'South Side Stories': The Legend Of Harold’s

South Side Stories Thumb
WBEZ and Comedy Central
South Side Stories Thumb
WBEZ and Comedy Central

'South Side Stories': The Legend Of Harold’s

Harold’s Chicken Shack is a Chicago food institution, but no two Harold’s are the same.

Desaray Crosby grew up in the South Chicago neighborhood, and her favorite Harold’s was the one on 87th and State streets. Then, she moved closer to downtown to attend The University of Illinois at Chicago for college.

“I was grabbing Harold’s from the West Side, and it was different,” she says. “I didn’t like it.”

So, Desaray asked Curious City:

Why does the chicken taste different at different Harold’s Chicken Shacks?

Normally, Curious City would send a reporter out to answer Desaray’s question. But it turns out, our colleagues at the podcast South Side Stories actually did a whole episode on Harold’s that answers Desaray’s question.

So, we’re just going to include this Harold’s Chicken episode for you in the Curious City podcast.

South Side Stories is a production of WBEZ and Comedy Central. Learn more about the podcast here.

More about our questioner

Curious City questioner Desaray
(Courtesy Desaray Crosby)

Desaray Crosby grew up on Chicago’s Southeast side. Her favorite Harold’s is at 87th and State streets.

“You can walk to it off the Red Line [or from] the 87 bus,” she says. “It’s crazy because it’s a gas station. But that Harold’s on 87th is by far the best one in the city.”

Desaray is scheduled to graduate from The University of Illinois at Chicago this May (after only three years!), with a degree in urban planning. She’s looking for an internship at a nonprofit focused on equity or community development while she gains experience and figures out her next move.

Nowadays, she says she mostly grabs her chicken from Madison Street and Ogden Avenue.

Desaray's question was collected through a partnership with the Mikva Challenge, a youth development and civic education organization based in Chicago.