Andy Hood

This issue won the 2019 “General Excellence in Print Journalism” in a non-daily newspaper or magazine Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club

Diana Ross was spot on in her 1979 tune “The Boss” when she said, “Love taught me who was the boss!” Even though she wasn’t singing about this BoSS—Best of the South Side—the sentiment still applies. It is our never-ending love of and for the South Side from which we take an issue each year to share what we feel are the Bests of our side of the town. This is in no way meant to throw shade on or malign any other section of our amazing city.

Our West Side has some not-to-miss Bests, as does our North Side. But we are the South Side Weekly, so we are representing our spot! It is with love and pride we share with you this year’s small sampling of things we have come to know and love as Bests. Some are new, others have been a thread in the fabric of the South Side for generations. For the most part we section our Bests by neighborhoods, yet even in that, there are some South Side Bests that transcend neighborhoods.

Take for instance our barbecue. The South Side has the Best on this one, hands down. So much so, there is no one South Side neighborhood that can rightly claim the BoSS title here. But trust us when we tell you the South Side has the Best BBQ—period. Uncle J’s on 47th Street in Grand Boulevard is the Best Tiny Hole in the Wall With an Aquarium Smoker and Lines Out of the Door. Lem’s on 75th Street in Chatham is a South Side institution that all neighborhoods have flocked to for their Best Secret Sauce since before our AARP editor was a little kid. The Slab, on 71st in South Shore, keeps their specially smoked wood stacked in the lobby and their customers happy with the Best Pink Smoke Ring on their Q every time. Alice’s BBQ on 43rd Street will keep you fed all night long with their Best Hours, open until 1am—and until 3am on Friday and Saturday!

See what we mean? There are just some things the South Side does, has, and is that are the absolute Best, and we wait a whole year, every year, to show off a little. Don’t hate—cue up the Diana Ross cut and appreciate.

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Best of Archer Heights & Brighton Park

Best of Ashburn

Best of Avalon Park, Calumet Heights, & Chatham

Best of Back of the Yards

Best of Beverly

Best of Bridgeport & McKinley Park

Best of Bronzeville

Best of Chinatown

Best of Clearing & Garfield Ridge

Best of Englewood

Best of the Far Southeast Side

Best of Gage Park

Best of Hyde Park & Kenwood

Best of La Villita

Best of Little Italy, Tri-Taylor, & University Village

Best of Mount Greenwood

Best of Pilsen

Best of Roseland & Pullman

Best of Riverdale & West Pullman

Best of South Chicago

Best of the South Loop

Best of South Shore

Best of Washington Heights & Brainerd

Best of Washington Park & Woodlawn

Best of West Lawn

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