Chicago is home to many amazing things — the Chicago-style hot dog, the Cubs, deep dish (if you don’t like it, it’s okay, but you’re wrong) — so it’s no surprise that it’s also home to some incredible, community-minded farmers markets. From seasonal produce to local poultry and meats to home goodies, visiting a farmers market is an easy way to get out and explore new neighborhoods, support local farmers and artisans, and grab the makings of a great meal while you’re at it. Here, your guide to some of the best markets in the Windy City.Read More
The Best Chicago Farmers Markets to Check Out
1. Andersonville Farmers Market
Recently celebrating 10 years of operation, the Andersonville Farmers Market features everything from artisan sausages and cured meats to local honey and pickled vegetables. New vendors include Black Cat Kitchen, which features ready-to-eat sandwiches and grain bowls, and J2K Capraio, a family-owned goat farm making awesome cheeses.
2. Lincoln Square Farmers Market
This market is open twice weekly from June through October — on Tuesdays in the morning and early afternoon, and on Thursdays in the evening — so every shopper has the chance of getting great, local fruits and veggies and mouthwatering homemade goods no matter your schedule. You can also partake in a slew of activities, from specialized kid programming to cooking demos to free yoga, all right by the Western L stop of the Brown Line. Eat some empanadas from the Empanada Bike or snack on small-batch cheese from Stamper Cheese.
3. Low-Line Market at Southport
Located at the Southport CTA station and running every Thursday from June to the beginning of October, the Low-Line Market is one of the newest farmers markets in the city, with a “carefully curated” mix of farmers and local vendors including Chicago Marshmallow, Elsie Mae’s Pies and Canning, and Fehr Bros. Farms. The market hopes to bring more local food sources into the area and make them available for residents and visitors alike, and is a part of the Lakeview Low-Line project, which connects parts of Lakeview with a walkway and garden that also features rotating artist exhibits.
4. Logan Square Farmers Market
The outdoor market runs every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from May through the end of October, while the indoor market runs every Sunday from November through March. This farmers market features a ton of produce vendors, cheese mongers, and gorgeous flowers. Roam with your dog and grab some treats from Mushyface Cookie Co. (heads up: there are a ton of dogs here, so keep this in mind if you like to dog spot!), and grab a taco, crepe, or other food item from a variety of booths, some of which show weekly and some bi-weekly. They also have consumer goods, including artisan soap, and events going on throughout the months, like free yoga, free pilates, and musical performances, so make sure to check the calendar to see what’s going on.
5. Green City Market Lincoln Park
Open from the first Saturday in May to the last Saturday in October, with Wednesdays as well, this big farmers market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park, near the Lincoln Park Zoo. In the winter, you can shop the indoor market from November through April on select Saturdays. (The indoor market is Chicago’s largest and first year-round sustainable farmers market.) Stock up on local hot sauces, syrups, jams, and — obviously — fresh, sustainable produce.
6. Wicker Park Farmers Market
Charming and nicely sized, the Wicker Park Farmers Market runs every Sunday from June through October, with a focus on local, environmentally responsible food. This year marked the first year that the market went plastic-free, meaning you’ll need to bring your own bags and containers for shopping. Not only can you shop for great produce and grab-and-go food, but free yoga is often offered, along with book swaps and musical acts throughout the day. Go for the excellent produce, stay for the baked goods — like amazing pies and blueberry muffins.
7. Division Street Farmers Market
Chicago, IL 60610
Take a break from the clothes shopping (hello, Magnificent Mile) and dining of the Gold Coast area to peruse the wares of the Division Street City Market, which runs every Saturday from May through October and fully takes over blocks of the super popular neighborhood. The selection of fresh produce is top-notch — think barrels of peppers, asparagus, and tomatoes — and it’s a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.
8. SOAR Farmers Market
Chicago, IL 60611
This market is special because it’s located at the Museum of Contemporary Art — so you can take a look at the wares, head to the museum, then do some shopping on the way out. Small but thoughtful, the market runs every Tuesday from June through the end of October, with 19 vendors that sell everything from meat to baked goods to produce to flowers. Grab a pastry from Bennison’s Bakery, which has been making baked goods since 1938, or grab some small-batch tofu from Phoenix Bean, which comes in different flavors and is made from Illinois-grown, non-GMO soybeans with no additives or preservatives. Don’t miss out on the live chef demos as well.
9. Chicago French Market
An indoor market, this nontraditional “farmers market” takes its cues from European markets. With more than 30 vendors, it’s definitely more of a place to sample and eat local favorites — a food hall of sorts — with fresh produce and bakery items also for sale. Located in the same building as the Ogilvie Metra Train Station, it’s the perfect place to grab some grub, with an added bonus: Covered, ground-level parking is available in the MetraMarket parking lot. If you park for one hour or less, parking is free when your purchases total $20 or more at the market. It’s open daily, with the exception of Sundays.
10. City Market at Daley Plaza
Chicago, IL 60602
Running on Thursdays from May through October from morning to midday, this Loop-based market is the longest-running farmers market in Chicago and is well known to those that work and live in the area. (Look for the famous unnamed Picasso statue — often referred to as “The Picasso” — and you’re there.) Berries in the early summer, gourds in the fall, this farmers market has a plethora of seasonal produce to pick from. It’s also a great place to grab a quick bite to eat while exploring downtown — and it’s perfect for people-watching. Make sure to go early and check out the “perfectly imperfect” boxes of malformed produce for a steal (as in, around $5).
11. City Market at Federal Plaza
Chicago, IL 60610
To find this farmers market, just look for the bright red “Flamingo” sculpture (by artist Alexander Calder). Running every Tuesday from May through October, this farmers market is a godsend for those commuters who want to start their day with a homemade doughnut or grab a quick, delicious lunch, while locals and visitors can grab in-season produce and have their pick from a ton of different flowers, plants, and herbs.
12. Maxwell Street Market
If you’re looking for Latin food, including some of the best Mexican in the city, you’ve found the place. This market operates year-round on Sundays, and not only features a farmers market portion but also antiques, collectibles, clothing, and more — including a ton of street food vendors. Featuring special programming to celebrate everything from Hispanic Heritage Month to the Jewish New Year to Dia de los Muertos, it’s got something for everyone.