Where to Order Groceries in Chicago
All chef-approved and open for delivery.
For a lot of us hunker-downers, laboring over each and every meal has become a huge part of our quarantine routine. And while honing your home chef skills is an undoubtedly productive way to pass the time, it also means braving cramped supermarket aisles and endless empty shelves. Next time you’re gearing up to tackle the latest cooking app obsession, skip the sticky shopping cart and snaking checkout line and turn to one of these chef-endorsed (not to mention delivery- and curbside pickup-friendly) little guys instead.
"I love how a few restaurants have turned into neighborhood bodegas," says Matthias Merges, chef and proprietor of Folkart Restaurant Management (Billy Sunday, Mordecai, Lucky Dorr, Old Irving Brewing). According to Chef Merges, West Town’s Bodega Biscay -- FKA Bar Biscay -- is a standout among the handful of temporarily-shuttered Chicago hangouts stepping up to fill the grocery gap. Expect a bounty of daily offerings alongside prepared dishes including baking supplies, cleaning and personal products, fresh produce, snacks, craft beer, excellent wine, and yes, even toilet paper.
Located just down the street from Bar Biscay, this West Town liquor den has followed in its dine-in neighbor’s footsteps and partnered with local farmers and artisans to curate a variety of market standards like seasonal CSA-style fruit and vegetable bundles plus cheeses, charcuterie, eggs, bread, a few French-leaning meal kits, and all the high-end booze you need to power through the rest of quarantine.
Wicker Park’s very own gastropub-butcher-deli-bar-concert venue hybrid has narrowed its services but not its take-out and delivery menu. Deck out that lunchtime meatball sub by tacking on a few 35-day dry-aged ribeyes, housemade sausages, Cheshire bone-in center cut pork chops, Turano brioche rolls, or produce staples to your order and future you will be oh-so-grateful.
This elevated Armitage Avenue brewpub was one of the first area eateries to make the transition from regular old restaurant to jack-of-all-trades corner store, and its eyes are still very much on the prize. Load up on everything from house-baked specialty breads, DIY pizza kits, and freshly-brewed beer to coffee, cultured butter, locally-farmed veggies, gardening compost, seeds, and even some recommended reads from indie bookstore City Lit.
"I live in West Town, and some of my favorite places to shop during quarantine are all right here," says CJ Jacobson, chef-partner of Mediterrianian standouts Aba and Ema. "Fresh seafood is especially tough to find and Wabash Seafood on Hubbard is my joint. We use Wabash at Aba and they always have four or five fresh fish to choose from. Sourcing beautiful halibut right now has made the quarantine much more bearable."
"Coming from Southern California, the Santa Monica Farmers Market was a huge part of my life," Jacobson explains. Now a Chicagoan, the decorated Top Chef alum has been getting his fix via Green City Market’s new home delivery program. "It's still early in the season but having fresh local produce delivered to your doorstep trumps the supermarket."
"Another cheffy spot to gather cool stuff is Tempesta Market," adds Jacobson. "Not only do they always carry a bevy of their Tempesta brand cured goods, you can also get frozen stocks, fats for confiting, and housemade sausage."
Maintaining a quality spice rack is key if you’re attempting to master the stay-at-home order’s growing list of viral recipes. Keep yours in check by perusing the fragrant wares at this innovative Midwest mini-chain. Their plethora of original blends, hard-to-find-herbs, and other flavor-enhancers are now available for curbside pick-up and speedy delivery.
"For years, my favorite liquor store has been Moreno's in Little Village," says Kris Peterson, the Spirits Archivist behind Wrigleyville rare booze emporiums Mordecai and Hush Money. "Their agave selection has always been one of the best in the country. Mike Jr. and Mike Sr. have unbelievable palates and knowledge and are always willing to share their expertise. They've also got a robust barrel selection program for bourbon and rye, an unbelievable craft beer selection and specialty spirits in every category. There's really no need to stop anywhere else." Even better, the family-owned stalwart is now offering expanded curbside pick-up and delivery options within a five-mile radius of the shop.
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