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The Run Down

For this guide, we head to the Southwest Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeport to get some donuts and take a stroll through what once was a 27 acre rock quarry. And we’re going to do all this while also practicing physical distancing. Here are the highlights.

1. Coffee and Breakfast @Bridgeport Bakery
2. Nature walk and kite flying @Palmisano Park

1. Bridgeport Bakery

There are plenty of places in Chicago to get a good doughnut. There aren’t as many places where you can get this traditional Polish dessert known as a paczki (pronounced like “pownch-key”).
We’re at Bridgeport Bakery which has been making paczkis in this cozy and unassuming storefront for over 30  years. When you walk in, you’ll probably think the place hasn’t been renovated since then either, but that just adds to the charm.
A few things to keep in mind in the current environment we’re navigating.
– Bridgeport Bakery is still open for take away
– They have protocols in place to make sure customers are practicing physical distancing
– You can also call ahead (773-523- 1121) to place an order and pick up curb side

If you haven’t had a paczkis before, it’s basically a Polish doughnut. They make them with a bunch of different fillings. The fruit fillings are similar to what you find in jelly donuts. The custard filling, however, is where it’s at. It’s velvety, creamy, and just a well balanced dessert.

You can really stock up on these too. Everything in here ranges from $0.75 to $1.50. That’s a lot of paczkis for not a whole lot of dough.

2. PALMISANO PARK

A few blocks away is one of Chicago’s many amazing parks. This 27 acre park was established in 2009, and was a well over due addition to the Bridgeport neighborhood which was in need of some major green space. Before being a park, this space was a landfill — before that it was a rock quarry — and before that it was the site of an ancient coral reef dating back 400 million years ago. Just a few factoids to impress all your friends.

Today, the quarry is filled with water and is now small fishing pond open to visitors. Criss crossing the park are trails and metal walking paths that lead you down to the pond or atop a hill with a scenic overview of the city. The top of the hill has a fairly large open space, which makes it a prime spot for kite flying.