• Connecting Chicago
    to the best of the Midwest

    We work direct­ly with small local farms and ven­dors
    to ensure qual­i­ty, fresh­ness, and build­ing a robust com­mu­ni­ty
    that encour­ages the best prac­tices and sup­ports our local food sys­tems.

Frequently Asked Questions


Where is Local Foods?

Just off Elston, north of North Avenue, where Wil­low heads north­east. If you know land­marks bet­ter than street names: we’re near both Hide­out and Home Depot.

What does “local” actu­al­ly mean to Local Foods?

In almost every case, it means any­thing we can bring you that comes from with­in a day’s dri­ve of Chica­go. All prod­ucts’ place of ori­gin are marked, as are dis­tances. We car­ry a few things the Mid­west can’t grow—like avocados—which are clear­ly marked “beyond local.”

Here’s more about how we source prod­ucts.

What is Butch­er & Larder?

It’s Chicago’s only whole-ani­mal meat shop where you’re able to buy cuts from ani­mals respon­si­bly raised on small, Mid­west fam­i­ly farms. We pro­vide meats that are free of hor­mones, antibi­otics, and cor­po­rate inter­est.

What is Local Foods Café?

Local Foods Café, nes­tled in the mid­dle of Local Foods mar­ket, uses the best ingre­di­ents from around the mar­ket to bring you the bold­est fla­vors of the sea­son. Every­thing is hand­made each day, mak­ing it the per­fect spot for lunch, brunch or any time.

Can I request Local Foods car­ry a prod­uct?

Absolute­ly. Please con­tact us here.

I’d like to work at Local Foods; are there any open posi­tions?

We post open posi­tions here, please con­tact us! We’re always look­ing for team mem­bers.

What is Hand­cut Foods?

Hand­cut Foods is one of our part­ner busi­ness­es, spe­cial­iz­ing in supe­ri­or food, ser­vice and man­ag­ment. They build cus­tom menus around sea­son­al ingre­di­ents, from small farms when­ev­er pos­si­ble, bring­ing the same qual­i­ty of food we sell at Local Foods to schools, events, com­pa­nies… any­thing requir­ing larg­er-scale food-wran­gling.

What is Mightyvine?

Mightyvine is one of our part­ner busi­ness­es, using next-gen­er­a­tion farm­ing tech­niques to pro­duce fresh pre­mi­um toma­toes, year-round, from right here in Chica­go.

I pro­duce a prod­uct I’d like Local Foods to car­ry or dis­trib­ute, can I con­tact you?

Absolute­ly. Please con­tact us here.

I have anoth­er ques­tion I don’t see answered here, can I con­tact you?

Please do! We wel­come all ques­tions. If your ques­tion is gen­er­al, ask it here. If you feel like you should direct a ques­tion to some­one spe­cif­ic, here are our team mem­bers.

Butcher & Larder

Are the sausages gluten free?

All the ingre­di­ents are on the name tags. There are no hid­den ingre­di­ents, fillers or addi­tives.

If I don’t cook this today, do I need to freeze it?

Nope. We rec­om­mend a 3–4 day shelf life on raw meat. After that, it can go in the freez­er.

Is the meat pas­ture raised?

Yes. All our meat spends time on pas­ture. Any­thing they eat that isn’t out in the fields is grown on the farm by the same folks that raise the ani­mals. It is organ­i­cal­ly grown, non-GMO grass­es and corn and hay. The ani­mals love it!

Can I get a whole chick­en cut up?

Yes! We’ll cut it any way you like.

Do you sell game/exotic meats?

We can get Duck, Squab, Goat and occa­sion­al­ly Pheas­ant. It is ille­gal for us to get wild game that hasn’t been fed­er­al­ly inspect­ed. Some­times one of our farm­ers will offer us Veni­son, but farmed Veni­son doesn’t taste like wild and it is very expen­sive.

Our Event Spaces

What types of events have you held in the past?

[See gallery of images]

Can I treat my guests to a cook­ing class, butch­ery demo, or tour of Local Foods?

Of course! Local Foods reg­u­lar­ly hosts class­es all about the cul­ture of local food and would be pleased to cre­ate a cus­tom offer­ing for your guests.

Can I bring my own alco­hol?

All alco­hol must be han­dled by the cater­er. We have an exclu­sive list of cater­ers and they are all will­ing to work with you direct­ly on where and how to obtain alco­hol for your event.

Is it pos­si­ble to rent the whole store or facil­i­ty?

Yes, we can make our entire space avail­able for your event. We can also cre­ate a fun and unique “shop­ping” expe­ri­ence for your guests in our retail area.

Can you sup­ply gift bas­kets or par­ty favors to my guests?

With a full retail area stocked with unique food finds from the Mid­west, it’s sim­ple for us to cre­ate unique par­ty favors, gift bas­kets, and oth­er sou­venirs for your guests to take away from your event.

Do you deliv­er?

Yes! We make every­thing in-house fresh for your order, so we request 48 hours notice. $200 min­i­mum deliv­ery, ser­vice charge of 12%.

Our deliv­ery zone runs north to Chica­go Avenue, south to Roo­sevelt Road, west to Ash­land Avenue, and east to the lake. Deliv­er­ies out­side of that area are sub­ject to an addi­tion­al charge.

Your food will be accom­pa­nied by all the tools you need to eat and enjoy – cups, spoons, nap­kins, cof­fee stir­rers, and so on.

My ques­tion wasn’t answered here. How can I learn more?

Drop our events man­ag­er, San­dra Mendez, a line. We’re always glad to help!

Who Does the Final Walk­through and When Does it Take Place?

We meet with clients for a final walk through 3–4 weeks before the event. At this meet­ing, we will go over the itin­er­ary for the evening, ven­dors and their arrival times, and draft a floor plan. If you are doing table assign­ments, you will be giv­en a list of our table inven­to­ry and instruc­tions on how to draft a din­ing area floor plan.

Can We Sched­ule a Cer­e­mo­ny Rehearsal?

Yes! You can sched­ule your rehearsal the day before your wed­ding date (except hol­i­days). Since we may book an event the evening before yours, we will con­tact you 2–3 months before your date to con­firm the time of your rehearsal.

May I Hand­pick Inven­to­ry for my Event?

We do not allow clients to pick spe­cif­ic inven­to­ry. Items may sell between our last meet­ing and the date. At the final walk through we guar­an­tee inven­to­ry num­bers for din­ing and lounge group­ings, but can’t guar­an­tee spe­cif­ic pieces.

May I Use Food Inventory/Props from Local Foods for my Table Decor?

Yes! Food makes great sea­son­al decor and gifts for guests. We ask that the host pur­chase these items in advance of the event.

Can my Guests Arrive Before the Con­tract­ed Start Time?

Your event may not start and the bar can­not open before the con­tract­ed time but guests may arrive ear­li­er.

Is Your space Hand­i­capped Acces­si­ble?

Yes! All entries and bath­rooms are com­plete acces­si­ble.

Can I store equip­ment or belong­ings?

We’re hap­py to hold up to two box­es on behalf of the host for up to one day pri­or to and after an event.

When do rentals get deliv­ered / picked up?

We are able store rentals one day before and one day after.