I wanted my 30th anniversary blog post to be super special that is why I devoted this post to the West Side Market. This place embodies everything delicious that is in Cleveland, but most importantly, you can find foods from different cultures!
Crain’s Cleveland Business on the Web describes Cleveland’s West Side Market as:
“A popular place to shop for fresh fruits, vegetables and meat, the building is one of the largest indoor/outdoor markets in the country.”
West Side Market is one of the oldest markets in Cleveland area, and believe it or not, it has been operating ever since since the end of nineteenth century. It’s over hundred years! On December 18, 1973, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Now, West Side market has over 100 vendor combined of food representatives of all sorts of ethnic groups. There you can find anything from mouth-watering smell of Middle Eastern spices to hand-crafted cupcakes you have only seen on the pictures.
West Side Market is located at the corner of West 25th and Lorain which is short drive from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, so you can easily visit both of the places on the same day.
My first encounter with the West Side Market was quite memorable. Me and my friend were shopping for some deli and coated buffalo chicken wings. On the same stand, there was a skinned rabbit. If its cooked in the crock pot with sour-cream, carrots, bell peppers, and onions, it is delicious and very tender. It is even more tender than under-cooked chicken breast. I made a joke about it being a cat instead of the rabbit. People who were looking to buy something from this vendor totally freaked out. They looked at me with big round eyes and said; “you have to be kitten me.” Good thing, everybody were in a good mood. I explained to them that this skinned animal is an actual rabbit as you can tell by its legs and the fur left on them. In the end everybody just laughed at this situation, but nobody bought that poor skinned animal.