Several of my friends have informed me that raw food can indeed be procured downtown near the Metra Ogilvie station. I was in disbelief until I checked it out for myself. The French Market is located at 131 N. Clinton. It's open Monday through Saturday year round. The aptly named Raw is located toward the end of the market. Raw vegan foods are always free of seafood and dairy but not always free of other allergens such as corn, soy, nuts, treenuts, gluten or wheat. Live food enthusiasts Carol Jones and Polly Gaza are behind Raw's delicious creations which include salads, soups, smoothies, juices, entrees, drinks and sweets.
I was experiencing one of those in-between meal moments when you know you won't be eating dinner anytime soon and yet you are not that hungry. So for my first visit I decided to purchase a Raw Muffin for tomorrow's breakfast plus Raw's Mint Square dessert made with spirulina, cashews, agave nectar, coconut oil and mint. It was divine: minty, creamy and refreshing. On my second visit I had the Collard Burrito, Lemon Square and a sample of their Raw Tiramisu. The Collard Burrito was delicious and satisfying with an amazing dairy free sour cream (tastes just like sour cream). The Lemon Square was sweet and tangy and so much more nutritious than its cooked-food counterpart. I was grateful to get a sample of the raw tiramisu, because it's probably one of the best raw desserts I have ever had.
I should mention the Raw Muffin (made with raw rolled oats, cranberries, and carrots among other things) was very moist like a real bakery muffin. Even though I'm allergic to wheat it didn't bother me, no stomach issues or runny nose. If you have celiac disease or serious wheat allergies then the muffins or any product with wheat berries or raw rolled oats is not for you.
Raw also has some tasty spreadable items to go such as Salsa, Sour Cream, Superfood Seed Cheese, "Butter", Tuna or Salmon Pate, Mustard, Sauerkraut and Egg Salad. Raw is a good resource for allergy free salad dressings. I picked up their Vegan Caesar but they also have Balsamic Vinaigrette, Catalina and their Raw Signature Dressing. Their space also has books, supplements and ingredients for sale.
Raw is now going to be my Saturday post-Millennium Park workout destination. While your friends are munching on croissants, you can have your raw cake too. The French Market is open Monday through Friday, 7a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There are other "real food" vendors at the French Market such as City Fresh Market and Chicago Organics.