Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fabulous Findlay Market

I'm a big fan of Cincinnati's Findlay Market.

Sheila here. My guys (Ric and Eric) and I spent part of a morning last week, wandering among the vendors at my favorite spot in Over The Rhine.

There's a lot of talk these days about buying local to help the earth and local businesses, and Findlay Market is the perfect place to do it. I stocked up on seafood at Luken's Poultry and Fish, Eric found some sweet treats at Taste of Belgium, and I let Debbie Ganaway take care of our Sunday dinner with some delicious stuffed peppers from Gramma Debbie's kitchen.

I discovered Mike Luken's seafood a few years ago, and now I don't buy fish anywhere else. It's flown in fresh, and it really does taste better than seafood you'll find at the grocery store. My buddies there always tell me what are the best items in the cooler, and if I'm up for trying something new, they'll even tell me how to prepare it. I've added several new seafood dishes to our family menu with their help.

Jean Francois Flechet opened Taste of Belgium with one item on his list of fare: his famous waffles. Now you can find a whole case full of quiches, pies, cookies, Belgian macarons, and sinful brownies. He's also serving up some great smelling, hot pizza these days. Jean Francois has become so successful with his waffles, he's expanded into Columbus and Nashville.

Debbie Ganaway and her family bought Kroeger & Sons Meats a few years ago, and while her son heads up that business now, she's opened Gramma Debbie's Kitchen. It's a perfect place to find marinated meats, stuffed peppers, all kinds of salads, and even sides dishes like roasted root vegetables. Debbie is a fantastic cook, and her menu also includes a "Taste of Findlay Market," which she'll put together with foods from her kitchen and other vendors.

Those are just a few of my favorites at the market. I also love Silverglades Deli, Skirtz & Johnston pastries, Colonel De's spices, and the Christian Moerlein Beer Garten. While summer is my favorite time to check out Findlay Market because you can find loads of producer from local farmers, I love going anytime. Everyone there is warm and helpful, and I feel as if I am shopping with my friends.

If you haven't checked out one of the gems of the Queen City, the Findlay Market chili cook-off this month would be a great opportunity for you to get a taste of what it's like. Local cooks will put their best chili up for judging, and you can see some cooking demonstrations from some of the Findlay Market experts. It's set for Sunday, Jan. 23 starting at Noon. Find out more or get an entry form at


  1. Thank you so much for such a lovely Blog on the Findlay Market! I enjoyed the update on what is going on there these days and look forward to a road trip (I currently live in Berea, KY) to check out some of your recommendations!

    What a change! I'm 62 yrs. old and was actually born on Elder Street and have always said that I was born on Findlay Market:) When I was a young girl, I can remember going there on Saturdays with my grandmother.. my mamaw.. and it was quite different then. For example, I remember a place where chickens were kept and you picked out the one you wanted . . they were alive. . until we picked one out! We would take it home with us and spend time together plucking it and making it ready for cooking! I have never had Chicken-N-Dumplings without thinking about those wonderful times spent with my mamaw!

    Thanks again for the update and for reminding me of cherished memories!

  2. Great post, Sheila. Just a reminder that Findlay Market is open year-round every day except Monday. Thanks for spreading the good word about one of Cincinnati's historic gems.