Chicago loves its bakeries. It crushes hard on doughnut and cupcake joints. It can be so hard to choose which way to go. Allow me to introduce the award-winning Pleasant House Bakery in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. It is a cozy, family-owned, counter-service place which creates British-inspired, locally sourced, savory pies.
Pleasant House is located
7 blocks south and 3 blocks west of the Halsted ‘L’ stop, along the CTA Orange Line. Not up for that long of a walk? No worries. The #8 Halsted bus will take you to 31st. From there, just walk the 3 blocks west.
Tuesday evening, overcome by a need for delicious comfort food, I headed out for one of Pleasant House’s traditional, ROYAL PIES®. Yes, they also offer a selection of sweet treats but I was here to get some dinner.
I first discovered this place three years ago, while on a bike ride with the Chicago Cycling Club. A fellow cyclist pointed it out to me. He gushed over it so much that I had no choice but to try it for myself. It’s been over a year since I stopped in here, so it was time to rekindle that flame. Here’s how my dinner went down:
The menu is small but mighty. I absolutely love when a place chooses to do only one or two things and do them well. I ordered this steak & ale pie. It’s made with all-natural beef, ale, carrots and herbs. The shape and size of it is perfect. I love pot pies but I don’t always love how blown up I feel after I’ve eaten some that are much larger.
The pastry is a super flaky, buttery gift. Drooling yet? OK. I will elaborate.
Once I took in the smell of the butter, I cracked open my pie to reveal the steaming steak and vegetable filling. It was delicious on its own but I decided that a side of red wine gravy would take it over the top. I was right!
Whether you’re feeling like you need to right a day that has gone terribly wrong or you miss your mama’s home cookin’ (like me), this is the pie for you. I washed it down with a lovely fizzy hibiscus tea.
Two of the other mainstays at Pleasant House are the chicken balti pie which is made with curried spices (Get a side of chutney with it!) and the mushroom & kale pie made with white wine, herbs and Parmesan cheese. Both are terrific.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a counter-service establishment. Place your order, grab an inside table or sit outside in the cute picnic area. The lovely staff will bring you your meal when it’s ready.
Pleasant House has a list of daily specials, including a different featured pie every Thursday. Friday is Fish & Chips day. And, so on…
Salads and other sides are available.
All bread, pies and pastries are made on-site.
More things I love about Pleasant House:
- They are a BYOB.
- Full English breakfast is served on Sunday.
- They have a food truck in Chicago which serves the pies and hand-held pasties.
- High Tea service is available on Sunday by reservation only.
- Take-out and catering are available.
- You can’t beat the price point.
- It’s located next door to the super cool Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar. Stop in for drink at this neighborhood staple!
Pleasant House Bakery is located at 964 W. 31st St. They are open daily for lunch and dinner (brunch on Sunday). Click here for more information.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Orange Line or #8 Halsted bus to Pleasant House. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!