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Maxwell Street Market

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Maxwell Street Market

Maxwell Street Market

Photo by Abbey Hambright via flickr

Maxwell Street Market In Brief:

Maxwell Street Market is an open air flea market that takes place every Sunday just south of downtown, and provides an off-the-beaten tourist path for visitors to experience some of the real flavor of Chicago.

Address:

Desplaines Street and Roosevelt Road, Chicago, Illinois

Phone:

312-745-4676

By Car from Downtown Chicago:

South on State Street to Roosevelt Road. West on Roosevelt Road, approximately one mile to Desplaines Street.

Hours:

Sundays 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Maxwell Street Market in detail:

What's the polar opposite of shopping on Chicago's Magnificent Mile? Browsing the over 500 vendors at the Maxwell Street Market. An outdoor flea market that takes place every Sunday, it's a flea market of delightful cheap goods -- think dollar store with more character. Shoppers can find everything from clothing to CDS to blenders and lots in between.

The Maxwell Street Market often features live blues music when the weather cooperates, and a number of food vendors serve up authentic Mexican fare like delicious tacos al pastor, enchiladas, and homemade horchata.

The Maxwell Street Market has a colorful history. Hull House, a large institution established by Jane Addams to help immigrants transition to life in Chicago, began on Maxwell Street leading to the area becoming a mix of ethnicities such as Greek, German, Polish, Italians, and eventually a large population of Eastern European Jews in the 1920s. This was the era when the open air market really came into full force, attracting those wanting to make a quick buck hawking goods -- items that were more often than not procured through not-so-legal means. The market continued to thrive in its original location until 1994, when it was moved several blocks east to allow space for an expansion of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The market was moved again in 2008 to its current location.
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