Bouchards' Fresh Pasta
They sell a smaller variety at farmer's markets in the area, but at Findlay you get the full selection, including a gluten-free option and these long, gluten-heavy strands.
Bean Haus bread
I had to triple check (both while in the market and later online) that it is indeed Bean Haus that makes this bread, because it was grabbing so much attention from folks at the market that I wasn't quite sure whether the stand had coffee. They do, of course, have a wild variety of beans and brew a really stellar cup, but its the 1,500 loaves of bread made daily on weekends that really draw the eye.
Taste of Belgium Waffle Dough
As Kenji broke down in his coverage a few year back, this thick pastry dough is unlike any waffle batter we've ever seen. It gets pressed between cast-iron molds, where the sugars caramelize and create various sweetness ratios dependent on their location in the waffle.
Taste of Belgium Waffles
You should force-feed any resistant, calorie-counting newbie one of these waffles, which are sweet, substantial and really addictive, even when taken home in a bag. ($12 for 4 or $20 for $8)
Taste of Belgium Pastries
Made freshly at the Bistro location on Vine in OTR, this case includes really decadent offerings like Buckeyes, fruit tarts, and bars. Everything we tried was adored by at least one person's sweet tooth.
Mama Lo Hizo
A veritable assembly line pumps out really fresh tacos, burritos, salsas, chips, and the like. The line is usually substantial and the staff alert and friendly, easing the loss of the Ms. Helen's soul-food stand that it replaced—I shed a tear for the maple croissant egg sandwiches of yore.
Gramma Debbie’s Kitchen Burgers
Gramma Debbie's got comfort-food prepared entrees like meatloaf, pulled pork and coleslaw ready for you. But if you're just starting to cook at home or need a smidge of help for a last-of-the-season barbecue, she's got plenty of seasoned burgers too, like her Asiago chicken and Caprese chicken burgers ($5.99 lb).
Mike's Meats Jerky
Along with a ton of fresh pierogis and raviolis, this stop has beef, spicy beef, turkey, and pepperoni jerkeys on prominent display.
Kroeger and Sons Sausages
When the "Sons" part of the business took over, they expanded their sausages, resulting in classic brats and metts along with fun ones like "Turducken" and the "Napa Valley" (green bell peppers, onions and plum tomatoes marinated in red wine, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese, blended with fine-textured sausage meat and seasoned with fennel.)
Kroeger and Sons Pork Shoulder
This gorgeous Boston butt was $2.59/lb. Overheard while waiting to order my own, “They used to sell ground camel here but every time I come they’re out!”
Kroeger and Sons Lamb Sausages
Tucked around the counter are a few lamb offerings, like the Fresh Cherry Lamb Sausage (ground lamb seasoned with garlic and coarse black pepper, red wine, tart black cherries), along with an intriguing smoked version.
At $5 a pop, I'd overhead Areti's gyros being heralded as "the best in town" by more than one person. An 80/20 percent ratio of beef to lamb, it's layered with onions, tomato, and tzatzikii (no lettuce, "That's an Americanized thing"). They're the perfect size to down alongside some fragrantly seasoned doulmadakia (8 stuffed grape leaves for $7), before moving on to a slice of baklava cheesecake.
Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices Sugars
Definitely hit up Colonel De's for quality staples like Maldon salt and pungent cinnamon, but then splurge on their line of infused sugars, like Buckeye Sugar (sugar, peanut butter powder and cocoa) or Chai Sugar (sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper and nutmeg). They've also got bourbon-smoked and several kinds of lavender sugar, and dozens upon dozens of classic herbs and teas.
For a food-lovers gift, grab an assortment expressly designed for bakers (orange peel zest, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, lavender sugar etc.), or a tea mix (Chai, Genmaicha, Earl Gray etc.); $50 each.
Dojo opened when I first moved to Cincinnati in 2009, with a vast array of flavor offerings—depending on the season (or sometimes just the day of the week), you can find Lime Jalapeño Sorbetto, Peanut Butter Stracciatella, Vietnamese Coffee, Honey Lavender, Sea Salt Caramel, Cranberry Orange Sorbetto... the list goes on.
All of their treats are made with hormone-free milk, fresh fruits (local when possible) and natural ingredients, without eggs, extracts or artificial flavorings. And their gelatos are vegan (and packed with fresh flavors), so dairy-wary eaters and those on a vegan diet can indulge, too. I once took the Cranberry Orange Sorbetto on a 3-hr ride to Indiana for Thanksgiving. Totally worth it.
Originally built in 1855, Findlay is now the city's oldest continuously run market, and is managed by a non-profit company established to help it continue to grow while revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood.
Indoors on a Saturday
On weekends, the market is flooded with those stopping in for breakfast or lunch, as well as families getting their goods for the week. All vendors are open on weekends, and while some close down on quiet hours during the week, it's a peaceful place to stroll in off hours.
Summer at the Market
On warm-weather weekends, vendors sell sweets, popcorn, and icy treats while street musicians entertain. The farmer's market nearby hosts seasonal farmers who establish their own prices. A lot of seating is available, including at the west entrance, which hosts a local biergarten.
Luken's Bag o' Chicken Parts
Obviously, there are some serious cuts of meat at varying qualities throughout the market, but for off-cuts like this bag of chicken parts ($3/3lb), Luken's got it covered.
Luken's Turkey Necks
They've also got those "fresh Amish turkey parts" you've been looking for (necks, wings, drums, leg quarters) at $1.59/lb. These come in really handy when making stock for the frigid weather coming upon us.
Gibb's has a lot going on, from a basic but plentiful variety of cheese to olives, dried fruit, and pickles. A bit more adventurous cheese selection can be found at Krause's, but Gibb's nails the kind of slices you need for everyday eating.
Along with old-fashioned penny candies, Gibbs has a pretty banging variety of fudge. We snagged the Tiger Butter (white chocolate, dark chocolate, and peanut butter) which was very sweet but oh-so-smooth—it's a challenge not to eat it all in one sitting.