As it celebrates its centennial this year, Cleveland’s West Side Market thrives in the midst of a next-wave back-to-the-land revival. It’s one of the oldest continuously operating markets in America, embodying the region’s cultural and culinary identity, preserving its old-world heritage and the traditions of the table while welcoming new generations of food adventurers.In this beautiful, 27,000-square-foot hall, shoppers find ethnic specialties like kielbasa and smoked sausage, barrel-aged sauerkraut, and potato-filled pierogi. But these days, they also come for grass-fed beef, farmstead cheeses, local honey, and handmade pasta.
Surrounding the market is a burgeoning culinary district that’s home to some of the city’s hottest restaurants, beer gardens, and even a 6-acre urban farm.
“The West Side Market maintains all of the integrity and uniqueness that it always has, even after 100 years,” says Michael Symon, chef/owner of Cleveland restaurants Lola Bistro, Lolita, and B Spot. “To me, it’s 100% pure Cleveland.” —Laura Taxel