African grocery stores in Chicago

If you are an African in Chicago finding your cultural food is often a chore because most African stores tend to be far from your house or work. If you are new to the city you may not know where the stores are located. We’ve identified the African grocery stores in the city, with a short description of what you can expect in each store and a short description of their locations to help you manage your expectations. In Chicago, there are not a lot of stores to choose from. It is likely that you might get to the store, and they might run out of a product that you need. You can download the OjaExpress app and have your grocery delivered to you at home, saving you time and hassle, but if you enjoy the long drive here are the best African grocery stores in Chicago.

Old World Market

Old World Market is one of the biggest ethnic grocery stores in Chicago. It is located in a neighborhood often referred to as northside or Uptown. The area that has a fair mix of immigrants including African, South Asia, and Europe. The store is mostly frequented by Africans, particularly Nigerian, Ghanaian, Cameroonian, to name a few. Compared to most ethnic stores, it is a decent size. They offer a roster of ethnic spices and specialty foods, meat, poultry and produce. Old World Market is so popular that they run out of items sometimes. If you cannot fit your car in the small parking lot, which is notorious for fender benders, you will be forced to use the metered parking on the street. It is also a great place to find few Caribbean seasonings. Below are some feedback from customers.

old world market

Reviews

Big fan of this place. It’s the go-to for an incredible array of authentic Jerk seasoning. Also Caribbean and African products, there’s always something interesting and new to discover. Great selection of meat and produce too, and the price is CHEAP! – Erika G.

Authentic African products. I am half Nigerian, and grew up with certain spices and products to cook traditional Nigerian food. Moving to Michigan has taken away this market, so every time I come back to Chicago I make sure I visit Old World Market, for yams, crayfish,  stock fish and spices. They also have great meat pies. My mother in law lives in Miami and has me send her spices when I go to visit Chicago. – Jenne E.

Popular items:

Below are some of their popular items:
Ghana Yam
Goat meat
-Hen
Catfish
Plantain
-Pepper

old world market popular item

They also sell fresh vegetables, fruits, dry fishes, smoked meat, bread, rice, African spices, and drinks.

Opening time:

Mon 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Tue 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Wed 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Thu 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fri 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sat 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sun 6:00 am – 8:00 pm

Address and phone number:

5129 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 989-4440 –

La Fruiteria

La Fruteria is the epitome of the “Best of Both Worlds”. This is one stop shopping if you are looking for both African and Caribbean products. There is no product that Old World Market or Roger’s Park has, that La Fruteria doesn’t. La Fruteria imports foods from Africa, Jamaica, Haiti, México & Caribbean Islands. La Fruteria is located on 88th and Commercial, in the South Chicago neighborhood, or as the locals call it, “Over East.” You will find a very friendly and receptive staff. The key to convenience with La Fruteria is timing. If you go during the “peak” times, good luck navigating the aisles and getting out at a respectable time. Be that as it may, there is no parking lot for La Fruteria, but there is plenty of metered street parking. So, if you are in a hurry, you better have the Parking Meter app, or have money to pay the meter, and hope you get out in time before you find a ticket on your car. Below are some feedback from customers.

La fruteria produce

Reviews

I married my husband( who is Nigerian ) ( and I american) with no real cooking experience what so ever with african cuisine. and this store gave me everything we needed to make his belly happy as well as his heart! Thank you…. Meka T.

Great for my family needs. Carries all the food and spicy i need to cook an authentic island meal.. – Havenell M

Popular items:

Below are some of their popular items:
-Ghana Yam
-Smoke meat
-Spices
-Milo
-Plantain chips
-Pepper

Opening time:

Mon 7 AM – 8:45 PM
Tues 7 AM – 8:45 PM
Wed 7 AM – 8:45 PM
Thu 7 AM – 8:45 PM
Fri 7 AM – 8:45 PM
Sat 7 AM – 8:45 PM
Sun 7 AM – 7:45 PM

Address and phone number:

8909 S Commercial Ave, Chicago, IL 60617
(773) 768-4969

Makola African SuperMarket

Makola African Supermarket is another African grocery store located in Uptown, on Sheridan Rd and Kenmore Ave not too far from Old World Market. The area has a high African and immigrant population. The store owner is a Nigerian also, he and his wife do a great job help customers to find and pick out goods. The store is pretty small but still serve the purpose. You can easily get in and out of the store. It is a great place to find Nollywood movies. This a good place to find dry fish, ginger beer, malt, a different selection of African spices.

Makola African Super Market

Reviews

One of Uptown’s great little African markets, with all sorts of produce and spices to make your West African stew taste it’s best. You think I’m kidding? Well, I don’t cook West African stews, but my vegetarian sancochos and other West Indian and Central American recipes often require no more than a visit to places like Makola, and with its great prices, I save too. There’s also a great assortment of drinks popular in these parts of the world, including coconut water, ginger beer, and plenty of brands of (non-alcoholic) malt beverages. – Rocombey G.

“Has every Nigerian staple food and ingredient you need to make some bomb food. Also had the freshest yams I’ve seen among ethnic markets in the area. Might be slightly overpriced but you will definitely find what you’re looking for. They even had small African hens cut into pieces and bagged!! Great selection.” Joy Sobowale

Popular items:

Below are some of their popular items:
-Ghana Yam
-Smoke meat
-Spices
-Ginger beer
-Plantain chips
-Nollywood

Opening time:

Monday 9AM–9PM
Tuesday 9AM–9PM
Wednesday 9AM–9PM
Thursday 9AM–9PM
Friday 9AM–9PM
Saturday 9AM–9PM
Sunday 10AM–7PM

Address and phone number:

1017 – 1019 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 654-1971

Rogers Park Fruit Market

Don’t let the name deceive you, Rogers Park Fruit Market is among of the biggest ethnic grocery store in Chicago. This is a great place for getting all of your Afro-Caribbean spices and fresh meat like oxtail and goat meat that are not normally available at the big chain store. You can also bring a huge supply of bread and typical supplies here. This business is over 35 years old and has a long history with the city of Chicago.

Rogers Park fruit market

Reviews

Love this place for specific Caribbean/ African Finds.

PRODUCTS: They have some pretty hard Caribbean finds, like bottles of Ting, canned ackee, canned Calaloo, etc. they also some popular African foodstuffs, like pepper soup mix, and peanut butter stew stock. They’ve got a great selection of Indomie as well and a few different noodle types. They have some harder-to-find Asian food products as well, like pure MSG, Chinese-style chili oil, etc.

PRODUCE: Their produce section is very extensive and always looks stocked to the brim. They’ve got Bok Choy, a good selection of mushrooms, and plenty of herbs as well.

I’m not sure if the place is POC owned or not, but I would imagine that it was as it caters to hard Hispanic, Latin, African, and the Caribbean finds.

OTHER: They also have black soap, and she’s butter sold near the cash registers.

CLEANLINESS: Everytime that I’ve been here, the floors and surfaces are very clean. I’ve seen other reviews state otherwise, but I’ve never had that problem.

BOTTOM LINE: return frequently, would recommend, especially for my POC that can’t always find the items from back home.

Popular items:

Below are some of their popular items:
-Fresh fruit
-Smoke meat
-Fish
-Ginger beer
-Plantain

African groceries and Rogers Park

Opening time:

Mon 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Tue 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Wed 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Thu 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sat 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sun 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Address and phone number:

7401 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 262-3663

There are more stores that we didn’t really review. Again if you are tired of long drive try OjaExpress today. OjaExpress delivers quality ethnic grocery to your doorstep.

African Food and Liquor
Mandela African Caribbean Grocery

 

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