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Unusual / Interesting Grocery Stores?

I always like to stop in grocery stores when I'm travelling. Anything interesting / unusual in Chicago that I shouldn't miss? Could be ethnic or just a plain grocery store....... at home I love foraging at the Grocery Outlet chain stores ( remainders, dented cans, over runs, etc ) Staying near the Gold Coast (downtown) but willing to ride CTA . TIA

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  1. Most of the really good ones are in the suburbs. Some are national chains (H-Mart, Assi, Mitsuwa) and some are local Fresh Farms. The ones in the city are smaller and less exotic (mostly because even the mainstream groceries have gotten broader). If you take the Red Line train to Argyle there are a couple of Vietnamese and African groceries. Head up to Devon and there are several Indian stores.

    1. Andersonville has a great Middle Eastern grocery store on Foster right off of Clark Street. It's pretty far from downttown, but you could combine it with a trip to Arglye Street.

      1. Fox & Obel is a very nice, smallish, upscale grocery. Great deli, cheese, meat selections. The Whole Foods in Lincoln Park is pretty impressive as that type stores go.

        1. Chicago has a small chain of good-sized grocery stores called Treasure Island, with a large selection of imported items in addition to regular groceries. They have been around since at least the '70s, before gourmet groceries proliferated. There is one in the building at 680 N. Lake Shore Drive, in the Gold Coast. It's between Huron and Erie, and there's an entrance to the building on McClurg also.

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          1. re: solon

            If Gordon Wing is in the Gold Coast, there's a Treasure Island at the corner of Clark & Elm that might be more convenient.

          2. Green Grocer at Grand & Noble specializes in local and regional products including produce, meats, locally distilled spirits, ice cream, crackers and candy, too. Head a bit south from the gold coast and take the 65 bus west to Noble. 1402 W Grand