Family Neighborhood Guide: Bronzeville

Get to know Chicago's historic Bronzeville neighborhood with these family-friendly picks.

Known as Chicago’s Black Metropolis, the Bronzeville neighborhood was home to a thriving African American renaissance from the 1910s to the 1940s. Today, remnants of Bronzeville’s rich history can be seen in the restored monuments, cultural centers, stunning architectural sights, historical homes and delicious restaurants found throughout the neighborhood. 

Getting there

Bronzeville is a Near South Side neighborhood in Chicago. If you plan on taking the CTA, Bronzeville is accessible by the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT green line and 35th-Sox red line stations, and the 1, 3, 15, 29, 35, 39 and 43 buses. The neighborhood’s western border is the Dan Ryan Expressway, making it easily accessible by car. 

Eat

Peach’s

This bright eatery offers southern breakfast classics the whole family will love, like the Soul Queen Salmon Omelette, shrimp and grits, and fried catfish and greens. During the warmer months, Peach’s offers outdoor dining on its cute sidewalk patio. 

Sip & Savor

Need a caffeine fix to get your day started? Sip & Savor has you covered. This local chain has four locations, two of which are in Bronzeville. From strong coffee to signature drinks and specialty lattes, this cafe truly has a beverage for everyone. Treat your little ones to something off the blended drink menu, like the Coco Berry Breeze — a wild berry smoothie with coconut, raspberry and whipped cream. 

Yassa African Restaurant

This Senegalese restaurant is covered from floor to ceiling in vibrant art. Yassa’s menu offers traditional stews and curry, whole fish, Yassa lamb, fried plantains and other authentic African cuisine.

Two Fish Crab Shack

Utensils are optional when dining at Two Fish Crab Shack. Choose from shrimp, snow crab or king crab combos, then add favorites like lobster rolls, crawfish or mussels. Whether you choose to season your seafood boil with jerk, cajun or lemon pepper spices, be sure to dip it all in the 3 the Chi-Way hot sauce. 

Pearl’s Place

Pearl’s Place is a classic soul food restaurant with “down home southern cooking” set in a fine dining setting. Feast on smoked ham hocks, jerk turkey or shrimp po’ boys, or order a breakfast entree — they’re offered all day. For dessert, there’s apple and peach cobbler, sweet potato pie, old-fashioned milkshakes and more. 

Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream

Once you’ve eaten and drank your way through Bronzeville, stop in at Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream for a sweet treat to finish the day. The ice cream here is homemade with simple ingredients, and they even have a vegan menu with dairy-free flavors, vegan cones and vegan brownies.

Shop

Bronzeville Boutique

Since 1991, Bronzeville’s own Lady Mocha has been dressing people in chic streetwear and glamorous evening wear. Stop by to get fitted for a special event or to find your next statement piece. 

Small Shop Cycles & Service

Small Shop Cycles & Service is Bronzeville’s only full-service bike shop. The shop’s mission is to make affordable bicycles and repairs more accessible to South Siders. Drop in to browse their selection of bikes or learn more about repairing your own wheels. 

A Lotta Goodstuff Upscale Resale Furniture 

It’s not considered a shopping spree if it’s secondhand, right? You’ll find a “lotta good stuff” at this upscale resale shop. The curated store has clothes, jewelry, furniture and so much more. If you find yourself charmed by the adorable vibe of A Lotta GoodStuff, consider reaching out to them about their interior design, reupholstering and estate services. 

Play

Mandrake Park 

Mandrake Park is 10 acres of playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields, running track and artificial turf fields. The park is popular for seasonal sports, making it the ideal play space for any athletic kid.

Ellis (Samuel) Park

Run, climb, jump, swim or take a workout class at Ellis Park. The park’s playground and five-lane pool are popular attractions, as is the Arts and Recreation center that offers family activities and cultural programs. 

Explore

South Side Community Art Center

For more than 80 years, the South Side Community Art Center — the country’s oldest African American arts center — has provided Bronzeville with excellent arts and culture programming. Designated as a Chicago Historical Landmark, the SSCAC preserves Bronzeville’s rich history by showcasing established artists while also looking forward and featuring emerging artists. Admission to the SSCAC is always free, making it the perfect afternoon activity for families!   

Legends Farm

Take a stroll through this small urban farm that has a production training farm and a community garden with 35 raised beds for Bronzeville residents. As you explore, use this visit as a learning opportunity to explain where our food comes from to your kiddos.


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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Chicago Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for Chicagoland families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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