On occasion, I experience days in which nothing gives me greater pleasure than eating everything in sight. Why, yes, I would love tacos, a donut, and a few scoops of ice cream for lunch today, thankyouverymuch. Actually, if I’m being honest, these days are more like every Friday-Sunday, the extent of any vacation, and all days spent in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio (someone has to do the taste-testing before family get togethers).
My confession being out of the way, (the “taste” part of this blog does exist for a reason after all…now you know it involves the mass consumption of tacos and donuts) it should then come as no surprise that one of my newest favorite spots in my hometown is none other than a giant indoor market filled with independent food stands.
Fellow food lovers, meet North Market.
North Market is located in downtown Columbus, and according to their website is Columbus’ “only true remaining public market.” Inside you’ll find over 30 vendors selling everything from gorgeous flowers to fresh prepared food. If you’re wondering if you can find the four basic food groups within these walls, have no fear: donuts, pizza, tacos, and ice cream are all available.
My first experience at North Market was right after a large breakfast at nearby Fox in the Snow Cafe (worth a visit for the pastries alone but definitely also worth it for the coffee) and all I could manage to sample was a macaroon from Pistacia Vera.
On my most recent trip home, my sister Amy and I both agreed that North Market was the perfect spot for lunch. I use this term loosely, because what was consumed was actually a lot of dessert with a side of tacos. Just keeping it real here folks.
We arrived and began our adventure by walking throughout the whole market, researching options. Everything except one restaurant (Hot Chicken Takeover) is located on the first floor, so this is a great way to see all of the offerings while getting some pre-lunch exercise.
I recommend walking through the whole market first before deciding on something because, speaking from personal experience, words cannot express how depressed I would have been at choosing salad only to round a corner a few minutes later and come face to face with a taco stand. (No offense, salad. I still like you.) I wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to you.
While the market is relatively large, I was surprised to find the selection didn’t feel overwhelming. The space is just large enough to give you options, while also having enough variety to keep you coming back. The only drawback is that at some point, you do get full, which is kind of sad when you want to try everything.
In the end, Amy and I settled on tacos from Dos Hermanos. It’s a 3 step process in which you select the type of taco you want, type of meat, and your salsa. Amy went for chicken mexican street tacos, while I opted for pork Dos Hermanos tacos with guacamole salsa. Side note: guacamole salsa is the most genius thing ever. Why have I never tried this before?? A side of chips and salsa did not disappoint. Tacos are never a bad choice.
Dessert was a toss up between two options, so we did what any logical person would do in our situation and chose both: a red raspberry hibiscus donut (as unique, sweet and yummy as it sounds) from Destination Donuts, and 3 scoops of ice cream (sweet cream, salty caramel, black and white cookies) from Jeni’s, my second favorite ice cream shop in Columbus next to Graeter’s.
On our way upstairs to grab a table (the entire second floor of the market is seating) we also happened upon a small fudge stand called Coco Cat Bakery offering samples. Do NOT miss this fudge if she’s there when you visit! The Lavender (apparently this is the flavor that started it all, so of course it’s delicious) and Chai were some of my favorites.
While the food is worth the visit, what makes North Market even more charming is the friendliness of the vendors. It feels good supporting small, independently owned businesses, but when you can engage in friendly conversation with the owners it makes the experience all the more sweet.
North Market may not be the best place for your waistline, but the experience will certainly leave you feeling full – both in your belly and your heart.