Even if you rarely cook, you’re likely to whip up something this holiday season. Before you do, plan a visit to the new Standard Market in Chicago’s western suburb of Westmont. The barnlike building along busy Ogden Avenue (US-34) has become a destination for area foodies, but it’s accessible for casual home cooks, too. People come just to grab a meal at the tasty Standard Grill, a 140-seat cafe marrying freshly made dishes with a fast-food mentality.
But it’s the produce section, brimming with snap-fresh fruits and vegetables, that draws passionate cooks in deep. Small shops within the market also sell imported European cheeses, wine, beer, breads and pastas. Beautiful cuts of meat and poultry, sourced from Midwest purveyors like Usinger’s and Neuske’s, lead into rows of glistening fresh fish. A sushi bar and wine bar encourage sampling.
Prices run from reasonable to ouch, depending on your weaknesses. Though it evokes an old-world spirit, Standard Market has a decidedly postmodern feel: It only accepts credit and debit cards.
333 W. Ogden Ave., Westmont. (630) 366-7030; standardmarket.com