Standard Market is the perfect store if you dread going to the typical supermarket. Whether you fancy yourself a gourmet chef or you’re happiest ordering off the delivery menu, Standard is your warm, welcoming haven.
Where else will you find hand-cut, seasoned sweet potato fries that can be heated up in the oven for a quick snack? Or an in-house butcher shop that dry ages the beef? Standard Market — about 35 miles away from downtown Chicago in the western suburb of Westmont — even boasts a custom-designed cheese cave for aging the likes of asiago, gouda, or gruyere. That’s located in the stylish wine, beer, and cheese shop, where you’ll be able to settle in and nibble on your purchases before you venture through the other parts of the property. Among the offerings in the shop is a curated selection of small-batch spirits, including a single-barrel bourbon that is produced by Koval Distillery in Ravenswood and sold exclusively at Standard Market.
The store layout is unconventional, too, with a wide-open atmosphere. Fewer pantry shelves and aisles make for a different type of shopping experience — you can pretty much see the entire store in a glance. And believe it or not, that really makes a difference.
That means you can see all the stuff you should be buying. The ingredients are always the real deal: Everything’s made from scratch in the bakery, and that includes artisan breads, cakes, pies, and even fancy pastries such as crème brulee and croissants.
The butcher shop breaks down whole animals, many of which were raised at local farms. The deli showcases local meats as well, and all condiments are made in-house to complement the house-made breads. If you like a convenient meal (and who doesn’t?) pick up the deli’s crafty “sandwiches for four” kit. It’s a bag filled with all the fixings you’ll need to make Italian beef, chicken Parmesan or pulled pork sliders. If you’re planning a romantic night in, the deli also features the “What’s for Dinner Tonight?” package — a fully cooked, seasonal dinner selection that comes with a dessert and sides.
If you’re the dinner-party-thrower type, you should seek out the help of the on-site concierge before you make a move. Free of charge, the eagle-eyed expert will help you plan an intimate affair or even an elaborate event where you’ll need a caterer.
As if all of this wasn’t enough to inspire your culinary ambitions (or at least make you really hungry), there’s an in-house restaurant to further tempt you. It uses ingredients straight from the produce section, and the menu of burgers, pizzas, salads, and the occasional entree are all cooked fresh. That also translates into the cocktail program, where bartenders take advantage of the store’s produce. And those sweet potato fries? If you’re not in the mood to make them at home, you’ll find them on the menu every day.