Unless you happen have a personal assistant or spend lots of money on takeout, grocery shopping is one of life’s unavoidable chores. Pick the wrong store and you’re in for a hellish mash-up of overcrowded aisles, anemic produce and rubbery rotisserie chicken. Luckily, our city is home to a number of spots that make the grocery shopping experience downright pleasant. From a cheerful new market that celebrates the foods of the Midwest (and includes a terrific butcher shop) to a market that also sells terrific Korean food to old-school shops that will satisfy the most adventurous culinary explorers, these nine grocery stores will banish the gloom from your weekly shopping trip.
The best grocery stores in Chicago
From a Korean market to a local foods emporium to a Mexican produce shop, these are the best grocery stores in Chicago
Best Chicago grocery stores
The sheer magnitude of Whole Foods’ Chicago flagship is such that, should someone suggest meeting at the bar, you’ll have to ask her to be much more specific—Beer? Wine? Juice? Trail mix? All the usual WF hallmarks are here: photoshoot-ready produce, meats and seafood, rated for sustainability and animal welfare; bang-up bulk and cheese sections; an astonishing variety of dry goods, frozen foods and beauty products branded with all-natural credentials. But the location’s rambling square footage affords it space to imagine itself not merely a grocery store, but a feel-good public space, a destination. On a visit here, it’s conceivable that you might order up ramen or barbecue at the extensive food court and enjoy a leisurely meal on the double-decker riverfront seating area, linger over a pint of local beer and take in a rooftop movie, all before—or even instead of—setting foot in the grocery aisles.