Medici originally opened as a coffeehouse and art gallery in the heart of the University of Chicago's Hyde Park campus. It quickly became a favorite student hangout, popular with the anti-war crowd of the '60s. Today, Medici's pizza and burgers still please a mostly-student crowd. The booths and many of the tables are covered in graffiti, carved into the wood over the years. A bit of the art gallery vibe remains as well, with a variety of works scattered here and there. The food is sold at student-friendly prices, with small pizzas starting at $6 and most sandwiches between $7 and $8. Or satiate your sweet tooth with a chocolate croissant. Lingerers beware, though; there is a $1.50 minimum order during the week, which goes up to $2.50 on Fridays and Saturdays. Students should leave their books at home, too, as the menu warns against hogging the tables for too long.
Medici's rooftop deck seats about 75 people, and it's a quiet place to discuss politics over a thin crust pizza or a portabella sandwich. Trees peak out above the rooftop, creating a leafy haven away from the street noise below. Taking the green scene beyond the landscaping, Medici's menu is vegetarian-friendly, with plenty of meat-free dishes. Medici also uses fair trade coffee, so you can be confident that you're helping South American coffee farmers, even if you're not planning a revolution. BYOB.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Aimee Hall