I’m embarrassed to admit that as a Cleveland native, my first official trip to the historic West Side Market just happened about a week ago. Growing up, I had often heard of this popular Cleveland staple, but for one reason or another, had never explored it on my own.
My family and I found ourselves back in the city, ironically at a time when everyone was storming grocery stores in preparation for a potential global pandemic. (And no, I never, in a million trillion years, ever imagined that sentence would make it my blog, but regardless, that was/is our reality.)
So, for many reasons, we decided to FINALLY visit the market, and we were so glad that we did. Overall, it’s just a fun place to be, and if anything, took our minds off the world around us for a bit. Over 100 vendors line the yellow brick market house featuring fresh meats, vegetables, seafood, cheese, desserts – I could keep going. It’s almost overwhelming when you first walk-in — we didn’t know where to start! We did, however, pull ourselves together and came up with a plan that included immediate dinner ideas, future (freezable) meals and just some fun treats to make us all a little happier.
Ohio City Pasta – this Cleveland-based producer of fresh pasta, ravioli and sauces had exactly what we were looking for — small bundles of colorful flat-cut pasta that could easily be frozen for future meals. So many different flavors to choose from but so much fun to pick them all out — and super reasonably priced! Some of our picks included the roasted garlic, the basil and the rosemary!
Pierogi Palace – Growing up in Cleveland, both my husband and I have a deep love for pierogies so we were thrilled when we stumbled upon this stand. We stuck with a basic assortment of potato-cheese and garlic-potato, but you could go pretty crazy with your flavor choices — Bourbon Chicken, Apple Rum Cheesecake and Prune to name a few!
Jacob’s Oasis – If you’re into hummus, this is the place for you. Seriously, so many different flavors and it is absolutely delicious. Creamy and smooth – exactly how hummus should be. We went with a few different flavors (and were encouraged to freeze them by their staff, which was something that I never considered) – Original, Garlic and Rosemary & Dill.
Michelle’s Bakery – What a fun booth this is! If you’re looking for pies, poppy seed/nut roll or bread, this is definitely worth checking out. We grabbed a few of the pepperoni rolls — so delicious!
Classic Seafood – If you are into seafood, this is the place for you. We eat salmon at least once a week so we picked up some fresh Faroe Island salmon to make right away and some extra to freeze for future meals. It was SO good – really some of the best that we have ever had. Be sure to check out some of their other fresh and frozen seafood, salads, shellfish, soups and sauces.
Produce – I can’t choose just one local business to support since there were so many that offered so many amazing fresh fruits and vegetables. We picked up an assortment of delicious onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and much more from a variety of amazing vendors.
Overall, we had the best experience and as of today, the market is still open regular hours. Vendors are offering call ahead ordering and curbside pick-up.