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Shopping The West Side Market In Cleveland Ohio City

Updated on June 12, 2011

What's The West Side Market All About?

Shopping at the West Side Market in Cleveland is a unique experience in shopping. The market has been a staple in Cleveland’s history for over a hundred years. The West Side Market is Cleveland's oldest publicly owned market and has been around since 1840 and in its current building since 1912. The West Side Market thrives in tradition and offers both visitors and local residents the chance to buy fresh produce, bakery, meats, seafood and other food products in one place from hundreds of merchants.

The ethnic diversity of the vendors is vast including food food from the nationalities of Irish, German, Polish, Slovenian, Italian, Middle East, Greek and Russian among others. With that much culture intermixed you can imagine what kind of unique shopping experience it is at the West Side Market.

As soon as you walk in to the market, you feel like you're experiencing a part of Cleveland's history. Its what market shopping would have felt like years ago right in the hustle and bustle of the city. Once you go in you can not only see the rows and rows of vendors but the smells of the market overtake you and its all part of the experience. Shopping at the West Side Market makes you feel like you're part of the community. It's a place where you can gather to enjoy the diversity of different cultures, food and people that make up the area.

The West Side Market Building

The building itself is a historic rambling building The West Side Market is in the historic Ohio City area of Cleveland, located at the corner of W. 25th Street and Lorain Ave. The architecture inside of the building is outstanding. The Market was designated as a historic landmark in 1973. The interior concourse of the building provides room for over a 100 vendors along with an outdoor area and the building has a large 137 foot high clock tower that is a long standing Cleveland landmark. The last major renovation of the West Side Market took place in 2004 when the arcade portion of the market was enclosed and heated along with major interior and architectural renovations in the main building. If you get a chance to visit be sure to look at the detail inside the building including the tiles in the high ceiling of the building. The history and the architecture of the building has always attracted many visitors and is a popular venue for political campaigners when passing through the Cleveland area.

Guided tours of the West Side Market are available. Its popularity has increased because of focus on what the market has to offer via the Food and Travel Channels. Last year the market had over a million visitors pass through its doors and included both local residents and l tourists. In the September 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine, Cleveland's Westside Market was named America's "Best Food Lover's Market."

The West Side Market In Cleveland
The West Side Market In Cleveland

Basic Information About The West Side Market

The West Side Market is located in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland on the corner of Lorain and W. 25th. The address is 1979 W. 25th Street. The West Side Market is not open every day. The West Side Market hours are Monday and Wednesday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Shopping on Saturday is the most crowded but the best day to go if you want the truly feel the atmosphere of the West Side Market.

The West Side Market is home to many very popular produce, meat and bakery vendors. Plenty of public parking is available in the lot outside the market.

Most vendors take take credit cards but cash is always best to use especially on busy Saturdays.

Finding The West Side Market

A marker1979 W. 25 Cleveland Oh -
1979 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113, USA
get directions

The West Side Market in Cleveland, Ohio. A large indoor market with all kinds of food vendors and place to eat.

Fresh Produce At The West Side Market
Fresh Produce At The West Side Market

Produce At The West Side Market

The fresh produce is a big reason local Clevelanders like to shop at the West Side Market. There are rows of produce vendors both on the outside and the inside of the market. Shopping for produce at the West Side Market gives you a variety to choose from offering the usual apples, oranges and peaches along with the unusual rhubarb, parsley root and sugar cane.

The market is an awesome source for fresh and cheap produce. Vendors sell their wares in an old fashioned style imploring you to buy from them. As you walk down the aisles the vendors will want to fill your bags with their produce.

Produce shopping at the West Side Market is a good deal especially when you are comparing the prices to those in the grocery store.

West Side Market Meats
West Side Market Meats

Meat At The West Side Market

I have never seen so many meat vendors in one place like at the West Side Market. You walk down the row and rows of vendors and the selection is amazing. You can purchase any kind of meat you can think of from fresh sausages and smokies to rabbit and strip steaks.

Each vendor has refrigerated cases that display the choices. You can go right up the the case tell the vendor which cut of meat you want actually pointing to the exact one and they'll wrap it right up for you. Its personal meat shopping right here at the market.

The meat vendors normally specialize in a type of meat. One may sell all beef while the next will have poultry as their specialty. If you are looking for the unusual you can find such things as pigs feet, beef kidney and tongue at the West Side Market. Diversity of choices at the market is outstanding. You will find the vendors are very helpful and willing to give you exactly what you want.

When you are shopping for meats at the market they tend to get quite heavy when you're carrying them around. The market does not have carts and many of the locals bring their own wheeled carts for shopping.

West Side Market Bakery
West Side Market Bakery

Bakery At The West Side Market

Shopping for bakery at the West Side Market is a pastry lover's dream. Cake, pies, donuts they have it all. Fresh baked loaves of bread are available at the West Side Market. All different kinds of breads including Jewish Rye, Soudough, Italian, Asiago, Pumpernickel, Wheat, Multigrain, and more

They are many choices of ethnic bakery available such as nut and poppyseed rolls, canolis or baklava. Breakfast pastries include apple fritters, ladylocks, poppyseed, cinnamon rolls and many more. Your taste buds will be tempted by all the sights and smells of the fresh pastry products.

Window shopping at the bakery vendors is a bakery lover's dream. You can find just about any kind of baked goods you could be looking for.

Seafood at the West Side Market
Seafood at the West Side Market

Seafood At The West Side Market

If you are looking for seafood the West Side Market is a great place to find it. You can find fresh, frozen and smoked varieties of seafood and fish.

If you are looking for something a little more exotic in the seafood section you can find live crab, scallops, clams, squid, octopus and even alligator meat.

Vendors at the market sell fresh fish from Hawaii, Alaska and the upper East Coast. Special orders can be made for specific types of seafood.

The West Side Market Cafe
The West Side Market Cafe

Eating At The West Side Market

If you find yourself hungry from all the shopping, there are many vendor stands offering prepared foods throughout the market. You can find bratwurst, pizza bagels, hot dogs, hot pretzels, pierogi, and many more tasty items.

If you prefer to eat at a sit down restaurant, one of everyone's favorite places to eat at the market is the West Side Market Cafe. The Cafe combines a diner atmosphere with the wonderful taste of market foods. The Westside Market Cafe is friendly and casual yet has creative, delicious food. It is open for breakfast and lunch. If you make a visit to the West Side Market be sure to try a hot breakfast or lunch at the cafe.

Tour The West Side Market in Cleveland, Ohio

Shopping in the West Side Market is an experience not to be missed. If you are visiting in the area or just want to have a fun Saturday morning stop by the West Side Market and see what it has to offer.

Try something that you have never had before and test out the wonderful culture available at the market. Even if you don't want to buy any market goods, simply take a stroll down the aisles, have breakfast or lunch and enjoy a taste of what Cleveland has to offer. Visiting the West Side Market is just one of the many things to do in Cleveland.


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    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      I've never been to The West Side Market and I live near Akron! After reading this article I will make the trip this spring and spend some time there with my kids. I love the photos you included, great work.

    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 7 years ago from At the Gemba

      It looks like a great market, fantastic pictures.

    • pakpub profile image

      pakpub 7 years ago from Ohio

      Pamela99 - Many people remember spending time at the West Side Market when they were growing up. The selections are amazing. Thanks for commenting.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      I love the west side market as I spent many of my growing up years in Lakewood and we would shop there all the time. I loved the mix of the different mainly European nationalities at that time and all the smells of the meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and pastries to die for. We are taking a trip to Cleveland in 2 weeks and I hope our Sat. will include a stop at the market. Of course, I really liked this hub.