Discover French market magic in Chicago
t’s hard to resist the allure of a true French market. Whenever I think of my travels to France, I immediately envision my time spent browsing the tables full of unique wares at markets across the country. At each one, visitors were inexplicably drawn to the varied treasures from past and present. To me, it was always remarkable to be able to go from a table filled with lavender soaps to one with antique absinthe fountains to one with homemade confitures – all in one bustling place. This is why I always savor the chance to go to the Lycée Français de Chicago (LFC) Fall French Market each year.
An authentic French market in Chicago
French market enthusiasts should mark your calendar for the 9th annual LFC Fall French Market taking place Friday, 8 November through Sunday, 10 Novembe . The event, held at the French international school at 640 W. Irving Park Road, will feature a wide array of unique goods – like any authentic French market.
This year, you can sample chocolates, peruse jewelry, check out antiques, sample jams, and try on apparel – with many other items being offered by the more than 60 vendors expected at this year’s market. Parents can shop sans enfants thanks to the market’s Children’s Pavilion, which offers arts and crafts activities and a variety of entertainment.
French culinary sweet and savory treats
To add to the authentic French experience, you can treat yourselves to such culinary treats as made-to-order crepes, warm beignets, fresh baguettes, and more. You also can visit the market’s parent and student-run bistro, which will serve up homemade French seasonal cuisine. Each year, I enjoy placing my order with a French-speaking student and then having them cheerfully deliver me my delicious lunch with a hearty “bon appetit!“ At the market, you also can learn a culinary trick or two from renown Chicago chefs who will conduct cooking demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, helping to inspire your next menu or meal. Participating chefs hail from Bistronomic, Geja’s Cafe, Gur Sweets, LM Bistro, Green Spirit, Oceanique, Toni Patisserie & Cafe, and Nouveau Tavern, among other local restaurants and caterers.
A toast to all things French
The LFC Fall French Market opens its doors Friday night. Anyone wishing to get an early look at this year’s unique offerings can purchase a ticket to the preview party. This year, the party is inspired by our neighbor to the south – Mexico. It offers a sampling of authentic Mexican food and a festive selection of wine, beer and cocktails. The LFC Fall French Market is one of the school’s annual fundraisers. Proceeds go towards need-based scholarships for students. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
What do you like most about French markets? What are your favorite French markets in Chicago? Share your favorites in the comments below.All photographs © In the Light Photography