Now that they’ve been given the go-ahead from public health officials, dozens of Chicago farmers markets are set to open in the next week or two.
The message from various market organizers: The experience is going to be different, but different is better than nothing.
The city has established numerous protocols for markets to follow, all aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus. For starters, everyone will be required to wear a mask, and capacity limits will be in effect, so customers may have to wait before being allowed to enter. Solo shoppers are preferred, and the practice of social distancing is a given.
Though every market is unique, here’s what else to expect in general: Be prepared for one-way flow of traffic through a market, as well as a request to spend no more than five minutes at individual farm stands. Indeed, many markets are advising people to come prepared with shopping lists to cut down on browsing time. And there will be no squeezing of peaches or picking through peppers — customers will indicate what produce they want to purchase and farmstand staff will hand it over.
In recent years, many markets have added music, arts and crafts, childrens activities, yoga and cooking demonstrations. All of those extras are off the table in 2020, at least at the start of the season. The emphasis will be on providing fresh produce and supporting local growers. Basically, pick up your fruits and veggies, and move along.
Here’s the schedule of city-run markets, all of which accept LINK. Opening dates will be announced soon, according to officials.
June to October:
— Division Street City Market, 30 W. Division St.; June 20 to Oct. 31, 7 a.m. to noon.
— West Humboldt Park City Market, 3601 W. Chicago Ave.; June 13 to Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
July to September:
— Austin Town Hall City Market, 5610 W. Lake St.; July 16 to Sept. 17, 1–6 p.m.
— Bronzeville City Market, 4700 S. King Drive; July 12 to Sept. 13, 12–4 p.m.
— Englewood City Market, 1219 W. 76th St.; July 18 to Sept. 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
— LaFollette Park City Market, 1333 N. Laramie Ave.; July 29 to Sept. 16, 2–7 p.m.
July to October:
— Printers Row City Market, 700 S. Dearborn St.; July 11 to Oct. 24, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
— Pullman Market City Market, 11100 S. Cottage Grove Ave.; July 1 to Oct. 28, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
August to October:
— Roseland City Market, 138 W. 109th St. (Lavizzo Elementary School); Aug. 26 to Oct. 28, 2:30–5:30 p.m.
— Daley Plaza City Market, 50 W. Washington St., and Federal Plaza City Market, 50 W. Adams St.
And here’s a round-up of independent markets, some of which even allow people to order in advance online and pickup onsite.
Lakeview’s Low-Line Market at the Southport CTA Brown Line station starts June 11, 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Plant Chicago has restarted its weekly Saturday farmers market in Back of the Yards at 45th and Marshfield, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Logan Square Farmers Market is running Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entrance is only at Milwaukee Avenue and Logan Boulevard.
The Portage Park Farmers Market, Jefferson Park Sunday Market, and Independence Park Farmers Market have joined forces to form the Northwest Side Farmers Market Collective. Initial market dates are planned for June 14 and June 28 at the Sears at Six Corners, 4730 W. Irving Park Road. Check social media for updates.
The Glenwood Sunday Market in Rogers Park has a tentative opening date of June 21.
The Andersonville Farmers Market has an online version: Order on Friday, pick up the following Wednesday at Clark and Catalpa streets.
The Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce holds a daytime market on Tuesdays and an evening market on Thursdays in the municipal lot adjacent to the Western CTA Brown Line station. Anticipated kick-off dates are June 16 and June 18, respectively.
The weekly South Loop Farmers Market gets underway June 18, Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Ave.
The North Center Farmers Market debuts June 20 in the neighborhood’s revamped Town Square, 4100 N. Damen Ave., 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The first of North Park’s monthly Community Markets is set for June 14, 5515 N. Kimball Ave., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Pilsen Community Market opens June 14 in Plaza Tenochtitlán, 18th Street and Blue Island, and will run Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The SOAR Farmers Market in Streeterville sets up Tuesdays in the Museum of Contemporary Art plaza, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 23 through Oct. 27.
The Wicker Park Farmers Market kicks off its 20th season July 5, running Sundays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For those who are reluctant to attend markets, the Chicago Farmers Market Collective — a collaborative effort from several markets — has gathered a list of vendors and how to purchase directly from them.
This story was originally published June 9, 2020. It has been updated to include additional markets, dates, times and cancellations as information has become available.