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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Chicago

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Chicago, IL. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Chicago's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Chicago. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Chicago, IL. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery Chicago, IL

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Chicago,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets Chicago, IL

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store Chicago, IL

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery Chicago, IL

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Chicago, IL, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores Chicago, IL

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market Chicago, IL

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Chicago, IL.

 Greek Grocery Store Chicago, IL

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.

4.

They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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 Middle Eastern Store Chicago, IL

Latest News in Chicago, IL

Charges against state Sen. Emil Jones III show cheap price of corruption in Illinois

Five thousand dollars.That may seem like a lot of money — to a junior high school student who baby-sits or mows neighborhood lawns for extra cash.For an Illinois legislator, $5,000 should be no big deal. Chump change.But that and a vow to employ an unnamed associate is pretty much all it took for State Sen. Emil...

Five thousand dollars.

That may seem like a lot of money — to a junior high school student who baby-sits or mows neighborhood lawns for extra cash.

For an Illinois legislator, $5,000 should be no big deal. Chump change.

But that and a vow to employ an unnamed associate is pretty much all it took for State Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, to break the law, according to the feds.

Let’s be clear: No elected leader should seek or take a bribe of any amount. But the paltry kickback Jones was allegedly promised in a scheme involving red-light camera company SafeSpeed LLC is indicative of how easily some of our elected leaders can be bought off to do the wrong thing.

No wonder most Americans don’t trust politicians. Less than half the adults in the United States — 44% — say they have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in people who hold or are running for public office, according to a 2021 Gallup poll.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of other examples that illustrate why many Chicago area residents feel let down by their elected leaders.

Jones, the son of former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr., isn’t the only politician who has been snared in the federal investigation of deals involving SafeSpeed, Sun-Times reporters Jon Seidel and Tina Sfondeles reminded us. Other politicians who have faced charges related to SafeSpeed include the late ex-state Sen. Martin Sandoval, former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta, former Worth Township Supervisor John O’Sullivan and former Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Tony Ragucci.

Just two months ago, Jones III’s former colleague, Tom Cullerton, was sentenced to a year in prison in an embezzlement case.

Then in July, former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th), a member of the most prominent political family in Chicago, was sent behind bars for four months for lying to banking regulators and filing false income tax returns.

Jones III agreed to protect SafeSpeed LLC from legislation in the Illinois General Assembly in exchange for the money and the job, federal prosecutors said. Then, he allegedly lied about doing so to the FBI.

Given that the charges filed against Jones III were written up in a document known as an information, he is expected to plead guilty.

Jones III has yet to resign his seat in the Legislature, but on Wednesday he gave up his committee chair and vice chair spots and his position as an assistant majority leader, the Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout reported.

The elder Jones said the charges filed against his son “do not reflect the man he is.”

But if the younger Jones does eventually admit to the wrongdoing, the plea will make clear how he is part of the corruption problem.

City looks to spark Loop housing wave with TIF money, incentives

Mayor Lori Lightfoot's administration is hoping to get developers to turn outmoded LaSalle Street properties into residential buildings—complete with lots of affordable housing—by dangling a menu of public subsidies to try to jump-start new projects.In a move meant to help revive and bring new foot traffic to the city's pandemic-battered core, Lightfoot next week is expected to announce a new initiative offering tax-increment financing money and other public incentive programs to developers that convert properties in the h...

Mayor Lori Lightfoot's administration is hoping to get developers to turn outmoded LaSalle Street properties into residential buildings—complete with lots of affordable housing—by dangling a menu of public subsidies to try to jump-start new projects.

In a move meant to help revive and bring new foot traffic to the city's pandemic-battered core, Lightfoot next week is expected to announce a new initiative offering tax-increment financing money and other public incentive programs to developers that convert properties in the heart of the Loop into housing, so long as at least 30% of the units created are affordable, according to sources familiar with the plan.

With a goal of creating at least 1,000 new Loop residential units—including 300 that are affordable—over the next five years, the city will be soliciting proposals from developers and will support the effort with funds from the LaSalle Central TIF District, a controversial pot of money that has effectively been off-limits to new developments downtown since former Mayor Rahm Emanuel froze its use for private projects in 2015.

Vacancy-ridden office properties along LaSalle Street are said to be the focal point of the effort, though several details remain unclear such as the number, types and sizes of properties will be eligible, as well as how much TIF money could be dedicated to them. A Lightfoot spokeswoman declined to comment.

The initiative stands to be Lightfoot's most impactful move since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to revitalize LaSalle Street and its Loop environs. The corridor struggled with big departing office tenants before the public health crisis and has since grappled with a loss of vibrancy on its blocks that has devastated nearby retailers, some of whom have shuttered their stores. Some office landlords along the historic thoroughfare have surrendered properties to their lenders, while others are staring down dire debt troubles while soft demand for office space weakens their bottom lines.

Lightfoot is hoping public subsidies will help breathe new life into the corridor and add to the recent momentum generated by Google, which announced in July that it intends to renovate, buy and bring thousands of jobs to the James R. Thompson Center, LaSalle Street's severely outdated northern anchor.

Using TIF money to spur downtown development could stir controversy for a mayor who has prioritized development in disinvested neighborhoods over the urban core. TIF districts, which accrue property tax revenue above a baseline number in a designated area for a period of 23 years, are meant to target projects in blighted areas that wouldn't be redeveloped without TIF assistance. Earmarking such funds for downtown development could be a lightning rod for criticism.

But Lightfoot is acknowledging the need for the city to play a financial role in bringing life back to the Loop. And the move to offer taxpayer funds is in line with a recent city-commissioned Urban Land Institute panel recommendation on how to restore LaSalle Street's vitality.

The LaSalle Central TIF District, which was created in 2006 to help revive severely outmoded Loop buildings, has been used to fund public infrastructure improvements since 2015. The district's fund balance as of the end of last year was nearly $197 million, according to its most recent annual report.

One big question facing Lightfoot's new program is whether it will entice real estate investors to bet on the future of LaSalle Street and the Loop. Residential developers have grumbled about the city ordinance passed last year requiring at least 20% of units in new residential projects to offer rents well below market rates, arguing such units whittle away the financial benefits of such deals. The 30% affordable component would be even tougher to swallow, but help from the city through TIF could help offset construction and other costs.

The city is also bringing public subsidies to the table to try to ensure that affordable units are incorporated into residential conversions at all. The zoning designation for LaSalle Street buildings like Bank of America's distressed former office tower at 135 S. LaSalle St. already allows for those buildings to be converted into apartments. That means a developer could do so without having to commit to providing affordable units like it normally would to get the city to sign off on a zoning change. In the only residential conversion to date on LaSalle, a Florida developer turned a 13-story office building at 29 S. LaSalle St. into a 216-unit apartment building called Millennium on LaSalle that opened last year with no affordable units.

Apartment redevelopments look good to developers these days amid an apartment construction boom in the city and a cloudy future for other asset types like offices, hotels and retail space. Fueled by a strong job market and growing demand for rental units, average apartment rents downtown hit an all-time high earlier this year, according to research firm Integra Realty Resources.

The ULI panel, which included local developers, architects and urban planners, was tapped by the city earlier this year for ways to draw new types of users to LaSalle and assess what role financial incentives might play in bringing that vision to life.

The panel published a 36-page report in June encouraging the city to create the "LaSalle Landmarks Innovation District" with a framework plan to turn the office-heavy financial district into a more pedestrian-friendly mixed-use destination with residential units, office space that services entrepreneurs and small businesses and service-oriented tenants like grocery stores, medical offices, cafes and restaurants, as well as visitor attractions like art galleries.

The report said financial incentives from the city would be crucial to getting private investors to buy into that vision, especially if any of the properties are to include affordable housing. The panel suggested Cook County's Class L tax designation, Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Illinois' recently passed affordable housing property tax incentive should all be leveraged to help revive older buildings.

New Belleville restaurant to offer Greek, Chicago-inspired eats. Here’s what to know

Wise Guys is a new restaurant opening soon at 500 S. Illinois St. in Belleville.It’s like “The Godfather” is coming downtown.Sort of. There are a few key differences.Think Greece instead of Sicily, Chicago instead of New York, and a touch of the Sopranos instead of the Corleones. But without all the drama or violence. Or the mafia.Well, OK, so it’s not like “The Godfather” – or “The Sopranos” – at all.But there are two wise guys (wiseacres, not mob...

Wise Guys is a new restaurant opening soon at 500 S. Illinois St. in Belleville.

It’s like “The Godfather” is coming downtown.

Sort of. There are a few key differences.

Think Greece instead of Sicily, Chicago instead of New York, and a touch of the Sopranos instead of the Corleones. But without all the drama or violence. Or the mafia.

Well, OK, so it’s not like “The Godfather” – or “The Sopranos” – at all.

But there are two wise guys (wiseacres, not mobsters), as owner Tony Mag jokingly referred to himself and business partner Sam Ramadan.

Mag calls their new Wise Guys restaurant the “first of its kind in this area.”

Wise Guys started in Godfrey, according to Mag. They opened in 2016 at 3200 Godfrey Road and closed in 2018-19.

Now they’re setting up shop in Belleville at the former site of a Jack in the Box, which closed in spring 2021.

Starting in October, they bring a menu full of Greek inspiration and a fair amount of Chicago-style eats.

Most of the dishes feature Vienna Beef products. (Signage throughout the restaurant and a wall mural feature the Chicago-based manufacturer and their famous hot dogs.)

Wise Guys will serve up a variety of one-of-a-kind sandwiches and gyros, including a Philly steak, chicken Philly, grilled chicken pita, cod fish sandwich and veggie pita.

Sandwiches will be served on paper printed to look like old newspaper pages, which I find appealing. (Blame the day job.)

Customers can also partake of items from the “Italian” part of the menu – Italian beef sandwich, Italian sausage sandwich, the Italian combo and a meatball sandwich.

(Did you know that the Italian beef sandwich originated in Chicago? I didn’t. I love learning something new every day.)

Burgers, hot dogs and a variety of sides, baked potatoes, salads, desserts (Cedar Crest Ice Cream and homemade baklava!) and meals for the kids are on the menu.

Mag and Ramadan spent the last four months preparing to open.

A lot of work – cleaning and checking for mold and painting – was done. Signage was recently installed.

Preparation also included getting equipment delivered and set up, passing city inspections and placing food orders, some of which are already coming in.

Mag said that more orders are expected later this week and that produce will be ordered and received closer to opening to ensure they can provide the freshest food possible.

Basically, the big jobs are done and the finishing touches are what’s left.

Mag said that passing inspection was “the easiest thing ever.”

He added that the City of Belleville was “very helpful” in getting ready. The building inspectors and electricians helped him get everything done right and up to code.

Folks from the city were always encouraging, he said, and are among those excited about the opening.

I myself had a reader recently ask when Wise Guys would open. (Just a reminder: Readers’ questions and input are always welcome.)

People are definitely interested in the new business.

According to Mag, since they’ve been working on the restaurant, people would come through the drive-thru to see what was going on.

The restaurant placed a cone in the drive-thru lane to discourage this until they open, he said.

Mag is excited, and once they open the doors (and drive-thru), he hopes to see many people come to the restaurant.

“I wish I could open tomorrow,” said Mag.

Wise Guys is located at 500 S. Illinois St. in Belleville and opens the first week in October.

Dining options will include dine-in, drive-thru, carryout and delivery (via a third party service like DoorDash).

Hours will likely be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

For more information about Wise Guys, call 618-744-7017 or visit the Facebook page.

Here's When Hummingbirds Are Expected to Finish Their Migration Through Illinois

As the days get shorter and the air gets brisker in Illinois, many are bracing themselves for the winter — even hummingbirds.In fact, hummingbirds started their migration to the warm confines of the south long before a tinge of cold weather hit the area, according to experts.In a post, Chicago Botanic ...

As the days get shorter and the air gets brisker in Illinois, many are bracing themselves for the winter — even hummingbirds.

In fact, hummingbirds started their migration to the warm confines of the south long before a tinge of cold weather hit the area, according to experts.

In a post, Chicago Botanic Garden said hummingbirds are found often in Chicago-area yards during the late spring and early summer when female birds build "golf-ball size nests" made from bits of soft leaves and spiderwebs.

Despite embarking on their "great fall migration" pretty early on, the winged creatures can still be caught flapping through the area around this time.

"Hummingbirds tend to be out of the Chicago area by about the second week in October," the garden said. "On their fall migration south, they either cross the Gulf or follow the Texas coast back to Mexico."

While there are more than two dozen hummingbirds in the United States, it's the ruby-throated hummingbird that Chicago-area residents might find in their backyard.

"The ruby throated is the only hummingbird regularly found east of the Mississippi River," the garden said. "During the summer, they are frequent residents at the Chicago Botanic Garden."

Hummingbirds are typically in Illinois from May to October, though a scattering amount of them have been seen as early as March, according to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Locals may have noticed the birds by the "hum" of their flapping wings, or their chatter, which sounds like high-pitched dolphin chatter," the preserve said.

As for looks, they're hard to missed. "Ruby-throated hummingbirds are bright emerald or golden-green on the back and crown, with gray-white underparts," the Forest Preserve continues. "Males have a brilliant iridescent red throat that looks dark when it’s not in good light."

Hummingbirds aren't the only Illinois residents heading south for the winter. Butterflies are, too.

Dubbed as the "monarch migration," the spectacle sees the winged insects embark on a months-long journey to Mexico, Doug Taron of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum said earlier. The butterflies will pass through Chicago, the Mississippi Valley and Texas before setting up camp about 100 miles west of Mexico City, Taron said.

Typically, an abundance of butterflies can be spotted throughout September, with peak monarch migrations in the area falling Sept. 5-10, Taron noted.

Though a chunk of the creatures have made their way out of the area, Chicagoans still will be able to make out bundles of butterflies well into October, too, as Taron said groups of stragglers are expected to round out the migration.

2022 Fall Foliage Maps Predict When Leaves Will Reach Peak Colors in Illinois

Several 2022 fall foliage maps have emerged as the season turns a new leaf, giving an estimated insight into when Illinois' greenery will start to glow with new golden hues.According to the state’s tourism office, peak fall colors usually arrive the second week of October in the Chicago area and along the Mississippi River, with central Illinois seeing peak color in the middle of the month, and the southern portion of the state hitting its peak in the final week of the month.This year, however, there is a chance that fall...

Several 2022 fall foliage maps have emerged as the season turns a new leaf, giving an estimated insight into when Illinois' greenery will start to glow with new golden hues.

According to the state’s tourism office, peak fall colors usually arrive the second week of October in the Chicago area and along the Mississippi River, with central Illinois seeing peak color in the middle of the month, and the southern portion of the state hitting its peak in the final week of the month.

This year, however, there is a chance that fall colors could potentially arrive a bit later than usual.

Smoky Mountains, a tourism service that provides information on lodging and other activities around Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has a map that shows its estimated arrival date for peak fall colors across the country, and the picture it is painting for the Chicago area is one that indicates a later-than-usual peak season.

Kenosha County in Wisconsin and Lake County in Illinois could potentially hit their peaks around their normal times, according to the Smoky Mountains’ map, hitting peak in the first or second week of October.

As for the rest of the state, things appear to be a bit delayed this year.

The second week of October could potentially see parts of northern Illinois, including Cook County and most of the area along the Illinois-Wisconsin border, hitting a “partial” color change pattern. Fall colors could also start to emerge in central Illinois during that week, putting it on track to peak later than normal in the month.

In fact, peak color in the Chicago area may not occur until the week of Oct. 24, according to the map. That “peak” belt across the Midwest will also include northern Indiana, including all five Hoosier State counties in the NBC 5 viewing area.

By Halloween, the Chicago area could be moving past its peak, and a large swath of Illinois, including LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties, could finally see their peak.

By Nov. 7, most of the state will be beyond its peak colors, while southern Illinois should be hitting its stride at that point.

While the science of predicting fall leaf color changes is inexact, there are several factors that could lead to a later-than-usual fall peak in the state. That includes a drier-than-normal stretch of weather, as well as a warmer-than-normal start to fall, which is being predicted by the National Weather Service.

Illinois’ fall color report will be updated as the season draws closer, and residents are encouraged to check frequently for the latest updates on when fall colors will be at their most majestic.

The state also includes information on some of the best locations in the state to see the fall foliage, including at Starved Rock State Park.

Farmer's Almanac named Pere Marquette State Park in west central Illinois as the eighth best place in the U.S. to see crispy, warmed-toned leaves throughout the season.

As a self-described "nature-lover's paradise," the park will offer sights of the turning leaves against a backdrop of wooded ravines and roadways alongside the Illinois River. Explorers also can take advantage of the land's towering bluffs, which will provide a panoramic view of the lush scenery that engulfs the park's 12-mile trail.

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