Distance from downtown: 5.9 miles Via: Orange Line Best for: Exploring Go: Morning, afternoon
PLEASANT HOUSE BAKERY This new English-style bakery put Bridgeport on the map for Chicago foodies. The deliciously flaky potpies (we recommend the mushroom and kale) are made with ingredients from the owners’ own Pleasant Farms. Bonus: take your pie to go and pair it with a beer from our next recommendation: Maria’s.
MARIA’S PACKAGED GOODS Don’t be fooled by the name, Maria’s is a local tavern with strong roots in this working-class community (as evidenced by its website: www.community-bar.com). It is a liquor store as well, but the vibe is quintessential Chicago barroom with dark wood and beer-bottle chandeliers.
BRIDGEPORT COFFEE Just across from Maria’s is this terrific coffeehouse and roastery, one of Chicago’s most genuine and friendly cafes. Pick up some beans while you’re here: the Hardscrabble Blend will take the enamel off your teeth.
PALMISANO PARK A verdant new place for outdoor recreation on Chicago’s South Side, this 27-acre quarry-turned-public-park features a fishing pond, interpretive wetlands, recycled timber boardwalks, preserved quarry walls, and 1.7 miles of winding paths.
ZHOU B ART CENTER A Chinese American duo, Zhou Brothers turned this former factory into a collection of studios and galleries that seek to explore the convergence of Eastern and Western cultures. Main galleries are open 10-5 M-F.