“The Insider's Guide” Of Where To Go And What To Do In Chicago
Created in 2009, the French market in the West Loop runs year-round, offering the best European cuisine you can find in the city. The market was a call to support local food systems and make European-inspired marketplaces popular again. When it opened, it became Chicago's first indoor food hall!
The market is also called the Bensidoun market, named after the family who has been in the food market business for 4 generations. When Sebastien Bensidoun came to America from France, he fell in love with the Windy City and in 1996, Sebastien opened up his first outdoor market in Wheaton. While it started off slow, it eventually became popular after the Chicago Tribune wrote about it and in 2009, Sebastien, with the help of Metra Market partners, opened up the Chicago French Market we know today. The indoor market was modeled after the Bernsidoun's successful markets in France and this one had over 30 vendors, offering French food, as well as other European dishes. You will find already prepared foods, fresh produce, flowers, gifts, and so much more. The vendors themselves are family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, and successful sellers you may have heard of. It's the perfect market for grab-and-go meals, pastries, or dinner items, such as cook-at-home meals. There is a seating area made to look like a Parisian street cafe and guests can admire a beautiful nighttime in Paris mural.
Vendors aren't the only thing you will find here. Musicians perform at the market, with their event known as "Rush Hour Concerts" These two-hour concerts happen twice a week starting at 4:30 PM and you can view their lineup on their website.
Happy hour specials are offered Monday-Friday from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM but they also have special vendor sales occasionally. Grab a macaroon or a baguette and wander through the halls of European food, you never know what you may find.