Bridgeport-Chinatown is the South Side at its most dynamic, as the old South Side Irish neighborhood of the Daleys increasingly blends with the old Chinese immigrant community to the north. Enormous cathedrals now stand next to Buddhist temples, and Old Style washes down lo mein. If you are a visitor, though, you only need to keep in mind two things: Chinese food and baseball.
Chicago’s Chinatown is pleasantly authentic. At the many restaurants in the area, local Chinese customers are joined by Chicagoans from all over the city “going Chinese” for the night. Chicago’s Chinatown is the third largest in the United States, the Midwestern business center for Chinese-Americans, and home to large populations of Cantonese and Taiwanese. The main street, Wentworth Ave, is a great place for dining out and rummaging through eccentric stores, looking for gifts. Guaranteed Rate Field, better known as Comiskey Park, is several blocks south of Chinatown and is home to the South Side’s favorite baseball team, the Chicago White Sox.
Bridgeport is a large Irish-American enclave that has produced some of Chicago’s most famous South Side Irish, such as Finley Peter Dunne and the two mayors Daley. Being the birthplace of the city’s power brokers has been good to Bridgeport. The first Daley remembered playing in the streets as a child, dodging fetid puddles filled with carcasses from the local slaughterhouses. Bungalows and other single-family homes are more the norm these days. Bridgeport is now seeing a large influx of Mexican immigrants, which means more good food options are springing up left and right, and has even seen a wave of North Siders priced out of hip neighborhoods like Wicker Park and Lincoln Park. Notable recent immigrants are international acclaimed painters, the Zhou brothers, Da Huang and Shan Zuo, who purchased five large buildings along Morgan Street with the hopes to encourage more art and artists in Bridgeport. Regardless of what brings you to the neighborhood, it is full of gritty character (and characters) and is quite possibly haunted — Bridgeport is always an interesting place for a walk.
The main L stations are on the CTA Red Line at Cermak-Chinatown and Sox-35th for visiting Chinatown and Guaranteed Rate Field respectively. Other options include Halsted and Ashland on the Orange Line, which are on the northern and western outskirts of Bridgeport, and 35-Bronzeville-IIT on the Green Line, which is a block and a half east of the Sox-35th station.