I’ve been through it all at the West Side Market: stand loyalty shifts, running out of cash, having conversations with strangers waiting in line. As an east sider, my family wasn’t too keen on “crossing over to the west side” when I was growing up, so as my exploratory spirit developed, so too did my desire to check out all these west side places my friends told me about.
Honestly, it’s easy to get lost in the West Side Market. Every time I visit, I get turned around. Even so, I’m at my happiest spending a few hours walking the aisles, bargaining for produce, and taste-testing popcorn at Campbell’s.
There aren’t many stands where you can go wrong.
Local tip: The West Side Market now charges for parking. You get 90 minutes for free, and the fee is low after that ($1/hour with a $10 max), but if you’re planning on spending the day in Ohio City and don’t feel like paying for parking, there’s plenty of street parking on the side streets down by Citizen Pie and Salty not Sweet (one of my favorite shops in Cleveland!)
Don’t celery yourself short.
Pick up your produce on your West Side Market run. And bring plenty of cash. Walking through the produce tunnel, as I call it, is an experience – vendors offer you deals and samples of their freshest fruits and veggies. Most of the time, you’ll leave with a lot more than you anticipated.
Local tip: Go on Wednesdays for the deepest produce discounts!
To brie or not to brie, that is the question.
I rarely skip a visit to Crêpes de Luxe every time I go to the West Side Market. Their jambon et brie crepe is by far my favorite. You can ask for additional toppings on any crepe, but I try not to mess with this one too much – just some pepper. The area gets a little busy sometimes because the coffee shop, City Roast Coffee, next door is just as popular. A crepe and a latte is my ideal lunch. If you’re searching for a sit-down place, the West Side Market Café has plenty of choices to satisfy breakfast, lunch, or dinner cravings.
It’s a piece of cake.
Get a cake pop or meringue the size of your head from Euro Sweets (right across from Crêpes de Luxe). My favorites are the super-colorful macarons! Pick up your other baked goods at Christopher’s Bakery. Pair a baguette with cheese from The Cheese Shop and olives from Rita’s for a nice snack in Market Square Park.
The stands at the West Side Market truly embody Midwest charm. Hang around W. 25th all day as you’re considering a move to Cleveland. You’ll wonder why you didn’t move sooner!
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