If you're looking for a snack, drink, or a full gourmet picnic lunch to take down to the lakefront, this is the place to find it. Located between Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue, its probably the main grocery store for many of the privileged yuppies living in the area, so it's full of delicious and rare items. Very posh...
What to buy: I tried the organic "Italian Volcano Orange Juice" in their produce section--fresh juice made from special blood oranges grown at the base of Mt. Etna in Italy. How much fancier can OJ get?? Their chocolate-coated macaroons were also fantastic, but I doubt you could go wrong here.
The cafe is open for lunch and dinner, and pictured here is the chocolate mousse and cappuccino I had one night--excellent texture in the mousse!
What to pay: More than average, due to the snazzy ambience (cafe attached) and upscale groceries
This is a small butcher and sausage shop with a local, loyal clientele. It is NOT a restaurant. The owner is Hungarian though I'd been going there for years thinking he was Austrian. (this is an old German neighborhood) and I think some of his employees are Hungarian because ... 1. I can't identify their language, but its not Slavic, and 2. See they carry Hungarian spices and products.
What to buy: All the sausages I have tried are melt in your mouth good and they aren't shy about telling you how to cook them. My favorites are the veal bratwurst and The salamis are fabulous and meaty, full of flavor, try the paprika ones. its homemade and they have their own smoker too. Smoked pork loin and chops.
What to pay: Cheaper than most supermarkets for sausage and meats. Whole salamis (you know with the strings attached etc.) should be about $7.
We stopped by Bobak's after eating at Szalas Restaurant across the street. Bobak's is located in a Polish neighborhood in Chicago near Midway Airport.
There is also a buffet restaurant next door, next time we are in the area we will try it.
What to buy: Bobak's has been making and selling their sausages in Chicago since 1967, there is a huge selection of prepackaged and fresh sausages for sale.
In addition to the sausages, Bobak's sells a wide variety of Polish goods-candies, liquor, canned goods-has a delightful bakery and also is a regular grocery store.
We picked up a couple of packages of sausage to try later and a package of Kremowka, a delicious flaky pastry filled with custard.
What to pay: The prices were very reasonable
If you walk SE on North Milwaukee Avenue toward downtown, a wonderful surprise will be in store for you as you approach within blocks of the Loop. Besides the dazzling sight of the skyscrapers in front of your eyes, you will increasingly notice the wonderful smell of freshly made chocolate wafting through the air.
What to buy: I'd recommend buying small sample bags, as shown in the photo. They ranged between about $3 - $9.
The store is open these hours:
Mon - Fri: 9 to 5
Sat: 9 to 1
you'll think you are in Poland. Walk in here, and you'll hear little other than Polish. The first thing you will see is rows and rows of sausages and the backs of lots of people. When you listen, you'll hear nothing but Polish spoken here.
What to buy: I usually by the fresh sausages of course. They also have other goodies, as well as a lunch counter. Look aroudn and explore a few things, you might like them. Once you have some of their sausage, you'll never pick up a package in the grocery store, or eat in one of those lame, expensive downtown haunts again. For .99 pound, you can get a lot of quality stuff, and because its Polish, its all very clean.
What to pay: Prices here are about half or less what you would pay on the North side and about a quarter or less of what you would pay downtown, if you can even find comparable products downtown.
This place is a must for Chocolate lovers....
Their chocolates are made from excotic ingredients. They are just to beautiful to be eaten, but when you do, you are in heaven. If you have a chance, go to their website to see what I am trying to describe to you. Enjoy!!!!
What to buy: Well, it is hard to say, but I would go with their special of the month.
What to pay: Well, it is pretty expensive, but you will not regret it. I believe it is almost $2.00 for one little piece of Chocolate.
This wonderful store sells hand mixed seasonings from two locations:
1512 Wells St., Chicago
1941 Central St., Evanston
I received a gift pack from one of my Chicago VT friends. It consisted of 4 delightful spices:
Bronzeville Rib Rub
Old Taylor St. Cheese Sprinkle
Lake Shore Drive Seasoning
Old World Central Street
I started using them as soon as I got home!
Owned & operated by Tom & Patty Erd, this is THE place to go if you're looking for GREAT spices in Chicagoland!
What to buy: They offer a number of gift boxes, perfect for every occasion.
A signature Chicago dish is the deep dish pizza. When I was looking up Giordano's on the internet, I found that one can now get their pizza by mail order anywhere in the U.S.
What to buy: Their website says:
"Giordanos will now half bake and freeze our famous stuffed pizzas. They are packed in dry ice for shipping anywhere in the USA. We will not ship to Canada. We only ship 12 inch medium stuffed pizzas and will not ship meat. The shipping price includes Fed Ex priority over night service, dry ice and an insulated container which can hold up to four pizzas. Your pizza will be made and frozen the first day, shipped the second day, and will arrive the third day. Depending on the time you placed your order, the pizza will be made that day or the day after. Orders made Thursday or Friday we will not ship until Monday for you to receive on Tuesday. We do not ship on Saturday unless you request it. Fedex charges $10 extra for Saturday delivery which we will charge you at your request. Call the store for Saturday delivery. All orders will be processed at the Rosemont IL. location. For questions about your order please call them."
If you have a taste for gourmet wine, liquors, and food, this is the place for you. I have traveled a lot. Sometimes, at home, I want some of the exotic flavors I have had abroad. I can find many of these things at Binny’s in Lakeview.
What to buy: I like the Pisco (from Peru) with sugar and lime juice. The Ravenswood wines, from Sonoma California, are wonderful. The French wines, like Chateauneuf du Pape, are always good. Also, they have some tasty cheese and olives.
Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:00-9:00
What to pay: You can spend a little or a lot here. I can find a good wine here starting at $10.
This is a medium sized groceria that also serves up good sandwiches. They have the usual assortment of Italian cold cuts and cheeses as well as about five rows of imported food and other things, mostly Italian with a minor in Greek. Olive oils, biscotti, coffees etc.
What to buy: Italian Sausage, seafood salad, fresh bread, scamorza, hot capicola, gardiniera, sub sandwiches
What to pay: About the same as a grocery store, though some of the imported foods are a little more.
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