The Medici on 57th
Location: 1327 E. 57th Street
In one word – Mexicana
Food – You should know that as a University of Chicago graduate I am obligated to speak highly of “the Med” (a requirement to graduate). It really is the Hyde Park hang-out. Get a Med burger or the Garbage Pizza while here. I really like the chili (but that might be a result of my cheapness in college, it was one of the cheapest hearty options you could find).
Drink – You really go to the Med for the milkshakes. My recommendation is the Mexicana milkshake, which is basically a chocolate milkshake with some fun spices like cinnamon. Others come here for the Grenadine float or the fudge-banana-nut shake. In the winter, indulge in their hot chocolate (again, my recommendation is the Mexicana). 57th Street in Hyde Park is a dry street, but you are allowed to BYOB.
Service: The staff here are usually students at the University of Chicago. That means they’re going to be a little bit quirky and always willing to engage in a conversation. I have had many an insightful discussion with my waiter/waitress at the Med. Talk to them, you might learn something.
Occasion – The place is so low key. When you walk in, you’ll see that the wood walls and tables have etchings from past customers. That’s what gives this place it’s character, all the initials and drawing from diners before. If you have the option, sit on the second floor. This will allow you to peer down at the first floor. Maybe some of the best people watching I’ve done thus far. The crowd is a mix of college students, professors and their families and other Hyde Parkers.
Dress: If you have ever visited the U of C, you’ll know that fashion sense is not at the top of these people’s priorities. As a result, I promise you that no matter what you wear, whether it be a sweatsuit, jeans or a skirt, you’ll be better dressed than the other patrons.
Cost: I’d expect to pay between $15 – 20 here if you do a shake and an entrée.
If you like…, try – The Florian (also in Hyde Park, join in the on-going debate about which is better, the Med or the Florian), Meli Cafe