Chicago French Market (West Loop)
Inside the Metra’s Ogilvie Transportation Center in the West Loop is the last place you’d expect to find delicious French street fare. But tucked away between ticketing booths and platform entrances lies the Chicago French Market. As part of the blossoming MetraMarket, Chicago French Market houses several booths offering anything from fresh produce to cheese to prepared meals.
Several Chicago businesses have set up satellite shops in the marketplace to bring French-inspired flavors to commuters, West Loop residents, and tourists alike. You will find such well-known Chicago businesses as Pastoral and Canady Le Chocolatier all ready to serve you their version of a French marketplace delight.
I was thrilled to find traditional Parisian street fare amid several other selections, such as hot dogs, Vietnamese, fresh produce, grass-fed beef, and more. The market is intimate and offers a fast and unique way to experience the lunch rush in Chicago’s downtown. I savored a perfect ham and cheese sandwich from LM Café and a dripping hot crêpe with butter and sugar from Flip Crêpes, and I made it out of the market for less than ten dollars.
With Parisian and Chicago street signs assigned to each aisle, the Chicago French Market merges these two wonderful cities together for taste mash-ups to die for. I suggest heading to the Chicago French Market for lunch or an afternoon snack. You can sample the range of flavors from traditional Belgian frites (French fries) at Frietkoten to crêpes at Flip Crêpes to Vietnamese cuisine at Saigon Sisters. While eating, you can peruse the other shops, which include local artisans selling soaps, flowers, and gifts. Before you leave, be sure to grab a pastry or baguette for your commute.