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May 24, 2011 04:09 PM

Must Visit Markets/Shops

Have a foodie friend coming into town this weekend. Any suggestions on open markets or shops that we should not miss? TIA for the information.

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  1. Where (what part of the city) will you be spending time, and what specific kinds of markets and shops are you interested in?

    If you're downtown, the French Market is worth a stop. I like it because some of its shops - Vanille Patisserie for pastry, Pastoral for cheese and sandwiches, Canady le Chocolatier for artisanal chocolates - are among the best of their kind in the city. Make sure you check the directions on their website because it's not easy to find, hidden away in one of the commuter train stations.

    Fox & Obel is also in the downtown area. It's our premier gourmet market, with the best of everything - prepared foods, meats, fish, etc. The bakery counter is superb and was recently named by Bon Appetit magazine as one of the ten best bread bakeries in the country.

    Those two are both great places because they are not overly specialized. Beyond that, it just depends on your preferences - meat markets, fishmongers, pastry shops, chocolatiers, ethnic markets, produce markets, etc. - most of which are spread out all over the city and suburbs. If there's a specific type of market and/or a specific neighborhood you're interested in, just ask!

    1. The city's most high profile farmer's market, Green City Market, is up and running now. It runs every Wednesday and Saturday, 7am-1pm. Lots of produce, cheese, artisinal sauces/condiments/etc but a little limited when it comes to ready-to-eat food. There's a new tamale station as well as a crepe station that's very good and has been there for years.

      The market is held in the southern tip of Lincoln Park (meaning the actual park). Parking can be a pain, but CTA can get you there pretty easily.

      Green City Market
      1750 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

      1. Our ethnic neighborhoods make for interesting food shopping. Examples: 1) Indian/Pakistani, Devon Avenue running west from Western for about six blocks. 2) Middle Eastern, North Clark running north from Foster to Bryn Mawr---which also has a Swedish bakery and Swedish deli. 3) Vietnamese and other Asian, North Broadway around Argyle and Argyle running east to North Sheridan.4) Russian and Jewish, Devon just west of the Indian/Pakistani area. And of course all of these have restaurants of the same ethnicity so you can have lunch and then browse.

        1. When I have guests, I always take them to Green City Market on Saturday morning for crepes and a a browse (and buying goodies to munch together all afternoon) and then to Spice House which is just a few blocks away. We usually also stop at Old Town Oil to sample the balsamics. Always a hit for a stroll and some goodies to take home as tasty Chicago souvenirs.

          Green City Market
          1750 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

          Spice House
          1512 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610

          Old Town Oil
          1520 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610

          1. Butcher & Larder or Paulina Meat Market

            1 Reply
            1. re: jhojati

              Are you going to be able to either cook while here, or take meats etc home with you? Otherwise, seeing our meat markets may not be all that exciting, compared with foods you can eat here without access to a kitchen, or foods that will keep long enough to travel home with them.