By Christina Cilento
When people think of Farmers’ Markets, they think of fresh produce and healthy, local options. But let’s be real– sometimes we need a little bit of the not-so-healthy options. It’s part of a balanced diet, right? The Evanston Farmers’ Market certainly delivers there, offering all your classic leafy greens as well as your traditional guilty pleasures. We take you through our favorite indulgences that’ll satisfy your cravings, make you feel good about supporting your community, AND make you healthier. Because stuff you buy at the Farmers’ Market is automatically good for you, right..?
1. Katic Breads
Ahhhh good ol’ gluten. Katic’s table is piled high with freshly-floured sourdough loaves, French baguettes, croissants, and all sorts of deliciousness. And it’s all preservative free, which means it’s basically guilt free.
2. Gotta B Crepes
If you’re looking for the Gotta B Crepes stand, just look for the longest line at the market and you’ve found it. This Farmers’ Market staple offers the classic thin pancakes in all sorts of styles– from fruit and Nutella to pepperoni pizza toppings. They even have crepes made with kale batter! Kale = green = good!
3. Sweety Pies
Sugary sweet treats like scones, pastries, and– their namesake– pies. In personal sizes, so you don’t overeat! Or something like that. Sweety Pies is family owned and operated in Skokie, and they cater to special dietary preferences, like gluten free and paleo.
4. Great Harvest Breads
There’s a whole lotta good going on at this table. Everything from scones to loaves of bread to pans of monkey bread. They support small farms by purchasing their whole wheat grains from a family-owned farm in Montana, and then grind it into flour fresh daily.
5. The Cheese People
If you give a Northwestern student some bread, they’ll want some cheese to go with it. So once you’ve grabbed your fill from Great Harvest or Katic, head over to The Cheese People. They’ve got all sorts of exotic flavors, like triple creme with aged buttermilk bleu cheese, or the classic but prestigious great grand cheddar, which has been aged for eight years! Stock up on a couple blocks for your next wine night, and be sure to tell your guests how bougie you are.
6. Tamales Express
The name says it all. Hot tamales. To your hands. Expressly. Might be a little bit of overkill for 7:30 a.m. when the market opens, but by lunch time your tummy will thank you for the treat. Which, we should add, is organic and can be vegan!
7. Hahn’s Bakery
Alright, to be honest, I’m not really sure how to spin this stand to be healthy. Donuts and cookies and cinnamon rolls just are not that nutritious (unless it’s for your soul). BUT, Hahn’s Bakery is family owned and operated, and stresses using fresh ingredients in their baking. So that’s definitely something to feel good about!
8. Marilyn’s Bakery
Marilyn’s is located in Indiana and sells a variety of pastries and cafe items– but when they’re at the Evanston Farmers’ Market, pie is their game. They’re dedicated to supporting local farms and so they only buy in-season produce that’s grown within 100 miles of them. Marilyn’s Bakery thinks food tastes best when it’s local. And we think local food tastes best when it’s in pies.
9. Katherine Anne Confections
Healthy-ish candy is no longer an oxymoron! Katherine Anne Confections makes all sorts of goodies, like caramels, truffles, and marshmallows, but with a twist. They use no corn syrup in any of their recipes, and instead substitute agave or local honey. And a herd of cows in central Illinois supplies them with all the milk they need to hand craft their chocolates.
10. Dulce Caramel Co.
So these guys sell a variety of confections, but they’re known for their alfajores– which are two thin, buttery cookies with a dulce de leche or fruit filling. They also sell dulceletts, which are little cones of dulce de leche. And no artificial ingredients or preservatives here, folks.
11. Bennison’s Bakery
Do we need to say more? If you love ’em when they’re on Davis– you’ll love ’em when they’re under a tent on University Place and Oak.