Chicago Neighborhoods: Southeast Side

Southeast Side: South Chicago, East Side, South Deering & Hegewisch

The sprawling Southeast Side encompasses four distinct communities – South Chicago, East Side, South Deering and Hegewisch – whose working-class roots date back to the industrial boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, these former company towns and industrial sites are undergoing rapid transformation, like South Chicago, where public green spaces and LEED-certified, eco-friendly residential communities have made it a showcase for green innovation and technology.


1937 Memorial Day Massacre Sculpture

  • Historical Landmarks

This sculpture commemorates the events of May 30th, 1937, when workers parading for union rights were shot at the gates of the Republic Steel Co., just a few streets away.

Free Admission | 11731 S. Ave. O | 312.663.4107

95th Street Bridge

  • Art & Architecture

Constructed in 1958 and made famous in the famous bridge jump scene at the beginning of The Blues Brothers, this six lane draw bridge features curved pony trusses with riveted connections.

Free Admission | 3300 E. 95th St.

Bessemer Park

  • Parks & Gardens

Created in 1904 by the South Park Commission and designed by the Olmsted Brothers, the historic recreation site remains a draw for South Chicago residents.

Free Admission | 8930 S. Muskegon Ave. | 312.747.6023

Burnham Woods Golf Course

  • Parks & Gardens

Named after legendary urban planner Daniel Burnham, the woods feature an 18-hole golf course (6,321 yards), with a par of 72. Infamous Chicago gangster Al Capone played here. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

14201 S. Burnham Ave. | 708.862.9043

Calumet Beach

  • Beaches & Pools,
  • Popular Attractions,
  • Sports & Recreation

The southern-most beach in the Chicago Park District, Calumet Beach offers a large, expansive beach for the community.

Free Admission | 9801 S. Ave. G | 312-747-6039

East Side Community Memorial

  • War Memorials & Military Monuments

Its most eye catching feature is an authentic 1991 demilitarized “Desert Storm” tank, the East Side Memorial is a tribute to area servicemen.

Free Admission | 10038 S. Ewing Ave.

Harborside International Golf Center

  • Sports & Recreation

Rated Third Best Municipal Golf Course by Golfweek, Harborside features two 18-hole courses (Port and Starboard), a club house, gift shop and a Phil Stefani restaurant.

11001 S. Doty Ave. East | 312.STARTER (782.7837)

James P. Fitzgibbons Historical Museum

  • Museums & Zoos

A repository of history and information, serving the Southeast Side neighborhoods of East Side, South Chicago, South Deering and Hegewisch. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

Free Admission | 9801 S. Ave. G | 773.721.7948

John Drake Fountain or Columbus Monument

  • Historical Landmarks

Originally an ice water fountain donated by John Drake & the Italian government in 1892, the Columbus statue stands today refurbished and commemorates South Chicago’s 150th anniversary.

Free Admission | 92nd St. & Exchange Ave. | 312.744.3200

National Shrine of St. Jude

  • Religious locations

Founded in 1929 by the Claretian Missionaries, this Catholic shrine draws worshippers year round. People converge to offer prayers and appreciate its beautiful construction. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

Free Admission | 3200 E. 91st St. | 773.768.0793

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

  • Religious locations

The Southeast Side was home to some of Chicago’s earliest Mexican-American communities. Out Lady of Guadalupe, founded in 1923 by Mexican immigrants working in the steel mills, is the oldest Mexican parish in Chicago. Many Mexican-Americans born on the Southeast side and now living throughout Chicago still come to this church for weekly services.

Free Admission | 3200 E. 91st St. | 773-768-0793

Pilgrim Baptist Church of South Chicago

  • Religious locations

Founded in 1917, this church has played an important role in South Chicago’s spiritual life, as well as that of Hollywood, having been featured in various TV shows and movies. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

Free Admission | 3235 E. 91st St | 312.842.4417

South Chicago Art Center

  • Other Attractions

The South Chicago Art Center was founded in 2001 with these goals in mind: to provide a safe place for children and promote friendship by solidarity and empowerment in the community.

Free Admission | 3217 E. 91st St. | 773.731.9287

South Chicago People’s Park

  • Parks & Gardens

Winner of the 1999 Chicago Botanic Garden’s “Garden of the Year Award” for community gardens,in 2001 this park was ranked as was one of the eight nationwide parks to win the John Deere “Seeds of Hope Award.” Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

Free Admission | 3260 E. 91st St. | 773.734.9181

South Chicago Public Art: Mural at S. 91st St.

  • Art & Architecture

Artist Brother Mark Elder, participants from the South Chicago Art Center, and community members executed this 96 foot long mural over the course of 3 years.

Free Admission | 3007 E. 91st St. | 773.731.9287

St. Florian Church

  • Religious locations

This church is a big part of Hegewisch’s cultural past, founded in 1905 to serve the Polish community. It is very much a part of the area’s present, with its famous “Super Bingo” nights and Spanish-language masses.

Free Admission | 13145 S. Houston Ave. | 773.646.4877

St. Michael the Archangel Church

  • Religious locations

Founded in 1892 and built as a grand example of Polish Cathedral style architecture, serving, in the past, Polish immigrants who flocked to work in South Chicago’s steel mills.

Free Admission | 8237 S. Shore Dr. | 773.734.4921

St. Simeon Mirotocivi Serbian Orthodox Church

  • Religious locations

A Serbian orthodox church located in the East Side. Constructed in 1968, it is the foremost example of Serbian Gothic architecture in Chicago, featuring stained glass windows and a unique, checkered facade.

Free Admission | 3737 E. 114th St. | 773.731.2925

Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Park

  • Parks & Gardens

On March 10, 1954, the Chicago City Council decided to honor veterans of the United States armed forces by naming a new southside park Veteran’s Memorial Park. This tribute was a natural extension of the patriotic attitude that prevailed across the country during and after World War II. Developed by the city’s Bureau of Parks and Recreation the previous year, the four-acre park was intended to meet the increasing recreational needs of the South Deering community, whose population had nearly doubled between 1940 and 1950. Initial improvements included outdoor athletic facilities, a playground, and a small brick recreational building. In 1959, the city transferred Veteran’s Memorial Park, along with more than 250 other properties, to the Chicago Park District. The park district installed a spray pool in 1966 and a new soft surface playground in 1989.

Free Admission | 2820 E. 98th St. | 312-747-6812

Vietnam War Memorial

  • Historical Landmarks

Located across the street from Our Lady Guadelupe Church, which suffered more dead during the war than any other U.S. parish, the Vietnam War Memorial features a plaque and a mural.

Free Admission | 9100 S. Brandon Ave. | 773.768.0793

William W. Powers State Recreation Area & Wolf Lake

  • Parks & Gardens,
  • Sports & Recreation

Sitting on the Illinois-Indiana divide, this 580-acre retreat features a natural lake with six miles of shoreline fishing, tree-shaded picnic tables and stoves, and native plants and wildlife.

Free Admission | 12949 Avenue O | 773.646.3270


Baltimore Food & Liquors

  • Food Retail: Convenience Stores

Proclaiming itself as the “Home of the ‘Famous’ Always Fresh Hegewisch Shish-Kabobs,” this store is many things in one: deli, grocery, bakery, and convenience store. Find a variety of international and ethnic food items here as well.

13322 S. Baltimore Ave. | 773.646.1167

Calumet Fisheries

  • Seafood

One of the few smokehouses left in Illinois, Calumet Fisheries is known—and recognized—for smoking its own seafood onsite. It was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations show on the Travel Channel.

3259 E. 95th St. | 773.933.9855

Capri Pizza

  • Pizza

Residents of the Southeast Side head to Capri Pizza when in the mood for thin-crust pizza. Capri’s is only take out or delivery, so make sure to grab a pie to go and enjoy it in a nearby park. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

8820 S. Commercial Ave. | 773.768.7242

Cocula Restaurant

  • Mexican

Cocula, a town in Mexico and the namesake of the restaurant, is known as the “Cradle of Mariachis”. The relaxed, authentic Mexican restaurant boasts low-cost, big portion, and flavorful Mexican food. With long business hours and a variety of offerings, Cocula is suitable for both a family dinner or a Friday evening happy hour.

8847 S. Commercial Ave. | 773.374.3214

Doreen’s Pizza

  • Pizza

A small local pizza shop with a lot of flavor. Doreen’s offers dine in, carry-out and delivery to residents of Hegewisch. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

13201 S. Baltimore Ave. | 773.646.0494

La Fruteria

  • Food Retail: Grocery

Bringing the very best imported products from the Caribbean, Africa, Jamaica, Haiti and Mexico. Accessibility limitations. Please contact site for more information.

8909 S. Commercial Ave. | 773.768.4969

Ola Mummy African Restaurant

  • African

A traditional, family-owned restaurant, Ola Mummy features freshly cooked African specialties, ranging from okra and pounded yam to snail and fish and including traditional ingredients such as egusi and eba.

8725 S. Commercial Ave. | 773.933.7023

Phil’s Kastle

  • Burgers

A delicious 50’s and 60’s-style diner, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Known for its burgers, Phil’s is a genuine throwback – red checkered floors and a retro music box.

3532 E. 95th St. | 773.734.9591

Steve’s Lounge

  • Bar

Steve’s is a great place to stop by on Chicago’s Southeast Side, in the Polish neighborhood of Hegewisch. Filled with cases of ceramic figurines on display and decorated with brightly colored tiles and a green tin ceiling, it’s a classic old fashioned Chicago bar. Fried chicken and sausage from their adjacent banquet hall next door are available to those who call ahead.

13200 S. Baltimore Ave. | 773-646-1071


Chicago Poetry Tour

  • Audio & Self-Guided

The Chicago Poetry Tour, produced by the Poetry Foundation, is a chance to experience the history of the city through poetry. Featuring a range of Chicago poets past and present—Gwendolyn Brooks, Carl Sandburg, Li-Young Lee, Haki Madhubuti, Lisel Mueller, Stuart Dybek, and many more—and addressing a variety of neighborhoods and landmarks—the Loop, Bronzeville, Bucktown, Maxwell Street, Haymarket, Pilsen, and New Chinatown among them—the tour includes archival and contemporary recordings of poets and scholars, local music, and historic photographs. The tour can be experienced virtually online at, or downloaded into an mp3 player. FREE.

Free Admission | 78 E. Washington St. | 312-787-7070

Leave a Comment