Exploring: Chicago Farmer’s Markets

You may remember me mentioning hitting up a few farmer’s markets a couple weeks back. Honestly, I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked at the first one, but good thing I’ve got the rest of the summer to get back there. Take a look at some of the goods both of these lovely markets have to offer and read up on what I liked and loved.

Daley Plaza Market

The first market was the Daley Plaza Market. This one occurs every Thursday from 7am-3pm in, you guessed it, Daley Plaza. They’ve got loads of goodies there. I picked up some peonies and they’re actually still goin strong a week and a half later. There were actually a ton of different booths selling peonies, probably because they’re the greatest flower ever, second only to the ranunculus I also picked up some mint at the fresh herb booth to make a watermelon, feta and mint salad which ended up going great with some grilled steaks.

There seemed to be a lot of the same booths selling the same things. Now, I’m no scientist, nor am I a farmer or gardener, but I suspect this is because different things are in season at different times. So based on my non-scientific research of the booths, I’ll go ahead and say right now is the best time for strawberries, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and peonies. These are the things that I think had the most booths, but I’m also no mathematician. I’m also starting to realize I’m not a lot of things.

Cherry Tomatoes at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

Mushrooms at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

Strawberries at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

Peonies at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

White Peonie at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

 

Low Line Market

The other market I made it to was the Low Line Market on Southport up in Lakeview right below the Southport brownline stop. This one is much smaller, but it’s nice that it’s open during after-work hours for the people who are on their way home. It’s an easy stop to pick up some fresh ingredients for dinner, or dinner itself. We’ve been both weeks that it’s been open because we loved it so much the first time.

Katić Breads out of Aurora, IL has got some absolutely delicious croissants! I like the their regular butter version, but they’ve also got chocolate versions as well. On our first visit there was a particularly nice woman working this booth who gave us two extra croissants for free. I love free but when it’s mixed with pastries, I love it even more. We weren’t as lucky the second time, but hopefully she’ll be back! They also have a slew of breads of all different types, we got something that was similar to a sourdough that we toasted up with dinner because what’s dinner without some bread? I mean healthier, duh. But come on, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels is a dirty, dirty lie! Fresh bread does. Speaking of sweets, there is also a booth set up by CookieYum with some delicious red velvet and blueberry sugar cookies!

Katic Breads at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Low Line also a couple booths with fresh veggies and fruits, as well as farm fresh eggs. They’ve got the herbs here as well. Oh and a cheese booth! Cheese, my lifeblood. I didn’t pick up any because I really wasn’t making anything that called for it, but it looked delicious! But on top of that are some booths with a very affordable, handheld meal. Tamale’s Express has tamales and tacos that you can order for cheap. I got steak tacos and you guys, the pico de gallo on these babies is FIRE! I had to ask him if I could just buy it from them in bulk, and he told me if I called ahead that day they could make a batch and have it ready for me to pick up. Talk about customer service! There is also a tofu booth there that I obviously had no interest in because I love meat and fake meat does not appeal to my carnivorous tendencies.

Tamales Express at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Steak Tacos at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Michigan Asparagus at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

There’s also another booth with a super sweet little lady that sells empanadas. I’ll be honest, we bought one but we ended up getting too much other food so we threw it in the fridge and kind of forgot about it, so it never got eaten. But never fear, we’ll definitely be picking up another one this week. Yep, I foresee Thursday steak tacos, empanadas and croissants becoming a regular dinner for us this summer.

Empanadas at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Last but not least, Wind Rose Flowers. They’re part of Temple Farms Organics, and they have some gorgeous flora. The poppies were so colorful and vibrant and beautiful, and I almost got some, but my peonies from the week before were still alive and kickin’, so I held off. Fingers crossed they’re back next week and I can grab some then.

Flowers at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Poppies at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Hope everyone manages to find at least one Thursday to check out these two markets. I’ll be exploring other markets throughout the summer, so keep an eye out for my reviews on those guys too. I really do think that the prices at both the markets are spot on, really affordable for really great product. Have you found any secret gems around Chicago yet? Or let me know what is fresh and in season in your area, I’d love to see if there’s a big difference from locale to locale.

L