Meet, eat, mingle at popular market in downtown Columbus

The North Market in downtown Columbus is a feast for the senses. Located at 59 Spruce St., near the Greater Columbus Convention Center, the market features 35 vendors selling a cornucopia of food-related items in a 44,000 square-foot space. The goodies include homegrown fruits and vegetables, kosher meats, fresh fish, European pastries and gourmet ice cream.

The North Market has been a downtown fixture in various locations since 1876 and has really hit a commercial stride since moving in 1995 to a revamped warehouse. It’s a popular lunchtime hangout for local workers, who enjoy grabbing a quick, healthy bite and eating it on the second floor, where they can overlook the bustling crowd and a colorful quilt of vendors.

The lineup includes The Fish Guys (Angelo, Bobby and Shawn), who sell fresh, line-caught fish from sustainable fisheries; Flavors of India, which offers authentic Indian curries; and Sarefino’s Pizzeria and Italian Deli, which tosses up tasty New York-style pizza with a “tomato-y” sauce.

A family favorite is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, an artisanal treat made with real ingredients, if you know what I mean. On weekends people line up just for a sampling of Jeni’s exotic flavors, which include Salty Caramel, Strawberry Rose Petal and Pear Riesling sorbet.

Whether you’re in the mood for lunch, an afternoon treat or ingredients for your home-cooked meal, the North Market is about as good as food gets on the Columbus reality meter.

The North Market is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday (select vendors); 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday; and noon-5 p.m., Sunday.

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