Maxwell Street Market

The Maxwell Street area in Chicago has a rich history as a bustling metropolis for Russian, Italian, Greek and African American immigrants, and at the turn of the century, became know for its large open-air market where anything and everything was sold. Over the years, the market has grown considerably smaller and moved locations many times, due to the impending dominance of UIC in the neighborhood. But every Sunday morning, hundreds of vendors still setup shop - and for a culinary-enthusiast like myself, a trip to the Maxwell Street Market is pure heaven.

The majority of the vendors we saw this Sunday, we're actually peddling food, made on the spot. Many of the stands sell tacos, tortas, and other Mexican delights. Here we found a stand that deep fried little papusas (round dough) and sliced them open to make a sandwich. You pick the filling.

I had to get a shot in of Peen's Warriors shirt, just because it rules. WARRIORS!!!

And this was quite the treat - a mushroom and Chihuahua cheese quesadilla with all the fixings for $2.00! Each stand has a few tables where you can rest your weary shopping legs, and the best part, usually a few homemade salsas to taste.

A handful of masa gets pressed into the shape of a tortilla, and grilled to perfection.

The scene on the street.

Grilled corn.

There were many sellers of dried fruit, nuts, and various spices. Here we see dried Jaimaica flowers.

More sauces for tacos.

What looks like tree branches at this spice stand, is actually cinnamon bark.

Maxwell Street Market
Desplaines Street and Roosevelt Road
640 W. Roosevelt Road


dapeen said...

quesadillas with homemade tortillas can't be beat!

Anonymous said...

It's been so long since I've been there, looks so good. Time for lunch!

-javier child

Shannon Darling Dearest said...

Javier, let's go soon! There's also a lot of great junk stands!