With the greener part of the year underway, farmers markets are dusting off stalls and preparing booths for a season spent showcasing and selling the freshest local produce and original artisanal concoctions. With dozens of regular farmers markets, Chicago offers an abundance of freshly farmed foodstuffs that is rivaled by only a few other regions in the country.
Here’s a guide to some of the Windy City’s most prolific farmers markets.
A weekday farmers market for those who don’t work nine-to-five, Daley Plaza Farmers Market transforms the plaza into a center for the exchange of locally sourced produce and handmade wares on Thursdays from May through October. Open from 7 AM to 3 PM, Chicago’s longest-running farmers market orients itself around the beautiful Daley Plaza Fountain, and is an appealing lunch option for people who work in the area.
A mile north of AMLI River North, the Gold Coast’s Division Street Farmers Market attracts accomplished vendors from throughout the metro area. Visit between 7 AM and 1 PM to start your weekend off by stocking up on fresh, organic produce for the week’s meals.
Downtown Evanston Farmers Market
Honey crisp apples, sweet blueberries, and crunchy arugula are a few of the locally grown items you can look forward to picking up at the Downtown Evanston Farmers Market this summer. If you have a sweet tooth, enjoy the dulce alfajores and fresh-baked pastries available at this Saturday farmers market, a five-minute drive north of AMLI Evanston. Well into its 41st season and scheduled to convene weekly until November 5, 2016, the Downtown Evanston Farmers Market runs later into fall than most Chicago farmers markets.
The Naperville Farmers Market Association hosts a Saturday market from 7 AM to 1 PM at the Fifth Avenue Station parking lot. Among the most popular foodstuffs exchanged here are homemade pasta and spreads, jams, and sauces made by local artisans. Residents of AMLI at Naperville looking for fresh produce midweek are also just a five-minute drive from the Wednesday afternoon farmers market at St John’s Episcopal Church, which runs from 3 PM to 7 PM.
Starting on June 25, 2016, Printers’ Row Park will be the site of a weekly farmers market until October winds to a close. Just a three-minute walk from AMLI Lofts and five minutes from AMLI 900, the small market is a convenient place to pick up veggies to stir fry or fruits to indulge in. The market runs until 1 PM, but getting there closer to 7 AM gives you a better choice of produce.
Recognized by Travel + Leisure as one of America’s best farmers markets, Green City Market transforms the south end of Lincoln Park twice weekly into a bustling market for locally sourced and produced goods. Green City is unique in that it moves indoors during the winter rather than hibernate like most midwestern farmers markets. The 55 esteemed vendors who participate regularly in the event sell microgreens, artisanal cheeses, and bratwurst-style sausages.
No matter where you live in Chicago, there’s bound to be a bountiful farmers market nearby. Prime your nose and eyes for picking out the best produce and journey to the farmers market nearest you. If you’re hungry while you shop, treat yourself to one of the readymades or made-to-order delicacies on offer. You may discover your new favorite pastry, sandwich, or spread.
What Chicago farmers market do you like best and why? Share your experience in the comments.
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