A boutique grocer, Southport Grocery and Café curates local and far-flung sundries, such as Zingerman’s artisan cheese from the world-class Ann Arbor shop. Guests can pop in for tasting events or hunker down in the Zagat-rated cafe to sample its menu of breakfast and brunch dishes, including the sweet and savory french toast, layered with smoked ham, baby swiss, and maple-mustard syrup. The crown jewel of Southport Grocery and Cafe, however, is the cupcake. The two-handed affair is a study in simplicity. This is due in large part to wholesome ingredients, such as Massey pure vanilla extract, european-style butter, and a healthy dollop of Zingerman’s goat cheese.
For 92 years, Makowski's Real Sausage has crafted a wide array of protein products from all-meat franks and brats to italian beef and polish sausages. The party package offers hosts the meaty supplies necessary to pack sandwiches for up to 32 guests on a big game day or assemble an all-meat sculpture of Dan Marino as a party centerpiece. The italian sausage is precooked and requires only a bit of heat to make it servable, and the italian beef with gravy comes frozen in a tray and requires 60 minutes in the oven before consumption. Makowski's opens its doors on Monday–Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., preventing werewolves from devouring its entire supply of sausages.
Since it opened in a tiny dock space in 1950, Lawrence’s Fisheries has been plying the Chicago community with fresh seafood, including the best fried shrimp in the city, according to Chicago Magazine. The legacy started with founder Lawrence Schweig, whose commercial fishing operation on Lake Michigan reeled in fresh fish. Two generations later, the staff still uses family recipes and a signature breading process to churn out specialties such as fried large shrimp, frog legs, and bone-in catfish. Customers can get their fried fixings–as well as sandwiches and decadent desserts–24 hours a day. The counter spot retains its homey feel with picnic table seating and by serving its breaded bundles in white paper bags.
Made possible by FamilyFarmed.org, an organization that forges bonds between locally grown food and the people who grow, sell, and eat it, the Good Food Festival & Conference lets Chicagoans participate in the locally driven Good Food movement. Coming from all over the Midwest, 150 farmers and artisans display their healthily unprocessed bounties while debunking widespread myths that the freshest fruit grows in cans, and chef demos from Frontera Grill’s Rick Bayless, Perennial Virant’s Paul Virant, and Naha’s Carrie Nahabedian celebrate the spectacle of cooking. Young chefs can exercise creative muscles and artsy tendons at the children’s corner, which features face painting, a scavenger hunt, and an arts and crafts session. Scheduled workshops, such as Organic vs. Conventional Food or Home Cheesemaking, teach casual eaters about their deep-seated connections to the things they chew (additional workshop fees apply).
FliP crêpes got its start on the Chicago Farmers Markets circuit in 2003, slinging its warm and sweet or savory treats to steadily growing flocks of customers. Eventually, the company outgrew its humble beginnings and expanded to a location inside the Ogilvie Transportation Center, where customers stop in for the crowd-pleasing crepes alongside a burgeoning roster of sandwiches and paninis. Four distinct menus address any and all cravings the day might present, including selections that tackle breakfast munchies with eggs and bacon, a passion for the savory with toasted options, salad cravings with fresh and crisp selections, and sweet teeth with desserts chock-full of Nutella, strawberries, and dulce de leche. The tender crepes will only wrap their eggy arms around healthy, high-quality ingredients, so the chefs avoid high-fructose corn syrup and other undesirable foodstuffs.
Conveniently nestled in the Gold Coast's busy hub, Copperfield's Market teems with an extensive selection of imported wines, spirits, and gourmet meats and cheeses. Accent a romantic dinner or openly affectionate Lunchable with a potable potion from Copperfield's assortment of domestic and imported wines. Uncork a crisp Santa Margherita pinot grigio ($19.99 for 750 ml) or sip an aromatic glass of Pennywise petite syrah ($12.99 for 750 ml). Singular spirits such as Skyy vodka ($22.99 for 750 ml) and aged Basil Hayden's bourbon ($39.99 for 750 ml) spicy up cocktail parties; Boar's Head craft salami ($7.99) and cheddar cheese ($6.99) make savory sandwich partners.