Hyde Park

In Chicago, Southern food has for too long meant fried chicken, pimento cheese, and the kind of biscuits that would make any Southerner bust out a passive-aggressive “Bless your heart.” But thanks to two chefs, Hyde Park has emerged as a destination where down-home flavors ring true. Erick Williams deserves all the accolades he gets for Virtue (1462 E. 53rd St.), where the collards come drenched in potlikker and the veggie plate contains both field peas and fried okra. He will soon open Daisy’s Po’ Boy and Tavern (5215 S. Harper Ave.), featuring the iconic NOLA sandwiches. Meanwhile, Charlie McKenna brings all-day goodness to Roux (1055 E. 55th St.), the diner he opened in January, where the beignets come hot and puffy, the shrimp top stone-ground grits (pictured), and the pecan pie is slap-yo’-mama good.