My sister-in-law Melissa, friends Jill and Katherine, and I purchased a Groupon months ago for a pottery class at Terra Incognito Studios in Oak Park, just west of the city. Our class was on Sunday morning at 11 a.m., and I thought it would be nice to have breakfast before class—who can concentrate on an empty stomach?
I’ve never been to Oak Park, so I wasn’t sure where to go. I did a little online research and stumbled upon Marion Street Cheese Market, which is just a 5-minute drive from the pottery studio, near the Metra stop in downtown Oak Park. The menu looked delicious, offering a little something for everyone. (I’m lactose intolerant, and Katherine is vegetarian.)
It was very easy to get to Marion Street Cheese Market from 290. The entrance to the restaurant is through the market, which was like heaven on earth for cheese lovers. It also had an excellent wine and craft beer selection, as well as candies and artisan foods. More on that later…
We were seated quickly at 9:30 am, at a table near the fireplace. We noticed a little stage in the corner near our table, which is where the restaurant hosts Jazz musicians! (Events are listed on their website.)
Along with my chamomile tea, I opted for the Classic, which comes with two farm eggs (mine were scrambled), choice of meat (ham for me), spinach (lesser of two evils, ha) or tomato, and toast (mine was rye). Melissa also ordered the Classic, while Katherine and Jill ordered different versions of the baked french toast.
Our food arrived pretty quickly, and my meal was very good. I was pleased to see equal amounts of eggs, ham, and sauteed spinach on my plate. The eggs were smooth and buttery, and it was just what I needed before the class. I have to tell you, I also peeked over at a table near us, where a woman had ordered a glass of champagne and a cheese flight. It seemed a little early for this decadent combo (no judgement!); however, this delightful-looking pairing was just one reason I want to return to Marion Street Cheese Market once my self-declared no dairy January is over.
The other reason I’ll be back is the market portion of this great establishment. I ended up purchasing a mini bottle of champagne (to celebrate the end of no dairy January, ha!) and some soft caramels (the passion fruit mango had me hooked with one bite). What I also loved about the market was its nibblers, or small samples you could buy to get a taste of many different cheeses—very excited about this idea!
I plan on returning to Marion Street Cheese Market. The bistro is perfect for date night or family breakfast, and I loved the market for its gourmet selection. (Really want to make a gift basket for someone here too!)
Don’t miss out on this neighborhood gem!
Marion Street Cheese Market
100 S. Marion Street