Main Content

Winter neighborhood markets: Where to escape the cold and do a little local shopping around Chicago

The following blog is courtesy of

By Brooke Nagler 

Hyde Park Handmade
5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West

Filled with beautiful original crafts, Hyde Park Handmade is a great place to visit over a weekend. Located in the event space on top of The Promontory restaurant, the bazaar brings together local artisans in a room illuminated by the large, sunny windows. The ambiance is relaxed, with soulful music playing in the background curated by DJ Sean Alvarez.

Vendors display their crafts along the rows of tables, offering everything from vegan soy-based candles to comic books. Enticing jams and biscuits, herbal skin products, homemade perfumes, hand-sewn winterwear and handmade jewelry are dispersed throughout.

A standout display that caught my eye included handcrafted dolls — called “Sista Dolls” — by Yvette Wesley, who makes them with a range of skin colors so that kids can see themselves reflected in their toys. Another unique item was a collection of comic books written by Samaiyah Muhammad Wright and illustrated by Eric Nyamor. Centering on themes of bullying and self-confidence, the author writes the stories to help her own kids overcome their struggles with bullying, a theme that encapsulates the close-to-home atmosphere of the bazaar.

I would recommend the monthly bazaar to anyone looking for an afternoon excursion, and advise stopping downstairs for lunch at The Promontory as well.

Handmade Chicago
1035 N. Western Ave.

In the cozy, lively space of Empty Bottle — one of the city’s landmark neighborhood music venues — Handmade Chicago provides not only affordable local crafts, but also a few afternoon drinks. The market is filled with tote bags, pottery, cat toys, scarves and skin-care products, providing an assortment of local goods for all your needs. Empty Bottle begins serving drinks at noon, allowing visitors to stay for a while and enjoy the busy bar scene as they browse.

Green City Market
2430 N. Cannon Dr.

A food market inside the Notebaert Nature Museum during the winter (and in various outdoor locations during warmer months), the Green City Market provides local produce, baked goods and prepared food multiple times a month. Hosting a busy crowd, this Lincoln Park market offers great lunch options, a range of ingredients for organic cooking, and a chance to try food made by neighborhood vendors. Green City Market is open 2-3 times a month.

Pilsen Community Indoor Farmers Market
1800 S. Racine Ave.

Featuring a variety of homemade foods, the Pilsen Farmers Market offers up some exciting options from hot sauce, jam and salsa to cooked meats and veggies. Crafts, hand-decorated cookies, books and coffee complete the experience.

The Pilsen Community Indoor Farmers Market occurs monthly. Information can be found on their Facebook page.