Most of us try to eat healthily, but it’s not always easy.
Even if you are able to maintain dietary discipline, it can be challenging to find the right places to shop for food. There are plenty of supermarkets out that there that say they are a health food store, but is there any way to know which ones are the real deal?
Here 17 health food stores and farmer’s markets in the Chicago area that will help you narrow down your search for quality, healthy ingredients.
American Health Foods, Oak Lawn
At American Health Foods, health products don’t stop at food and supplements. The store wants its customers to take a confident step toward a healthy lifestyle, which is why it also sells vegan cosmetics and gluten-free products along with vitamins and minerals. The locally owned store also employs a knowledgeable staff that has decades of industry experience.
Amish Healthy Foods, West Town
As the store’s name suggests, Amish Health Foods’ produce is sourced from Amish farms. Every Wednesday, store owner Lyudmila Firov drives 2.5 hours to a large Amish community in Shipshewana, Indiana, and loads up her van with naturally fed, free-range meats; cheeses; organic milk; eggs; organic fruits and more. The store wants to provide its customers with the healthiest ingredients and freshest vegetables possible and help them eliminate highly processed foods from their diets.
Bonne Sante Health Foods, Hyde Park
Bonne Sante Health Foods is well-equipped to assist its customers who are on a quest for a healthy lifestyle. A staple in the Hyde Park community for more than 35 years, the health shop offers supplements, hand-made paninis and one of the best juice bars in town.
Green City Market, Seasonal Locations
As Chicago’s first year-round farmers market, Green City Market provides a spot for residents to buy sustainably grown food, and put farmers and local producers in touch with chefs and the Chicago community. Green City Market is outdoors in Lincoln Park from May through October before it takes things inside at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum from November to April. Foods on hand include dairy products, baked goods and meats and poultry.
Heritage Health Foods, Country Club Hills
This all-purpose health store is considered a “Mecca for vegans and vegetarians” by its customers. Along with healthy food options, Heritage Health Foods also carries body care products, stocks a variety of supplements and houses an extensive juice bar.
Highland Health Foods, Highland Park
This independent, full-service health food store covers all facets of a healthy lifestyle. Yes, Highland Health offers groceries (gluten-free, natural and organic groceries for that matter), but customers can also find a wide variety of other health products on the shelves, including natural health and beauty aids, supplements, and even pet food.
Kramer’s Health Food and Supplements, The Loop
Whether you are looking to shop for health food or to have a healthy meal out, Kramer’s Health Food and Supplements has you covered. Located downtown, Kramer’s has a health food store on its lower level, where customers can find groceries such as soy milk, sandwiches and energy bars. Upstairs, there’s a food bar where customers can enjoy veggie burgers, spinach pie, soups and smoothies.
Lake Bluff Farmers Market
To be honest, it might take less time to list what isn’t at the Lake Bluff Farmers Market. You’ll find proteins, flowers, cheese, pastries, jams and more every Friday during the summer. Lake Bluff Farmers Market kicks off summer weekends, which is why you’ll also see live music and cooking demonstrations going on, as well. It’s also is a great opportunity to bring the traditions of farmers and small business owners together in a historic community.
Lil’s Dietary Specialty Shop, Morgan Park
Lil’s is not your everyday health food store; in fact, it’s not really a health food supermarket at all. Rather, Lil’s is a family-owned business that provides medically necessary food. The store offers special selections of frozen foods, cookies, crackers, baking and flour mixes, pastas, breads, sauces, and whatever other foods meet the medical needs of it customer base. Lil’s is recognized as a Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) provider.
Logan Square Farmers Market
Initially an open-air food market, the Logan Square Farmers Market now operates indoors as well so it can keep going during the cold months. Farmers and local sustainable food producers gather to sell their goods as well as build a relationship with community members. The primary goals of the farmers market are to build an alternative food system (by providing nutritious, conscientiously grown and produced local foods), foster entrepreneurship and build the community.
Loyola Farmers Market
The Loyola Farmers Market runs from June through mid-October at the Loyola Plaza. It’s a “producers only” market, which means the attendees grow and produce their own food. Farmers here grow amazing fruits and vegetables. Bakers and other local producers cook with the best ingredients to ensure the community is eating food that not only tastes good, but also is good for you. Money spent on food goes directly to the farmers and producers.
Loyola Farmers Market was born from a student project in Loyola’s Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP) Food Systems course. One of the main goals of the market is to increase access to nutritious food that’s locally grown for members of the community.
New Leaf Natural Grocery, Rogers Park
Get a weekly dose of organic produce from New Leaf Natural Grocery. The store offers affordable boxes of organic produce such as squash, spinach and peaches that customers can pay for by the week without having to sign any long-term commitments. Boxes start at $15 and are available for home delivery.
New Vitality Health Foods, Orland Park
Determined to be its customers’ “Doorway to total health,” New Vitality Health Foods offers fresh, natural and allergy-free food along with nutritional supplements and body care products. Some of the products you’ll find as you’re walking the aisles include:
- Baking mixes
- Chips and crackers
- Frozen entrees, proteins and desserts
- Cheese and dairy products
Pass Health Foods, Palos Heights
Since 1995, Pass Health Foods‘ ownership has set out to make sure the store’s focus is on helping people change their lives for the better through healthy living. Pass has accomplished this goal by in part by carrying full lines of vitamins, minerals and herbs; wheat- and gluten-free foods; health and beauty supplies; herbal and medicinal teas; protein shakes and more.
Polson’s Natural Foods, Antioch
For more than 80 years, Polson’s Natural Foods has stuck to its initial mission of helping others enjoy healthy lives. The family-owned business, now in its third generation of ownership, has everything and anything someone looking to live a healthy lifestyle could want — vitamins, vegetarian options, natural hair care products, organic bison, you name it.
Southtown Health Foods, Beverly
Southtown Health Foods doesn’t just encourage its customers to “Discover a Healthier Lifestyle” with good-for-you snacks such as gluten-free honey mustard pretzels and avocado oil kettle chips. Its home page also features a health Recipe of the Week, and the store partners with Healthcheck to bring affordable wellness screenings and low-cost medical testing directly to its customers.
Walsh Natural Health, Evanston
For 20 years, Walsh Natural Health has had a mission: to educate the community about using natural products as a primary means of maintaining and achieving optimal health. That is why the store carries an array of products that deal with the physical, mental and emotional components that comes with illness. Customers have the option of trying out new products or buying successful ones that have been on Walsh Natural Health’s shelves for years. Some of the categories of products the store sells are:
- Vitamins and minerals
- Natural face and body products
- Natural pet products