A Little Time and a Keyboard: Lunch at Chicago French Market: A Food Adventure

Lunch at Chicago French Market: A Food Adventure

Friday, January 4, 2019

Lunch Adventure Exploring the Chicago French Market

Lunch at Chicago French Market: A Food Adventure

Chicago French Market's fun and flavorful culinary exploration is in a slightly hidden spot below busy Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago. So, the collection of tempting food booths can easily be missed during a visit to Chicago. However, Chicago French Market is definitely one of my favorite places to eat and makes accommodating a variety of tastes pretty easy.

Chicago scene from outside of Ogilvie Transportation Center
The Chicago French Market is a treasure in Chicago!
French Accents Throughout

On a recent winter day, we took the train from our suburb into the city. My husband had never visited Chicago French Market before. He usually only visits the city on Sundays when the market is closed. Due to the holidays, we capitalized a little extra time off. The market houses about 32 different vendors, so I recommend taking a walk or two through before settling on anything to eat. Every time I turned a corner, I seemed to change my mind on what to eat! Of course, the nice French accents add to the atmosphere.

Booths and lovely accents entice exploration at the Chicago French Market!
Booths and lovely accents entice exploration!

So Many Unique Food Choices!

When I arrived, I was totally set on crepes. The Chicago French Market provides a variety of French favorites including crepes, Croques Monsieur, macarons and more. However, I discovered Polpetti Meatball Bar and just had to try some meatballs. They had vegetarian meatballs which were a mix of eggplant and garbanzo beans. I HAD TO TRY THEM. For my meal, I got to choose the type of meatballs, sauce and whatever veggies and cheese I wanted on them. You can also make different bowls with penne, rice or lettuce or you could have a sandwich. I just had mine with sauce, mushrooms, spinach and parmesan. DELICIOUS!

Vegetarian meatballs at Polpetti in the Chicago French Market
Vegetarian meatballs with sauce, mushrooms, spinach and parmesan!
I was surprised that my daughter also shunned the crepes. She opted for a grilled cheese from Loop Soup and devoured it. I guess grilled cheese is a great winter comfort food, right? My picture does not do the sandwich justice. It had several types of cheese, tomatoes and more.

Grilled cheese with add-ins! The perfect comfort food! at the Chicago French Market
Grilled cheese with add-ins! The perfect comfort food!
My husband took a little longer to choose his lunch. My daughter and I actually had a difficult time waiting to eat! After a few turns about, he went with gumbo and a po'boy from JoKeR's Cajun Kitchen. I am actually surprised he did not come back with an empanada, but I guess that is for another trip! I did sample the gumbo and I agree with my husband's review that it was GREAT! The po'boy was also delicious and great for a winter's day!

JoKeR's Cajun Kitchen gumbo and po'boy at the Chicago French Market.
JoKeR's Cajun Kitchen gumbo and po'boy.
Chicago French Market does have flavors from all over the world. There is quite a variety to try including dim sum, empanadas, sushi, Belgian fries, pierogis, barbecue and more. Such an adventure! Every trip can be unique or you can enjoy the comfort of familiar flavors!

No Shortage of Something Sweet

Chicago French Market has plenty of sweet temptations including French macarons and pastries from Vanilla Pastisserie, decadent chocolate truffles and cake treats at Lolli and Pops, cannolis from Polpetti and much more! It was difficult to do, but we did pass by the pastries at Vanille because we felt we had over indulged on similar items the week before. Another shock -- my daughter passed by the macarons! They do have amazing flavors, so I recommend checking them out.

Incredible pastries at Vanille Patisserie a the Chicago French Market.
How do you choose just one pastry creation from Vanille?

We settled on treats from Lolli and Pops! I had an incredible dark chocolate raspberry truffle and my daughter went with a petit four. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Creative truffles at petit fours at Lolli and Pops!
Just beautiful!
Truly the Chicago French Market is a culinary wonderland! As you can see, there are plenty of prepared items to eat there or even bring home. Additionally, there are fresh food items, baked goods, cheese, wine and more to pick up for dinner at home as well! You can even pick up some fresh blooms for the table. I always love adding a visit to the Chicago French Market to my Chicago excursions!

Lunch at Chicago French Market: A Food Adventure


  1. I’ve never been to part of Chicago fun!

  2. That Po Boy looks absolutely delicious! And I would have such a hard time picking a sweet too! Too many options! ;-)