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.