While major supermarkets are convenient with their large selections, sometimes it’s nice to visit a locally-owned specialty market. Illinois has many independent markets scattered throughout the state, but the following are unique in their own ways. Some of these markets specialize in particular cuisines, while others are more eclectic. Whether you’re looking for fresh seafood, homemade cheese or from-scratch baked goods, the following markets are sure to satisfy.
Choices Natural Market features a wide selection of natural and organic products, bulk foods, vitamins, and health foods. They also have an amazing vegan selection and even have cooking demonstrations occasionally. Their friendly, knowledgeable staff provides excellent customer service and is willing to help customers.
Chicago French Market has something for everyone! With dozen of food vendors, this European market offers a wide variety of cuisine ranging from barbecue to vegetarian. You can find bubble tea, crepes, candy, seafood, sushi... you name it and it’s at the Chicago French Market. This market is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the mood to try something different.
Bizios Fresh Market is known for their friendly, professional staff and excellent quality food. Patrons recommend the smoked whitefish, fresh deli bar, and desserts. This market has a fantastic selection of fresh food and draws many repeat customers.
Every Sunday the Maxwell Street Market is open to the public, providing an eclectic mix of merchandise and international flavors. You never know what you’ll find at this interesting market... furniture, clothing, collectible, and rare finds. There’s also fresh produce and Latin street food.
Shady Crest Farm Market isn’t your typical grocery store—this small market offers many homemade products. You’ll find fresh produce, deli meats, and cheeses, baked goods such as homemade fudge, bulk foods including dried fruits and candy, plus much more. Patrons recommend the homemade chicken and ham salads and homemade ice cream.
Robert’s Seafood Market is one of the best markets in Illinois for fresh seafood. Their helpful, friendly staff makes the shopping experience pleasant while the large selection of quality seafood keep patrons coming back. This market also offers lots of locally produced items, gourmet foods, other specialty products.
Peoria RiverFront Market is open every Saturday morning to feature local produce, meats, breads, cheeses, berries, flowers, and herbs. They also showcase a unique selection of art including jewelry, blown glass, pottery, wood items, and much more. Sometimes you can catch entertainment or demonstrations at this market, as well.
For a wonderful selection of Latin products, look no further than Nina’s Market. This little shop offers fresh produce, meats, homemade salsas, fresh guacamole, and much more. They also have an authentic Mexican restaurant on-site serving traditional cuisine.
If you love cheese, you’ve got to head over to the Cheese Market in Freeport. This market offers a wide variety of homemade cheeses including real cheese curds (customer favorite item). The service here is top-notch, the staff really take an interest in cheese and enjoy helping the customers shop for cheeses.