Though it's in the suburbs, you won't find a better stand-alone cheese shop in Chicago city proper. The crew at Marion is extremely focused on personal attentive service. They know the stories behind the cheesemakers and share them at the drop of a curd. Their cases include one of the broadest and deepest selection of cured and aged cheeses anywhere, including rare finds like Wisconsin-based cheesemaker Willi Lehner's bandaged aged cheddars.
While the cheese selection alone is enough to make this a destination spot, there's also an ample selection of local farm product, including Blue Marble dairy creams and milks (some of the best in the Midwest), local farm eggs and some spectacular wine offerings.
Then there's the adjoining café, focused on cooking local and seasonally based product, which just happens to be one of the better restaurants in Oak Park. Set in a flagstone walled and tin ceilinged space, you'll feel like you walked in to one of Frank Lloyd Wright's Wisconsin prairie masterpieces.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant