I don’t know about you but, as a foodie, I love food halls and food markets as much as I love restaurants. Whether I am exploring my current Chicago home or visiting other cities, I love visiting local markets and food halls to find the very best in food from the world’s great cities. Visiting these spots are a great way to understand any city. Today, I want I share with you the most awesome food halls and markets in Chicago that will make you hungry. You really need to put these on your list, whether you are a resident or just a visitor to “The Windy City.”
Joong Boo Market
This super cool, Asian market is a great place to visit in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. It is one of the best places you can visit to stock up on some Korean groceries. Kimchi, anyone?
Joong Boo Market is also home to one of Chicago’s hidden food counters where you can sit down and enjoy some really reasonably priced and delicious entrees. Seriously. The food is delicious and steaming hot.
Don’t have time to waste on a sit-down lunch? No worries! Head to the awesome dumpling truck in the parking lot and grab one of the fabulous, over-sized steamed dumplings to-go! I love the pork and veggie options. They only cost $1 or $2 dollars. Nice!
Joong Boo is located at 3333 N. Kimball – Take the CTA Blue Line to the Belmont ‘L’ stop.
Green City Market
The Green City Market is located in Chicago’s beautiful Lincoln Park. Make a day of it and visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory and Children’s History Museum.
The Green City Market is a place to get all of your weekly grocery shopping done or simply meander the grounds and grab some of the fantastic meals that the local farmers are cooking up.
At the very least, stop by and chat up the neighbors and rub elbows with Chicago’s treasure trove of award-winning chefs 🙂
The Green City Market is open on Saturday and Wednesday. Take the CTA Brown Line to the Armitage ‘L’ stop and walk east to Lincoln Park.
Middle East Bakery & Grocery
I am a HUGE fan of spices. All kinds of spices from all different countries. I adore the earthy, sweat-inducing kind of spices that make me feel alive and jump-start my metabolism. Bring it on! Middle East Bakery & Grocery in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood is just the ticket!
I get really excited when I stop by this place. The frangrance, the colors and the friendly staff are amazing. Most times, I head over here with a very specific shopping list. However, nine times out of ten, I leave with more spices and groceries than I anticipated.
One of the reasons of love Middle East Bakery & Grocery is that the spices are really fresh. For those of you who may not know it, spices have a shelf life of six to nine months. If the red pepper flakes at your local supermarket look brown, don’t bother. Spice markets are a much better bet because they are constantly replenishing their stock. When you walk into this market, the freshness hits you in the face!
Middle East Bakery & Grocery also carries prepared soups and salads, as well as great falafel wraps and sweets. Recently, they added a cafe, so put this place on your list of markets to visit in Chicago.
Middle East Bakery & Grocery is located at 1512 W. Foster – Take the CTA Red Line to the Berwyn ‘L’ stop.
Logan Square Farmers Market
I absolutely love Logan Square. It’s the gritty, hipster, neighborhood on Chicago’s north side. Since I moved to Chicago in 2005, I have been watching this neighborhood become both a residential area and a food mecca. The Logan Square Farmers Market is a huge draw for local residents and restaurant owners.
Logan Square Farmers Market sits literally in the center square of this enclave and it is lovely! I suggest that you head over here to get your food shopping done and then have brunch at Jam which also sits on the square.
Take the CTA Blue LIne to the Logan Square ‘L’ stop.
Maxwell Street Market
I live in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood and I am very lucky to be in walking distance to Maxwell Street Market.
This market is an historic landmark and it is open on Sundays, all year long.
Drop by and visit the many vendors who are selling everything from produce to drill bits to clothing!
Promise me that you will not miss stopping by Rubi’s for some of the BEST tacos in Chicago! You cannot miss it because Rubi’s will have the longest line of any food vendor at this market.
I love all of the tacos here but the Al Pastor tacos and squash blossom tacos are my favorite. The freshly made tortillas and veggies are top notch. Bonus! This is the absolute cheapest brunch you will find in Chicago. Who needs to spend $25 or more on brunch?!
Maxwell Street Market is located at 800 S. Desplaines. Take the #12 Roosevelt bus (connect at the CTA Red, Orange and Green Lines at the CTA Roosevelt ‘L’ stop.
Eataly is a Chicago food hall and market that is the brain child of Mario Batali and the Bastianich family. Yes, they are legendary, culinary royalty in the food world.
Eataly has locations in Chicago, New York and overseas. This place is a veritable “candyland” for foodies. You can buy groceries, cookware, kitchen gadgets and cookbooks.
What’s that you say? You want to eat here, too? Why, of course, you can!
Stop at the bar and grab a glass of wine, so you can meander around this food hall and make thoughtful decisions about what you need 😉
Grab a seat at one of the several eateries that are serving up pasta, vegetarian or meat.
There is a fried food counter, a NUTELLA bar, a mozzarella bar, coffee bar, gelato bar, a Birriera. You get the picture. There’s plenty to please your palate.
You can really loose yourself here on any given day but Eataly is a my favorite place to visit when I am catching a movie at AMC 600 North movie theater, across the street.
Eataly is located at 43 E. Ohio – 1 block north and 1 block east of the Grand ‘L’ stop, along the CTA Red Line.
Revival Food Hall
Revival Food Hall is the latest food hall to pop up in Chicago. It is filled with outposts of local restaurants and coffee roasters in a huge space in the The Loop.
Revival has been a welcome addition for Chicago’s lunchtime diners and after-work crowd.
I am very happy that there is an outpost of Smoque BBQ and Aloha Poke.
Revival Food Hall is located at 125 S. Clark St. – 1 block west of the Monroe ‘L’ stop, along the CTA Blue LIne
Latinicity Food Hall
Are you looking to get a taste Latin America while in Chicago? I’ve got the perfect place for you!
Latinicity is a fabulous, sprawling food hall in Chicago’s Loop. The food vendors here are spicing things up with dishes representing countries in Latin America, Spain and Portugal.
Don’t miss the super delicious plantains at the grill. They are drenched in a honey-chipotle sauce. Oh. My. God.
I also love the zesty flatbreads that you will find at the station nearest the entrance.
There is ample ample seating in the food court which overlooks the theater district, as well as a more intimate restaurant.
Stop by for some cocktails at the bar and shop for some groceries on the way out.
Latinicity is located at 108 N. State – Take the CTA Red (Washington ‘L’ stop), Orange, Brown or Purple Lines (to any Wabash ‘L’ stop) or the #29 State bus.
Chicago French Market
Chicago French Market is a huge oasis near Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago’s West Loop. If you commute into the city center via Ogilive, you can drop by from breakfast through dinner to enjoy some great food and drink here.
This food hall and market has something to satisfy every palate from smoothies, pastrami, cheese, French food and pastries.
I love that there is an outpost of Saigon Sisters where you can find some of the very best Vietnamese food in Chicago. Get the caramelized shrimp and noodles. You won’t be disappointed.
Chicago French Market has seafood and meat counters, as well as fresh produce and a couple of bars.
Stop by after work on Wednesday and Thursdays through October for live music. Very fun! This is the perfect place to meet friends or grab drink or meal, while waiting for your train home.
Chicago French Market is located at 131 N. Clinton – Take the CTA Green or Pink LInes to the Clinton ‘L’ stop or any Metra train that stops in Ogilvie Transporation Center.
You’re all set, folks! Hop the rails to Chicago’s awesome food halls and markets. How many have you visited? Do you have a favorite food hall or market in your town? I would love to hear all about it! Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA trains and buses to these tasty Chicago food halls and markets. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!