Message from the RDs: All About Chicago’s Ethnic Markets by Carla Schmitz

If you need to shake up some of your favorite recipes, why not venture to one of Chicago’s International Markets to add some variety to your plate?  Chicago is truly a melting pot of cultures and flavors. Check out our list below for some of our favorite International Markets where you can get dishes like grandma used to make or the unique ingredients to make specialty dishes right at home.

Joong Boo Market – 3333 N. Kimball Ave

For 25 years, Joong Boo has been the go-to Korean and Pan-American supermarket in Chicago offering a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, and seafood along with uniquely Asian ingredients that you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else in the city. Not to mention, they have an in-store snack counter and a new outdoor walk-up counter serving three types of Wang Mandoo.

The Devon Avenue Corridor – Devon Ave between Broadway and California

Devon Avenue might just be the most complex and interesting street in Chicago. There are markets catering to Assyrians, Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs, Greeks, Russians, Poles, Turks, Cubans, and Eastern Europeans (just to name a few). Below are some of our favorite highlights from the Devon Avenue corridor:

La Unica  – 1515 W. Devon Ave

This tiny grocery store not only sells Cuban staple ingredients, but there is also a small eatery in back where you can try Cuban coffee and other traditional dishes.

Devon Market – 1440 W. Devon Ave

This grocery store has a wide variety of international fare, but it would seem that their speciality is Eastern European goods. From pickled vegetables to Croatian wine, you’ll find plenty of Eastern European staples here.

Patel Brothers – 2610 W. Devon Ave

Patel Brothers specializes in bringing regional Indian ingredients to Chicago including dry goods, frozen foods, and a wide variety of fresh produce.

Middle East Bakery & Grocery – 1512 W. Foster Ave

Not only will you find all the staples you need for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes here, you’ll also find an array of authentic homemade foods such as hummus and Zaatar bread. Additionally, you’ll find a great selection of molasses and condiments.

Pete’s Fresh Market – multiple locations

While more of a traditional chain grocery store than a local market, the Pete’s on Cermak (2526 W) has a phenomenal selection of Latin American and Mexican staples along with a well-stocked butcher and an envious produce selection.

Old World Market – 5129 N Broadway

At Old World Market you can find a wide variety of specialty foods and ethnic spices, particularly those needed for African dishes, most of which will come in bulk bags at good prices.

Go forth and try! Let us know what you think and where some of your favorite markets are!

Bonus content: Argyle Night Market

Mid-July through August you can venture to Argyle Street between Sheridan and Kenmore, Thursday evenings from 5-9 PM for an open-air farmer’s market and street food fest.