Over the last several months, the Weekly has dispatched writers to explore the long-lived and fledgling culinary institutions of the South Side, from Calumet’s beloved bridge-side fish stand to a newly opened Bronzeville taco shop, from sprouting vegetable gardens to well-worn restaurant booths. The resulting stories are ones that record the resonances of tradition embedded in the new, and innovation embedded in the old. One writer writes about the “renaissance” of regional Chinese cooking in Bridgeport, while another reports on how houses of worship are incorporating urban agriculture into long-standing food justice projects. A third traces the legacy of the late Jolyn Robichaux of Baldwin Ice Cream by interviewing a younger generation of Black entrepreneurs shaped by Robichaux’s persistence as much as by Baldwin’s hearty ice cream cones.
We harbor no illusions that in this, our second-ever Food Issue, the Weekly has done anything more than trace out a slightly broader swath of the vibrant and complex cultural network that is the South Side foodscape. Think of the articles, illustrations, and interviews that follow as a second round of samplings—stories which we are grateful to our neighbors for sharing with us, and which we are proud in turn to share with you.
Journey to the West: Chinese Restaurants in Bridgeport (Isabelle Lim)
They’re building the small corners of Bridgeport that they can call home, and with each day and each dish, slowly reshaping a neighborhood.
Tradition in the Kitchen (Michael Wasney)
“When are you going to do the next class?”
Italian Done Right (Bridget Gamble)
“What’d I tell you,” she said. “Better than family.”
Cultivating Faith in Food (Michael Wasney)
Several garden plots at a time.
Hopping Around the Breweries (South Side Weekly)
All the information you need about the South Side’s very own craft beer.
Around the South Side in Three Drinks (Emeline Posner)
Ginger, nuts, and “iced tea”
Calumet Fisheries (Christopher Good)
In an era of health food, Calumet Fisheries is devoid of pretension—no seating, no bathroom, no credit cards, no nonsense.
Peachy Perfect (Lewis Page)
The success isn’t effortless. Peach’s menu items are purposefully crafted, diverging from the standard diner fare.
Not Your Mother’s Tamales (Maria Babich)
“I mean, most people love nachos. So why not pop a tamale right on top of there?”
The Varied Veganism of the South Side (Michelle Gan)
Three vegan restaurateurs discuss their origins and aims.
An Unlikely Love Story (Mira Chauhan)
“Love is what this community needs more of.”
Breaking the Freezer Barrier (Rachel Kim)
“I just want to continue the legacy that she laid down.”
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