Shopping Cleveland | West Side Market

As a kid, my father took me with him to the West Side Market about once a week to accompany him as he made the rounds visiting his favorite butchers, bakers and produce sellers. The market has so much going on, so many things to see smell and taste, it was always an eye-opening event for me and it remains one of my most cherished childhood memories of Cleveland. Getting the opportunity to show off the West Side Market to a few friends that were visiting last weekend, the experience remains as great as it ever was. It’s good to know some things don’t change.

To me, the best part about the West Side Market is the fact that it remains real; it has largely resisted the urge to change into some ultra fancy food destination. There is also still a strong Eastern European ethnic influence on the market – perogies, Hungarian breads, kolachkes, etc. – which is the type of food that really sets Cleveland apart. Not to mention Steve’s Gyros which are pretty amazing and worth a bit of a wait. Once you get it, take your gyro upstairs to the balcony and watch the madness from up above everything.

After you get everything you need at the market, hit up Great Lakes Brewing Company for lunch or just for a few beers. While you’re there, you can pick up a growler of your preferred brew for $20. Normally, I drink the Dortmunder Gold, but in the fall I like the Octoberfest, and the Christmas Ale around the holidays. All of the beers are good, so you can’t go wrong.

More West Side Market photos here.

Comments on “Shopping Cleveland | West Side Market

    Michael on October 14, 2012 6:11 PM:

    Thank you so much for highlighting this historic market and showing all these great photos. I live in Cleveland and try to go here as much as possible. Even before the revitalization of W. 25th St. this place was going strong. Happy 100th birthday West Side Market!

    Kirk on October 14, 2012 7:07 PM:

    I grew up in Cleveland as well and West Side Market is one of my favorite memories….I could really go for a smokie right now.

    Brad on October 15, 2012 10:54 AM:

    I grew up about a half hour east of Cleveland on the lake, but now live in Atlanta. Last year, my wife and I visited Cleveland for my 25th HS reunion. Even though we were only in town for four days, staying in the far suburbs, we managed to hit the market up 3 times…well worth the drive, if even just for lunch. Your pictures do it justice.

    Erik Jacobson on October 15, 2012 2:56 PM:

    This is easily one of my favorite places in the country. Thanks for the great post!

    OhioHead on October 15, 2012 5:31 PM:

    Lived in C-town from Fall of 00 till late fall 03, what do I miss most about my time in C-town? The West Side Market, you could go with $50.00 in your pocket and get your groceries for a week plus, and walk out with some gourmet items.

    David C on October 15, 2012 6:35 PM:

    Great Lakes Brewery = excellence. Dortmunder Gold is a great dark beer especially proper this time of year.

    Luke on October 16, 2012 12:33 AM:

    This is great. I’m from Pittsburgh and I love our Strip District, but I love West Side Market just as much. Thanks for the great pics Michael.

    henrik on October 16, 2012 12:23 PM:

    Used to hit up the market a few times a month during my stint in Cleveland.
    Even in the rather brutal, and I mean brutal (i am from the westcoast orig) winter conditions we would still go…

    The smokies, the perogies- god I miss that place.

    ConstantElevation on October 16, 2012 9:20 PM:

    Had no idea you were from the Land. Have always had a love affair with going to the West Side Market since i was a kid and went with my father. Was just there the other day followed by trying out Crop Bistro for the first time. Was an excellent time, try it if you have not!

    Josh C. on October 18, 2012 11:05 AM:

    Gotta love the fair isle in the second picture.

    Noah on October 18, 2012 8:34 PM:

    That ceiling is amazing.

    Noble County Gold on October 20, 2012 9:32 AM:

    Nice one Mr. Williams!

    Starkdesignny on October 20, 2012 5:00 PM:

    Well, talk about a real gem!

    I’m from Cleveland, have been in NYC for 26 years now but still contend that the West Side Market is by far one of the best (or only good) things Cleveland has going for it. As a kid in high school, one of my art projects (I’m an art director now) was to build a model of one of the iconic butcher stands in the West Side Market…one of my most favorite art projects to this day.

    Thanks for an excellent, spot-on post.

    Michael J. Burgess Jr. on October 25, 2012 10:01 PM:

    One of Cleveland’s gems – my hometown. Probably America’s most underrated city. I’m o glad you did this.

    Rick on October 29, 2012 4:12 PM:

    I almost cried looking at these pictures, I also went to “the market” with my dad as a kid, I moved to Boise, ID in 1997, boy do I miss Cleveland. When I am back home I hit Nates right next door to the market, awesome. I read your site just to get my Cleveland fix. I will always be a Clevelander!! Thanks, Michael!

    Old Man Fancy on November 9, 2012 3:12 PM:

    Maybe next we can see the wonderful little enclave on Tremont. A super underrated neighborhood and reason enough to move to Cleveland. Buy a historic house for under $200k w top notch restaurants (Michael Symon etc) and old-timey dive bars. BTW ~ they filmed Deer Hunter there. Now only if my Browns would start winning.

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