By Elizabeth SanFilippo
Forget the big chain grocery store this Thanksgiving. Rather, go local and get some of the best tasting turkey you’ll ever have. All five of these butchers/grocery stores pride themselves on offering turkeys — and other products — from local farms, guaranteeing that your bird will be fresh for your Thanksgiving feast.
The Butcher & Larder
1026 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
This Noble Square butcher shop is all about the whole hog, and then breaking it down into custom cuts. While it’s best known for its delectable sausages and, yes, even delicious bone marrow burgers, it offers much more than that too. Not only does this spot serve lunch, but it also sells custom-cut charcuterie, pastrami, bacon and ham, to name a few. Every year, The Butcher & Larder offers delicious local turkeys for pre-order, and this year it’s offering Gunthorp Farms turkeys for $5 a pound. But make sure to call early. Last year, the shop ran out of turkey pre-orders and ordered a limited supply for sale and pick-up the week of Thanksgiving.
1402 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
Green Grocer may be a small neighborhood market, but its philosophy is big: only offer organic, locally grown produce and products. In addition to a variety of vegetables, it also sells baked goods, alcoholic beverages, meats, fish and dairy. This year, Green Grocer visited Gunthorp Farms in Indiana to ensure that its turkeys were pasture raised before deciding to sell them for Thanksgiving. Prices are based on weight range and prices start at $52.99 for the whole turkey. Be sure to pre-order so that you can get the size you want.
Related: Best Take Home Turkey Dinners
Green City Market
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
Green City Market spends the summer outdoors in Lincoln Park every Wednesday and Saturday, but in the cooler months, head indoors — only on Saturday — to stock up on fresh produce, meats, cheeses and even some prepared foods. All of Green City’s products come from local farms and that includes this year’s turkeys from Meadow Haven Farms, Mint Creek and TJ’s Free Range Poultry. Turkeys are available for purchase and pick up now until the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
3501 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
If you want any kind of meat, Paulina Market in West Lakeview is the place to go, and that includes meat for your Thanksgiving turkey. This year, the butcher shop is offering Barber’s Turkeys from Minnesota for $3.25 a pound and each turkey ranges from 10 pounds to a whopping 30 pounds for those big family gatherings. The turkeys were raised in semi-contained housing and had a nutritious diet without growth hormones; they also have no preservatives. The butchers at Paulina Market recommend picking the turkey up the Monday before Thanksgiving but your bird can be reserved beforehand.
Publican Quality Meats
825 W. Fulton Market St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Perfectly situated in Chicago’s meat-packing district, Publican Quality Meats is one of the newest butchers in town. Still, it follows age-old butcher traditions including breaking down whole animals and selling the delectable pieces to guests. But patrons of PQM can also get whole turkeys by pre-ordering today and picking up their family’s bird the week of Thanksgiving. This year, Publican Quality Meats is sourcing the turkeys from Slagel Farm in Fairbury, available for purchase at $4.45 a pound, and an organic Amish heritage breed from Ken Kehrli in Wisconsin, sold at $6 a pound.
Related: Best Thanksgiving Feasts in Chicago
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.