Bridgeport, Chicago – 6 Awesome Eats

Bridgeport is an historic neighborhood on Chicago’s south side.  A humble, working-class pocket of town which has been home to politicians and sports fans over the years, Bridgeport reminds me a lot of parts of Queens and the Bronx in New York.  That’s a big reason why I enjoy visiting some of its restaurants, bars and coffeehouses.  I have a huge feeling that Bridgeport is about to explode as the next culinary destination in Chicago.  Stay tuned 🙂  In the meantime, below is a list of “6 Awesome Eats in Bridgeport,” in no particular order:

* Click on restaurant names for more information and directions.

  1.  The Duck Inn –  Chef/Owner Kevin Hickey (Bottlefork) was raised in Bridgeport.  Last year, he gifted us with what I call “the best new restaurant in Chicago.”  I cannot get enough of this super-cool, corner spot which is serving up expertly crafted cocktails, and scrumptuous menu items, like this swoon-worthy bone-in shortrib with fiddlehead ferns. The awesome backyard patio is a chill hang on a hot summer night.  It was host to some pretty fun weekend themed parties last year, including a luau!  

 

The Duck Inn's short rib

 

 

2.  Pleasant House Bakery – This is probably one of my most favorite spots in Chicago and one of the most unique.  The owners are serving up traditional, savory Royal® pies in the British tradition.  All ingredients are sourced locally.  Even the grains and spices are milled and ground on-site.  They have a local farm as well.  There are many sweet treats and breads on offer, as well.  But, I am partial to the signature Royal® pies, like the steak and ale pie with a side of red wine gravy.  Pleasant House Bakery is very tiny and a BYOB.  But, feel free to place your order and head next door to Maria’s Packaged Goods, a community bar, for a drink.  The lovely staff at Pleasant House will bring your meal to you when it’s ready.  Bridgeport is my kind of neighborhood!

 

 

Hibiscus tea at Pleasant House

 

 

3.  Zaytune – If you are looking for very fresh Mediterranean food like falafel, hummus, kabobs, lentil soup and more, head to this family-owned, corner spot in Bridgeport.  I feel happy, healthy and satisfied everytime I leave this place.  All the dishes are made-to-order, including their amazing flatbread wraps.  This place is one of the most affordable deals in town.  Bring some friends with you, as you will want to sample many of the menu items.  Don’t forget their herb fries with Kalamata olive sauce!

 

 

Shrimp skewers at Zaytune's

Shrimp skewer salad

Soup at Zaytune's Mediterranean Grill

Lentil soup

 

4.  Nana –  This family-owned, organic restaurant was a pioneer on the Bridgeport dining scene.  I am glad to see they are still going strong.  They partner with 30+ local farmers and purveyors to create fresh, healthy, quality dishes.  I loved this comforting tomato soup and the creamy, crunchy avocado fries with chipotle-lime sauce.  The brunch here is wonderful, too.   Check them out!

 

 

Tortilla soup at Nana

Tortilla soup

Avocado fries at Nana

These avocado fries taste like more, please!

 

 

5.  Homestyle Taste – This is a really tasty Chinese restaurant with an extensive menu and large portions.  They have both classic Chinese dishes, as well as some lesser-known dishes (to Americans) like jellyfish and cabbage.  I like the spicy eggplant with potatos, onions and peppers.  The cold spicy noodles are also quite comforting.  They have iron pot dishes and lots of fish options which I plan on checking out soon.

 

 

Homestyle Taste's spicy eggplant

Spicy eggplant with potatoes, onions and peppers

Homestyle Taste's cold spicy noodles

Cold spicy noodles

 

6.  Bridgeport Coffee – I love this friendly, cozy coffeehouse!  They have been roasting up coffee beans from farmers far and wide, since 2004.  They even offer “green coffee.”  I dig their many coffee blends and pastries.  It’s a great spot to hole up on a cold, snowy day with a book or your laptop 🙂  They are so beloved in Bridgeport and the rest of Chicago that their beans are available at Whole Foods and other retailers around town.  I love supporting local coffee roasters!  Don’t you?

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA trains and buses to get to these “6 Awesome Eats in Bridgeport.”  Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!