Chicago, meet The NOSH Food Festival.

Today’s post is a little shout-out to give some local Chicago-area places some love!

Yesterday my roommate Megan and I decided to brave the bitter cold and venture out to a new foodie spot in the Logan Square neighborhood. Chicago peeps, you need to check out The NOSH. It is a weekly “eating market” that hosts local food businesses who are dishing up some seriously delicious grub. Over the summer it was held in Wicker Park, but now it has moved to a spot in Logan Square for the winter, joining the spot where the Logan Square Farmers Market meets for the colder months.

We had the great opportunity to meet with Alan Kannof, the founder and “Chief Nosher” of The NOSH. He led us through the market and told us the story about bringing The NOSH to Chicago. Modeled after year-round food festivals in New York, Kannof was planning to open The NOSH in NYC, but he fell in love with Chicago’s vibrant food community. He wanted a spot for Chicago-area food vendors to showcase their specialties. Some of the businesses are well-known favorites with established locations, while others are new vendors who are just starting out. Kannof especially wanted to offer a place for new food entrepreneurs to spread their wings and make themselves known. He also wanted it to be affordable for the public. All of the food vendors’ dishes are $9 or less and each offers at least one dish that is below $5. Vendors also offer at least one vegetarian or vegan option.

While The NOSH has only been around less than a year, Kannof has already partnered with more than 20 Chicago-area vendors and the fest also hosts a few food trucks. Yesterday marked its fourth week at the indoor Logan Square location, but the place was bustling and full of eager eaters.

This week, there were nine food vendors (including one food truck). We had the chance to taste some of these awesome local Chicago specialties:

Interurban Cafe and Pastry Shop offered both sweet and savory options, like freshly made focaccia breads and cupcakes. They currently operate out of a walk-up window located in an alley in Lincoln Park and offer catering as well. Get your hands on one of their made-from-scratch Pop Tarts (oh. em. deeeeeelicious.)

Bang Bang Pie shop is a well-known Logan Square spot with the most delectable pies and biscuits. They offered slices of your fall favorites, like Apple Crumble, Roasted Pumpkin, and Chocolate Pecan. Or you could take home a whole pie, perfect for your holiday gathering.

The Pecking Order does chicken every which way! At their location in Uptown/Ravenswood, you can get your chicken fix however you like: grilled, fried, or roasted by the half bird, whole, or wings by the pound. They also have numerous filipino specialties, such as sweet plantains or rice with Lola’s gravy. At The Nosh, they were offering fresh filipino empanadas that you can’t even get at their restaurant! I tried the chef’s favorite: Chicken with green peas, which was to die for. The crust was unbelievably flaky, and the filling of chicken, potatoes, and peas was full of peppery flavor, perfectly complimented by a side of homemade chimichurri sauce.

The Doughnut Vault was the one vendor with a food truck outside the market. This well-known spot serves up freshly made delicious doughnuts in the River North area every morning until they’re gone. Flavors change daily!

The Taco Joint does Mexican street fare like no one else. Opened by the owners of Chicago’s popular spot Zocalo, Taco Joint has locations in Lincoln Park and River North. (Try the tasty roasted pork taco–outstanding!).

Bang Bang Pie shop is a well-known Logan Square spot with the most delectable pies and biscuits. They offered slices of your fall favorites, like Apple Crumble, Roasted Pumpkin, and Chocolate Pecan. Or you could take home a whole pie, perfect for your holiday gathering.

Bento Box (psst…it’s the spot where Alan Kannof says he had one of the best meals in Chicago): The Bucktown spot offers Korean, Japanese, and Thai favorites, like hot Pho soup and scrumptious Bahn Mi sandwiches. We tried the latter and had no complaints about the juicy, flavorful pork on a crusty baguette.

-Cup and Spoon is a little pop-up coffee shop with big dreams to have a permanent location. For now, you can find them every Sunday at the Nosh, creating perfect pour-overs crafted from Metropolis Coffee Company beans. Maybe it was just the cold, but it was one of the best cups of coffee I’ve had in Chicago. They sell bags of the beans to take home as well!

Lindy’s Chili was serving up huge bowls of old-fashioned chili with all the fixins, perfect for the cold winter day. Lindy’s also serves Gertie’s ice cream, in case you need to cool your mouth off with a sweet finish after the soul-warming chili.

Dia de Los Tamales has some of the most revolutionary tamales you’ll ever try. Located in Pilsen, their daily menu of tamales has eclectic options like the Chicago Beef: a tamale topped with Italian Beef, provolone, au jus, and house-made giardieniera. They also have special tamales that change daily based on what’s available. This week, enthusiastic owner Sam Wahl shared with us a Pumpkin Spice Latte tamale (oh yes, it exists, and it will blow your mind). The tamale is actually infused with coffee and pumpkin spices and topped with a pumpkin glaze and whip cream. Who knew a tamale could make such a tasty dessert!

To wash it all down, The Nosh sells Chicago’s own Filbert’s root beer and sodas. You can sit and enjoy your noshables at one of the many tables, all while listening to live music, like this week’s performer, Neil Dixon Smith.

So, okay, while not everything at the fest is “healthy” per se, it is all awesome food that I would deem worthy of an indulgence for anyone. I let yesterday be my “eat whatever I want” type of day. But in the end, I didn’t feel guilty or even unhealthy about anything I ate. Since everything was made fresh, with real local ingredients, I would deem everything at the fest as very eatable food.

So now you don’t have to wait until summer to attend a food festival in Chicago. If you’re looking for something fun and delicious to do this winter, you can check out The NOSH food market every Sunday through April from 10am-3pm on N. Milwaukee and N. Spaulding (just steps from the Logan Square blue line stop). Support these local businesses! And grab some fresh food for the rest of the week from the Logan Square Farmers Market while you’re there!

(Also, Check out The NOSH’s website for more information about a pop-up they are doing on weekdays in the Loop for the first two weeks of December!)

And if you don’t live in Chicago, investigate to see if your city has events or food festivals going on this winter, or check out localharvest.org to find farmers markets near you!

Happy eating and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!