Not that we have anything against Whole Foods but, if you're like us, you like to give your business to the little guys as much as possible, so why should that be any different for health food stores? Forget about those big-box grocery stores and head to your closest mom-and-pop the next time you need something instead. These Chicago health food stores are well-curated, from earth-friendly stores with green products to stores with raw Amish butter, gluten-free lunch options, fine juices and even organic treats for Fido that you may not find at your average pet store.
The best health food stores in Chicago
Each week, the owners behind this family-run shop wake up at 4am to haul a van to the Amish community in Shipshewana, Indiana, stocking up on the best natural goods around to bring home to Chicago. If you're looking for the best natural-fed and free-range meats, eggs, homemade pasta, jams, jellies, baked goods and fresh produce to be found, look no farther than this Ukrainian Village grocer. No GMOs, hormones, steroids or hydrogenated fats to be found here. The warm, inviting atmosphere is pretty tough to beat, too.
This community-owned grocery co-op has won over the hearts of Logan Square residents thanks to its locally-sourced goods and commitment to sustainability. Here you'll find some fantastic seasonal produce and a well-curated selection of specialty goods—a huge perk for gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan shoppers. Exciting news: The store is working on massive expansion for 2017, bringing lower prices, more product selection, and the addition of beer, wine and a deli to a new location. See website for details on how to get involved.
Specializing in locally produced food items, Green Grocer is the answer to all of your organic food needs, especially for those vegetarians looking for creative and tasty alternatives to MorningStar. Every product carried here is locally sourced, from cheeses to pastries to beers, all helping to give customers fresh foods with minimal carbon footprint.
You may walk by this Gold Coast gem hidden next to Ace Hardware several times before you actually see it, but if you're searching for healthy options, Chicago Health Foods is worth a look. As the name suggests, the shop specializes in, of course, health foods, but you'll also find tons of specialty supplements and vitamins. Plus, there's a cafe in the back that serves up tasty dishes like black bean burgers (some of the best around), wraps, fresh squeezed juices and even vegan soft-serve ice cream.
A staple of the Beverly community, this locally owned, natural and organic foods grocer has been in the Mahler family for generations. Those used to North Side price points will be especially pleased at checkout. Don't miss the juice bar—it's one of the best on the South Side. Just note: The store opens late and closes early, so if you're a 9–5er, plan your trip for their "late" night Thursday, when they're open until 8.
Conveniently located right off of the Red Line, this combination health food store/cafe opened in 1936 and continues to appeal to veg-head Loop workers for both grocery and lunch needs. The goods are a little pricy, yes, but healthy, convenient food is worth a premium in these parts. Plus, the juice bar is top-notch, and the veggie-packed to-go meals are perfect for a quick lunch.
For 30 years, health conscious South Siders have been heading to this well-organized, shop for all-natural snacks, specialty groceries, teas, juices, beauty products, vitamins, supplmements and other specialty goods you aren't likely to find anywhere else. Yes, price tags are high, but so is the quality.
The best running shops in Chicago
Whether for hobby or sport, Chicago runners mean business. You'll find those fast feet hitting the pavement day and night, summer or winter, on the 606, the Lakefront Trail and in any one of our great neighborhoods. Serious running means serious running products, and you'll find all of the best shoes, apparel and accessories you need at these friendly, fitness-focused shops.