Welcome to the Weekly’s third annual Food Issue, our brightest and spiciest yet. Over the next twenty-four pages, you’ll encounter a veritable feast prepared by the Weekly’s intrepid and insatiable reporters. Like in years past, reviews and profiles—of a family’s habanero hot sauce line, pizza in Bronzeville, michelada and smoothies, new coffee shops and a newly closed coffee shop, and bars along Archer Avenue—abound. But for the whole story of the meal on your plate, look out for pieces that report on the broader context of food production, like the new wave of agricultural cooperatives cropping up across the South Side, the anti-slaughter organizing that activists have brought down to the old Stockyards, and the 2011 urban agriculture zoning amendment that legalized for-profit urban farms—and at the same time raised the barriers to starting, and finding an appropriate business license for, an urban farm in the city of Chicago. To top it off, a new contributor makes a compelling argument about how our conversation about a just food system fails to hit the mark—and that we should be talking about racism, segregation, and the minimum wage when we talk about food access on the South Side. As always, we wish we could feature even more of the nuanced flavors of the South and West Sides than we can fit in one issue. But we’re confident that what awaits you is a carefully crafted and satisfying nine-course meal—so tuck in!
Stewards For the Land → Some of the farmers behind the city’s newer generation of cooperative farms
License to Grow → Why are many urban farmers forced to operate in a legal gray area?
Opinion: The Solution to “Food Deserts” Isn’t Just Food → We need to talk racism, segregation, and income disparity, too
Witnesses to Slaughter → A group of activists fights animal cruelty one vigil at a time
Runnin’ Hot → The Bishop family’s fruity hot sauce
A Neighborhood Pizzeria for Bronzeville → A Slice of Bronzeville has just enough sauce
A Cuban Food Haven → Grilled steak, seasoned veggies, and some of the best café con leche ever
Mango and Maki on 26th Street → Japanese-Brazilian cuisine finds an audience in Little Village
Z&H Is Dead, Long Live Z&H → An obituary for Hyde Park’s do-it-all café
What’s on Tap → Eight Weekly staffers gathered for our annual sampling of a few South Side breweries’ selections
Bottoms Up → Around the South Side in many different drinks
South Side Restaurant Comings & Goings → The latest on Evelyn’s, Daley’s, and Culver’s
Fresh Brews → New and notable coffee shops around the South Side