These past few years, it's been feeling like the South Loop
is finally living up to its promise. In a lot of spots, it's starting to feel downright residential.
Paying further testament to the neighborhood's folksy rise are casual dining spots that aren't chains. The South Loop has long been home to ritzy places like Opera and Karyn's, but you know a neighborhood is starting to get a lived-in feel when you get a Polish comfort food joint named after someone's parents.
That isn't to say Flo & Santo's is exactly gritty: The owners run Zapatista's just across the street. But when the focus is on beer, pizza and wings, one feels comfortable enough to settle in, whether it's a booth or a neighborhood.
Flo & Santo's is affordable as well. Sandwiches like the Polish Reuben or the steak burger are under $10, and 16-inch pizzas can be had for less than $18. Try the polish pizza, with kielbasa, sauerkraut and bacon. Finish up with a plate of fruit-filled pierogis or one of the 10 local beers on tap.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman