Rockford rocks on Friday afternoons. What better way to start a weekend than to grab a bite to eat at an open-air market and wash it down with a cold beer? Or you may choose to munch on a bag of popcorn while wandering through the market of over 60 vendors selling everything from cupcakes to bowties.
When my husband and I visited, the first booth we came across at the Rockford City Market sold fresh farm produce.
Beyond that, however, were several food and beer vendors. We bought a couple of beers from Pig Minds Brewing (Golden Belgian Farmhouse and Blueberry Ale) and found a table to rest at while enjoying our beverages, listening to the entertainment and surveying the rest of the market.
We realized we had entered the market from the upper level, the terrace beer garden (not a bad way to start), but that the main part of the market was down several steps along Water Street.
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Among the produce vendors was Twin Gardens Farms who sells a hybrid corn they developed for sweetness. They say it is so sweet you can eat it raw. I sampled it raw and liked it, but I enjoyed it even better cooked. It was by far the sweetest corn I have had in years.
We tasted wine from Hailey’s Winery and then bought a bottle of chardonel.
The Fork & Stein Urban Gourmet food truck’s brie grilled cheese bites topped with an IPA apple and onion slaw sounded good, but since we were scheduled for dinner elsewhere, we took a pass.
We picked up some elk snack sticks and browsed other booths that were selling flowers, soaps, baked goods and much more.
Socks-That-Rock sells dolls made out of socks. Rockford is home to the original sock monkey.
With so many vendors selling prepared foods, it’s impossible to sample everything in one visit, and I’m sure we missed other interesting wares, as well. That only means we’ll have to pay a return visit to the market.
The Rockford City Market, located in downtown Rockford on Water Street between State and Jefferson, runs from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays from the end of May to Labor Day weekend, and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. after Labor Day through mid-0ctober. Check the web site for exact start and end dates and for a complete list of vendors. There is plenty of public parking nearby or take the trolley.
Disclosure: My trip to Rockford was hosted by the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, although purchases made at the Rockford City Market were my own. Any opinions expressed in this post are strictly mine.
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