On Saturday and Wednesday mornings in the summer, Chicago’s Lincoln Park is transformed into a fresh farmers market that will rival any food market in Europe. In the early hours of morning, before the sun has even thought about rising, farmers, bakers and artisanal food producers arrive and set up their stands. By 7 a.m., the Green City Market is in full swing. Over 50 vendors sell fruit, veggies, herbs and flowers straight from the farm, fresh-baked bread and pastries, organic meats, eggs and milk, and artisanal cheese, honey, and sauces.
But Green City is more than just an outdoor grocery store. You can nosh on samples of most items, or join the crowds who’ll happily wait in line for freshly-made crepes stuffed with cheese and herbs, grilled bratwursts and burgers (made from organic meat), and hot, sugary donuts fried before their eyes. Chairs are scattered around the park, but many families opt to enjoy their meal picnic-style in the grass. There’s also a full-schedule of special events and cooking demos from local restaurant chefs.
The Market is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays from May to October. It’s located at the south end of Lincoln Park, between Clark and Stockton Drive. Parking in the lot of the Chicago Historical Museum is $9, with validation from the Market (a $5 purchase is required). The #22 CTA bus also runs up Clark from downtown Chicago. The market is busiest from around 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.. Items do sell out, so come early for the best selection and fewest crowds. The Market is close to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is also free, so stop there after filling up on farm-fresh goodies.
Photo credit: kthread via Flickr