Counter with fresh vegetables and a sign of local products

Neighborhood News: Farmers Markets bring out Chicago’s best produce, entertainment, community

Counter with fresh vegetables and a sign of local products

The month of May brings balmier temperatures and perfect weather for summer street festivals, art fairs and family-friendly fun! 

Chicago’s Farmers Markets, open from May-October/November every year, bring communities together in celebration of Chicago with local, organically-grown flavors, local musicians and entertainment, and Chicago’s greatest assets-its citizens and unique diversity! 

Origins of the Farmers Market 

According to, Farmers markets have been an established business practice since ancient times. In fact, some of the first recorded testaments of farmers markets come from Egypt over 5,000 years ago. (You can see a replica of such a marketplace at theField Museum) People in this part of the world used to sell their wares and produce along the Nile River to travelers passing through. 

In the United States, Lancaster Central Market in Pennsylvania  was designated as a market town in 1730, and is the oldest continuously running public farmers’ market in the country, according to The Library Of Congress.

Since the early ‘90s, farmers markets have vastly increased in popularity and accessibility. According to the USDA, there are currently over 8,600 farmers markets in the United States. Some of the reasons for their popularity include a renewed focus on health, community well-being and supporting local businesses in a time of mass corporatization.

Chicago Markets abound!

One example is the Lincoln Square Farmers Market, in their new locationat 4513 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the parking lot on the east side of Lincoln Avenue, just north of Sunnyside. Every Tuesday morning, from 7am–noon, and Thursday afternoons, 3pm-7pm, the market connects local farmers, artisans, and food purveyors to the North Side of Chicago. Far more than produce, the market offers sweet treats from local bakeries for man and beast, local libations from breweries, and arts and crafts from local artisans. As an added bonus, their Tuesday morning market has an extended season, running through November 19. 

At the Green City Market in Lincoln Park,1817 N. Clark, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024, an eclectic group of vendors are there, rain or shine. Green City Market is open Saturdays, 7 am to 1pm, from April – November, and Wednesdays,  7am to 1pm, between May and October.  

Discounted parking is available for $14 for two hours with validation in the Chicago Historical Museum parking off of Stockton Drive. Parking validation cards are available at all entrances to the market. Besides organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, you can also find pies and pastries, pork, chicken, beef, and fish, and bao (Asian steamed buns), lumpia (spring rolls), and meat skewers. 

NOTE: As Choose Chicago says, Green City Market also has an outdoor market in the West Loop from May through November and an indoor location in Avondale from December through March.

Chicago’s longest-running farmers market is on Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington. It starts a bit later, kicking off on Thursday, May 23, from 7am to 2pm and runs weekly through October 24. It features more than 40 vendors. As Choose Chicago notes, many of the vendors sell prepared foods that make a perfect grab-and-go option, like gourmet grilled cheese, empanadas, raclette sandwiches, Thai food, and more.

The North Park Community Market  is located on the Peterson Elementary School Community Field at Christiana and Bryn Mawr Avenues. The Market runs from 10am-2pm on the third Sunday of each month from May to October. They feature local vendors, live music, free kids activities, and serves as a showcase for local nonprofit organizations.

 The Logan Square Farmers Market, on Kedzie from Logan to Fullerton, was voted the best Farmers Market by the Chicago Reader in 2023,  is open every Sunday through October 27. Doors open at 8:30AM for seniors & 9:00AM for everyone. 

Link cards are accepted at most of the markets. Look for the (L) on the links to farmers market  

To Market we go!!

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago