Located on the South Side of the city, Bridgeport is a cultural melting pot of Irish, Chinese, and Mexican influences. Take the CTA to the Halsted Stop on the Orange Line, and it's easy to walk to a lot of great restaurants. It's less easy to decide which restaurant to eat at, since there are so many delicious options. Here are some highlights.
Breakfast/Brunch: Nana (3267 S. Halsted St.)
Nana focuses on local, organic, and sustainable dishes. Start with a brunch cocktail like a strawberry mojito, then order Mexican-inspired plates like the Nanadict, pupusas topped with poached eggs, chorizo, and poblano cream or light quinoa cakes on a tangle of arugula, jicama, and blood orange vinaigrette. The restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner.
Lunch: Zaytune Mediterranean Grill (3129 S. Morgan St.)
Zaytune takes spiced falafel balls that are soft inside and crunchy outside and wraps them with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, hummus, and tahini sauce in a warm, grilled flatbread. It's giant, and the best falafel I've had in Chicago. Chicken shawarma, braised lamb, grilled shrimp, and other proteins get the same wrap treatment, so choose your favorite filling and fill up.
Coffee Break: Bridgeport Coffee (3101 S. Morgan St.)
The comfortable coffee shop has an extensive selection of coffee drinks, like white mochas and agave lattes, plus tea and breakfast and lunch items. They roast their own beans, so grab a bag to take home with you.
Dinner: Pleasant House Bakery (964 W. 31st St.)
Pleasant House serves royal pies, which are little pot pies stuffed with mushroom and kale, steak and ale, or chicken. The crusts are flaky and the fillings are generous and hearty. The menu also features other British-inspired pub fare, like chips with cheese and gravy, Scotch eggs, and pasties. Place your order, and either dine in or take it to Maria's next door to eat with a beer.
Looking for something a little different? Both Northern City (742 W. 31st St.) and Homestyle Taste (3205 S. Halsted St.) offer Northern Chinese, or Dongbei, cuisine, which consists of noodles and dumplings.
Drink: Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar (960 W. 31st St.)
The dive bar features excellent cocktails (try the Sazerac) as well as an extensive beer list. The front is a package store, so when you try a beer on tap that you like, grab a six-pack to take home. Maria's is perfectly paired with Pleasant House next door, so either bring dinner over, or stop by after for a post-beer snack.
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