The Guide to Bronzeville: 14 Great Things to Do

Find jazz, creole, monuments, theatre, and a ton of Mies van der Rohe architecture in this historic South Side neighborhood.

Photography: Travis Roozée
 

(Clockwise from top left) Gallery Guichard, Stephen A. Douglas Tomb, Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles, Mother Butter’s Popcorn and Confectionary, Norman’s Bistro, and Mies van der Rohe’s Crown Hall

Ain’t She Sweet Café
[1] Hunker down with a Reuben panini or Caribbean jerk chicken wrap and enjoy the local art adorning the walls. 526 E. 43rd St., 773-373-3530, aintshesweetcafe.com

Bronzeville Boutique
[2] Fringed leather shorts and rhinestone-embellished maxi dresses are among the attention-grabbing attire at this women’s wear boutique. 4259 S. King Dr., 773-891-4473, bronzevilleboutique.com

Small Bronzeville map
Click the image to view the full map.

Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles
[3] Expect a good hour’s wait on Sundays for the titular meal or other soul food entrées, with all the potatoey sides you desire. 3947 S. King Dr., 773-536-3300, chicagoschickenandwaffles.com

Ellis Park
[4] Outfitted with tennis courts and sprawling green soccer fields, this park is also home to the Gospel Music Festival every June. 37th St. and S. Cottage Grove

Gallery Guichard
[5] Co-owners Frances and Andre Guichard curate contemporary works from the African diaspora. 3521 S. King Dr., 773-791-7003, galleryguichard.com

Harold Washington Cultural Center
[6] This arts center, built on the site of the historic Regal Theater, has its own in-house musical company, Broadway in Bronzeville. 4701 S. King Dr., 773-373-1900, broadwayinbronzeville.com

Ida B. Wells-Barnett House
[7] The civil rights activist lived in this Romanesque Revival house from 1919 to 1929. It is not open to the public; there is a tribute to her outside. 3624 S. King Dr.

Jokes and Notes
[8] The 150-seat venue features four nights of standup, improv, and sketch comedy, including an open mike on Wednesdays. 4641 S. King Dr., 773-373-3390, jokesandnotes.com

Little Black Pearl
[9] Explore the galleries at this massive community arts center and purchase affordable art created by young people in the area. 1060 E. 47th St., 773-285-1211, blackpearl.org

Mies van der Rohe Tour
[10] You’ll find 20 of the architect’s buildings at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he headed the architecture department from 1938 to 1958. Here’s a full map of the architect’s work at IIT, via archdaily.

Mother Butter’s Popcorn and Confectionary
[11] Bananas Foster, Cheezy BBQ, and Bacon Cheddar are just a few of the sweet and savory flavors available at this family-owned shop. 17 W. 35th St., 773-548-7677, motherbutterspopcorn.com

Norman’s Bistro
[12] The American Creole hot spot serves up shrimp and lobster pot pie, braised short ribs, and Caribbean grilled chicken (pictured). 1001 E. 43rd St., 773-966-5821, normansbistro.com

Room 43
[13] Take in the smooth tunes of the Hyde Park Jazz Society, which meets every Sunday night at this intimate club. 1039–1043 E. 43rd St., 773-285-2222, room43.com

Stephen A. Douglas Tomb
[14] Visit the pristinely manicured mausoleum of the Illinois senator who lost the presidential race to Abraham Lincoln. 636 E. 35th St.
 

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