But ABC7 food reporter Steve Dolinsky says Chicago now has an eating market, where every vendor is there to do just one thing: feed you.
The Saturday-only market starts at 10 a.m.
The gathering every Saturday - behind the Pritzker School at Damen and Evergreen- looks a bit like a Portland, Oregon food cart pod. Vendors form a circle, around a common area in the center, featuring picnic tables and portable tents. Only about a month old, The NOSH at Wicker Park is proving to be an incubator for a number of "new food entrepreneurs."
"People who are looking to move up in the world of food and we're looking to create a platform for those kinds of people to be able to start to test their products, build an audience and market what they're making," said Alan Kannof, the founder of The NOSH at Wicker Park.
There are established restaurants - like Pecking Order - making the trip down from Ravenswood, whipping up a tasty fried chicken snack over veggies and Filipino garlic rice.. as well as affordable corn tamales drenched in a creamy poblano cream from Mixteco Grill. But there are also food trucks like the Eastman Egg Company, which produces just three breakfast sandwiches (all of them delicious), and lobster rolls from Da Lobsta in the Gold Coast.
"We've asked the vendors who are cooking to try to limit their items to three or four - no more than three or four items; to keep prices under $10 and to have at least one thing that's $5 or less," said Kannof.
There are also vendors without brick-and-mortar stores, like Karl's Craft Soup, a mainstay on the farmer's market circuit, whipping up a handful of artisan soups.
"It's terrific marketing because I'm in front of a new kind of group of people and they're also here exclusively to eat, so I prefer doing this type of an event over a farmer's market because a lot of people are going to a farmer's market to shop and buy produce or whatever," said Karl Bader, the owner of Karl's Craft Soup.
Nosh at Wicker Park runs every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's gonna run all the way through October, and the nice thing is every week is going to be a little bit different. You'll see ice cream, fried chicken, even artisanal soup.
Nosh at Wicker Park
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturdays
2009 W. Schiller (behind the A.N. Pritzker School, near Damen/Evergreen)
Runs through October