The Chicago food retail industry has been quickly evolving. In 2013, the area lost Dominick’s, a supermarket chain of long standing, but taking its place are some new players, or some familiar ones that are taking surprising turns.
Following are 10 retailers that we recommended you visit during your stay in the Windy City. They were chosen because they offer something unique to the industry and their customers.
Several are within walking distance from Loop hotels, while others may require a short cab ride or trip on the El. All are within 30 minutes of McCormick Place and well worth taking the time to see.
Walgreens, 151 N. State St.
Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens has been expanding its reputation as a food retailer, and its flagship State Street store is the result.
The ground floor of this two-story site is dedicated almost exclusively to food, a lot of it not the type you’d expect at a “drug store.” Along with the customary snacks, this Walgreens offers selections that rival those of a specialty food store. At the large food island near the main entrance, there are grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, soft-serve frozen yogurt and a juice bar, right along with sushi prepared daily by an in-house sushi chef.
In the liquor section, Walgreens offers craft beers and wines, all the way up to a $2,400 bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac.
Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St.
Approximately 30 local vendors have gathered under one roof at the European-inspired Chicago French Market. It was co-developed by the Bensidoun family, the largest market operator in Paris, according to the market’s website, with the goal of supporting local farmers and artisans.