Before we start recommending stuff that is beyond the confines of our beloved hamlet, perhaps a little info on how to get out of HP would be welcome. Believe it or not, Hyde Park can get a little, well, nightmarishly claustrophobic.
Getting away to the North Side and farther afield will do wonders for your mental health. And who knows? You might actually meet someone not from the University of Chicago if you practice looking mysterious at the Bourgeois Pig, Art Institute, Green City Market, or Letizia Bakery every now and then.
Bear in mind, late night service to Hyde Park is limited to the Red and Green Lines (see below reasons not to take the Red and Green Lines) Other than that, you can take a cab. If you have four people, cabs from the North Side back to the neighborhood cost around $25–roughly the same cost as public transit. If you’re farther away in Wrigleyville or Logan Square, you’re looking at $30-$35. Splittable, but a big time bummer if you’re on your own. The point here: cabs with a group of fellow MAPHers are more affordable than you would expect, and definitely worth it as an alternative to the oft-scary late night El ride.
To find the easiest route use Google Transit. CTA and Metra systems link up nicely. But here is some info to start with:
Option 1: The Bus
During rush hours, there are several delightfully convenient ways to get up north. The #2, 6 express, 10, and 28X all service various parts of HP. Check out CTA’s incredibly accurate Bus Tracker, which provides useful information about where the 6 has broken down, the cause of the maintenance problem, and how many hours you’re going to have to wait for the next bus. There’s even an iPhone ap!
Positives: Buses run often and from more places in Hyde Park than you can shake a stick at. There is service from the Loop to HP until midnight or a little after. As Phil likes to point out, transfers are only 25 cents once you get up north: “You can get anywhere in the city for $5 round trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Negatives: Buses just kind of suck categorically. Traffic can *sometimes* be miserable, especially in the afternoon when you’re trying to, totally hypothetically, get to your happy hour date at The Wit. The express buses take longer than the train, even with clear traffic. Continue reading