico to honor him. As a Chicago Community Development Grant May 2022 finalist, Chico’s Oven is looking forward to improvements that will renovate and expand the family-owned bakery, opening up to the possibility of an expanded menu and increased customer base.

Chico’s Oven, 3023 E. 83rd St.  Saturday–Sunday, 11am–5 pm. 773-756-2328,

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