Best Places to Shop for Food

From quaint family farms to neighborhood international markets, Christine lets her stomach be her guide. As the manager of the Worthington Farmers Market and the events/marketing manager for the Columbus Cousins Maine Lobster food truck, Christine is an ambassador for local food and entrepreneurs. When she’s not exploring her favorite markets, she’s in her kitchen making a new recipe from her ever-expanding cookbook collection, tasting her way through the city’s taquerias or hiking the trails with her mischievous, blueberry-eating whippet, Tru.


Read Christine's Tastemaker notes as to what to seek out in each spot.

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Perusing the provisions of these five locavore destinations are worth skipping the “click” for delivery. From international delicacies to chef-driven specialty foods, browsing the seasonal, farm-raised and handmade selections turn a mundane grocery list into a taste-worthy adventure. These Columbus favorites offer a shopping experience unmatched by the superstores. Discover unique produce, such as ramps, garlic scapes, gooseberries and pink currants, freshly prepared meals made from family recipes and a community of knowledgeable farmers, artisans and local food enthusiasts.


Clintonville Farmers Market, clintonvillefarmersmarket.org. This market is open three seasons of the year, from late-April through late-November, on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon. Find it on the west side of North High Street at Dunedin Road, between Orchard Lane and Torrence Road. Parking is available on North High Street, the Brevoort Building next to Wendy's, the Columbus Mennonite Church on Oakland Park Avenue and Cephas Capital at Oakland Park and High. Also, there's free bike parking during the market at Baer Wheels Bike Corral. Tastemaker: Tulip Café. The cheese flatbread and a delectable assortment of Turkish-Ottoman breads and pastries make decision-making deliciously difficult when you visit this family-owned bakery.

The Hills Market, 7860 Olentangy River Rd., 43235, 614-846-3220, thehillsmarket.com. Here's to the locally-owned, specialty grocer. Pick up your staples here or browse their great wine selection, beautiful flowers and mouth-watering prepared foods. Check the schedule for special events on The Veranda, such as charity happy hours, annual salmon roast, Thursday night Beer & Brats and more. If you find yourself downtown, there's also a smaller, second location on Grant Avenue. Tastemaker: The deli and specialty foods counter. If you can’t decide what to enjoy for lunch or what to bring to the neighborhood potluck, rely on Chef Nate and his team to recommend their top picks.

Lucky's Market, 2770 N. High St, 43202, 614-447-0258, luckysmarket.com. Lucky's mantra is that good food shouldn't be a luxury item that's priced out-of-reach. Swing by for natural and organic food – free from pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones. Also find homemade goodies, craft sandwiches and local products. Tastemaker: Their ample selection of bulk foods. From snack and trail mixes to specialty grains and flours, scoop as much or as little as you need.

Weiland's, 3600 Indianola Ave., 43214, 614-267-9878, weilandsmarket.com. Weiland's began in 1961 as a small market focusing on high-quality meats. Meat is still a highlight of Weiland's. This family-owned market – now run by a fourth-generation grocer – has expanded many times over the years and offers a deep selection of food, beverages, prepared foods and more. They also cater, create fruit baskets and cook holiday meals. Tastemaker: The best selection of locally roasted coffee beans! Try making a pour-over with the Costa Rica Black Honey from Thunderkiss Coffee and savor every sweet and balanced sip.

Worthington Farmers Market, worthingtonfarmersmarket.com. The Worthington Farmers Market is one of the largest markets in Central Ohio and is open 50 weeks a year. From early-May through late-October, the market is outdoors on Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon, on High Street between 161 (Dublin Granville Road) and Short Street. Nearby parking lots are at the Griswold Center and Worthington United Methodist Church. From early-November through late-April, the indoors market is on Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, at The Shops at Worthington Place, 7227 N. High St., 43085. Tastemaker: Old Worthington Food and Walking Tour hosted by Columbus Food Adventures. Explore historic Old Worthington with an expert as you sample your way through 6 tasting stops, including the Worthington Farmers Market. 


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LOCAL TIP:
"You save money buying wine from local independents. Not only do they carry better values than the mass volume labels at the big box alternatives, but they can point you in the right direction and turn you on to new wines. You can stretch your dollars more. The same is mostly true for beer, although there's a lot of good beer in all stores. The local independents just have more access and a wider selection of unique, quality offerings." ~Donnie A.