Fresh meals at Green City Market

May 18, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The Green City Market began rather humbly next to the Chicago Theater. Over the years, the market expanded -- bringing in farmers, producers, artisans and food vendors. The majority of the products used in the delicious creations come from the same farmers who are at the market.

For more than a decade, the Green City Market - in the heart of Lincoln Park - has led the charge for locally-sourced, artisan-produced foodstuffs. Each vendor is carefully vetted, making sure they adhere to sustainable practices, and the bridges between farmer, chef and consumer have been fortified ever since the market was founded in 1998. But there's much more than just flowers and produce, there are also plenty of booths to stop by and grab a bite to eat. The original crepe stand is still here, using only local ingredients like butterkase cheese, mushrooms and salsa; most items are sourced from producers at the market.

"We always have assorted vegetables, we have a couple different cheeses, and then you can make your own. Then I usually do a fruit or two, and then the lighter ones are plain and maple syrup, which mostly kids get," said Rachel Grabelsky, or Abby's Crepes.

Nearby, fresh fruit smoothies are blended up using Seedling apple cider from South Haven, Michigan. And for the second year in a row, they're also selling fruity sorbet popsicles, utilizing whichever fruit is in season that week. Speaking of fruit, Floriole Bakery is back again, selling its French-influenced pastries, as well as its wildly popular seasonal fruit bread pudding.

The team from Sunday Dinner Club is at the market on Saturdays only, grilling up all-natural beef burgers while a new vendor this year offers homemade tamales, again, only on Saturdays.

Returning again this year for both Wednesdays and Saturdays is Zullos, which specializes in Italian comfort food.

"We do zeppole which is what we're most famous for, that's our apple cider donuts. And we also do fiadone, which are like Italian empanadas," said Isaac Weliver of Zullo's.

Weliver says like other vendors at Green City, the key is to teach people about the connection between the farmer and the eater.

"That's the whole mission behind Zullos is that the food can go from the farmer's hands, to our hands, to your hands. So it's a very small food cycle," he said.

Green City Market
South end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive
Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
773-880-1266 Green City Market Vendors/Food Booths

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