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May 23, 2003 03:53 PM

West / Far West Burbs -- Mexican Markets / Groceries

  • m

Hoping to draw wisdom from the resident West Burbs experts. While I know of two markets near the Downers Grove / Westmont area, I was asked to suggest a Mexican Market that is closer to Naperville as a potential source for whole dried chipotle chiles.

Yes, yes, I know -- the city is a gold mine where Mexican Mercados (fruterias, carnecerias, etc.) are concerned (which is part of why you'll see us at the June 1 event...).

Even so, I'd love to hear about additional options in suburbia (for my own purposes, when I can't run into the city)...


- M.


Las Margaritas Inc
307 West 63rd Street (east of Cass Ave)

Los Arcos
7451 Woodward Avenue (at Woodward & 75th)

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  1. o
    Orgullo de Mexico

    Other than Aurora, there is a small market in Bolingbrook. The name escapes me right now. It's on Rt. 53 about a mile north of I-55. It's in the same plaza where a Dominick's used to be, next door to a Radio Shack.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Orgullo de Mexico

      I have not specifically looked for chipotles there, but Michael's Fresh Market, which is a big supermarket right next to Sam's Club at route 59 & Ogden, probably has them. I have only begun to explore the place, but their selection of fresh and prepared foods seems to include a broad range of ethnic foods - and the clientele and the large fresh tortilla section said to me that Mexican is the biggest of them. It is probably worth exploring before going further afield. As I said, still exploring, but I think it is going to become my Naperville supermarket of choice.


      1. re: dickson d

        All this discussion of the June 1 Maxwell Street Foray inspired my own lunchtime foray on the NW end of Naperville for Mexican take-out. Best I could do was a sope de camaron @ El Famous Burrito on Rte 59 -- will tide me over until Sunday along with fantasies of empanadas. Have determined that where I work lies in the great Mexican carry-out void :p

        En route I stopped at dickson d's suggestion of Michael's Fresh Market as a potential source for dried chipotle chiles.

        Found chiles de arbol and picked up a nice big bag of dried chile ancho, but no "chipotles secos." I didn't search for the tinned variety "en adobo."

        All was not lost, as I picked up two pkg. of locally made corn tortillas, some *very* attractive fresh tomatillos and jalapenos, two pkg. dried jamaica flowers, and a pkg. of corn husks for tamales. (Am determined to enjoy the trial-and-error process of making homemade tamales this summer...)

        - M.

        1. re: Mags Thomas

          glad you had some success, but sorry & surprised about the chipotles. keep us posted on the tamale progress. a good, fresh tamal is one of the true delights in this world.


          1. re: Mags Thomas

            and i do believe that good mexican food can no longer be found anywhere in n'ville. with the final conflagration at el centro, and the ownership change at the place with the killer burritos (that was the name of the dish) on ogden, i never eat mexican here anymore.

            yes, i am bitter about it. do you know of any place that is acceptable?


      2. West Chicago Farmers Market is my favorite in the Western burbs. It would be difficult for you to not find just about any Mexican cooking ingredient at this store. They have an excellent meat counter with odd cuts and while I tend to shy away from pre-marinated meat they make a mean thin sliced pork adobado which grills up nicely in minutes. Check out the fish counter too as they often have great deals on whole shrimp in about the U12-15 size. Any sort of dried chili or herb you are looking for. In addition their produce selection is quite varied with sometimes hard to find things out here like fresh epazote, papalo and huazoncle(sp?) They also have a wide selecion of imported cheese and other dairy products. At the back left of the store there is a steam table with prepared dishes along with carnitas, chicharon and other pork goodness.

        Caputos in Hanover Park is another option and has been discusses widely here. You should also be able to find whatever you need there.

        Finally, there a too numerous to count Mexican Grocery stores in Aurora. I know of a few on Farnsworth but have not checked them out yet.

        West Chicago Farmer Market
        559 Main St, West Chicago, IL
        Phone: (630) 876-1772

        Caputo's New Farm Produce
        1250 E Lake St, Hanover Park, IL
        Phone: (630) 372-2800

        1 Reply
        1. re: tony

          La Huerta on Randall Rd. St. Charles.
          It's just north on Randall from the Jewel/Osco at the corner of Randall & Prairie St.
          They also have amazing tacos and reminds me a bit of the old El Centro before the ownership change, but cleaner and they speak more English...and are really helpful and friendly to those of us who might not know what we're looking for..
          Whenever I go back home for a visit, we always stop there for Tacos for lunch! I just adore their stuff and honestly I can't get them way out here in PA. (I'm a Far Western Burb native.)

        2. Brookhaven Martketplace in Darien (on the corner of Plainfield & Cass) has an excellent Mexican foods selection and variety of hot peppers. I have bought chipotles there before. And I believe there are other Brookhaven markets out near Naperville, although I'm not sure if they would stock as much as the Darien location.