Housemade potato chips ($1.25 for small bag) at City Provisions (1818 W Wilson Ave, 773-293-2489, cityprovisions.com) crunch nicely next to the ooey goodness of the
Gooey Monkey sandwich, a deluxe PB&J made with blackberry preserves, peanut butter and banana that’s grilled on cinnamon-and-sugar sprinkled challah ($5) from Wicker Basket Café (2113 W Division St, 773-698-8413, wickerbasketcafe.com).
Old-fashioned brews from World Market (2844 N Broadway, 773-477-9912, worldmarket.com)—including Dad’s Root Beer, Ginger-Lime, Bubble Up and Frostie Orange ($10 for a nine-bottle sampler)—fizz some colorful nostalgia into the spread.
Or skip the bubbles and try real-fruit Ka-Ching! juices in raspberry-lime, apple-cherry or strawberry-watermelon ($2.50 each) from the French Market’s Produce Express (131 N Clinton St, 312-454-4540).
Sneak in some veggies with an apple-and-green-bean salad ($3) from Real Kitchen (1433 W Montrose Ave, 773-281-2888, realkitchenchicago.com), tart and sweet enough to make kids forget that they’re actually eating their greens.
If you could eat summer by the slice, it would taste just like the ruby-red strawberry rhubarb pie ($23) from Hoosier Mama (1618½ Chicago Ave, 312-243-4846, hoosiermamapie.com).
World Market–brand Mega Candy Buttons, lemon ticks, cotton candy, saltwater taffy and Necco wafers await small sticky fingers—retro-sweet and able to stand the heat (assorted candy, 70 cents–$4).