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Findlay Market: It’s Historic and Happening

Historic Findlay Market is, in my opinion, one of the coolest destinations for local food and artisan products! Right in the heart of Cincinnati, Findlay Market is this beautiful balance of old and new. Open Tuesday through Sunday, the market houses original vendors along with a growing number of new restaurants and businesses.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite spots in the entire city!

Findlay Market is the oldest continually running outdoor market in Ohio. It first opened in 1855 in the predominately German neighborhood of OTR. While quite a bit has changed over the years, it still has some of the original architectural details like the iron frame. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, Findlay is still very much alive and active.

For many years, Findlay has been the place to get all kinds of meat, spices, cheese, pickles, and fresh produce. It still is. Over time, more merchants opened! I found it interesting that some of the original vendors opened out of a longing for the taste of home. For example, Dean’s Meditteranean Imports, which happens to make our hands-down-most-favorite hummus, opened because Dean grew up in Lebanon and wanted access to some of the same foods and spices of home right here in Cincinnati.

Findlay has again been growing, both in the market and around it, which makes it a hub of activity. There are Artisan shops to buy things like pottery, purses, jewelry, fine teas, plants, and flowers. I don’t know why, but I just love seeing people walk around with fresh-cut flowers. It feels so urban! It’s like I’m living in New York City hitting up the local bodega. Shopping at Findlay makes this small-town girl feel cooler than she probably is!

Findlay Market is also a place to taste the flavors of the world. There are too many good places to name. Some of my favorites include Mashed Roots (Puerto Rican), The Arepa Place (Columbian), Mama Lo Hizo (Mexican), and Flavors of the Isle (Jamaican). You can find these foods both inside the market and lining the outside. I recommend trying a few different places and sharing!

Recently, the areas just outside of the market have been developing with everything from new restaurants to coffee shops; from pet spas to bakeries. You can find places like Goose and Elder, a Chef Salazar restaurant focusing on American comfort food, and Bee Haven, a shop featuring local honey, lip balms, lotions, and candles. There is a brand new Korean place, Kanji, that I have my eyes (and stomach) set on.

On the weekends there is often live music and other special events. Be sure to check out their calendar. If you’re worried about parking, there are a couple of lots on both sides and some street parking. One of the lots is right next to the Samual Adams Taproom! Truly, you could start your morning at the market and just spend the entire day eating, shopping, walking, and drinking.

Findlay Market is just one of the places you need to visit, then visit again. There is a Biergarten supported by local craft brewer Christian Moerlein where you can sit outside and enjoy a beverage (or two)! Maybe grab some delicious Dojo gelato or freshly baked goods. There are so many cool items at Findlay that you will not see anywhere else in the city . . . all in one location.

Tip: If there’s the slightest chance you might buy meat or cheese, bring a cooler bag! In fact, bring one just in case– and a shopping bag!

GO THERE (Findlay Market)! TRY THAT (leisurely shopping and dining)!

Finding Christmas Cheer in Christmas Lights

No doubt Covid has changed our Christmas season. I miss cookie baking with friends, going to concerts and plays, and hosting holiday gatherings. While I am mourning all of these traditions, I will admit, slowing down hasn’t been all terrible. I’m not as rushed. I’m not trying to fill all my time with all the great things. We’ve even purchased an advent wreath with candles to thoughtfully remember the purpose of this season. What a beautiful new tradition that we can do at home together.

Another new way we are receiving joy and light this December is by driving around and looking at Christmas lights. We’ve done this in the past, but this year is different. It’s better! My husband found a post on the Captain of the Kids blog listing houses and neighborhoods around the city with amazing light displays. The guide is great because it labels each house: just lights, lights and music, and award winners.

So far we’ve done the Anderson Township/ Mt, Washington area, the Carthage/Wyoming/St. Bernard/Mt. Healthy area, and the Milford/Loveland area. We have fun mapping out our routes and seeing parts of the city we haven’t before.

We just finished planning our routes for Fairfield/Forest Park and Northern Kentucky. Two more epic drives to come. It gets us out of the house and we listen to a variety of Christmas tunes (sometimes we have to take turns controlling the playlist). There is just something about LIGHT this time of year; it’s a powerful reminder of hope.

These drives have truly brought us joy. We talk. We pack snacks. Grab a hot chocolate, or in my case, a peppermint mocha! Honestly, I believe more people are stepping up this year. Doing something. Even if it’s small. Adding a little bit of glow to what feels like, at times, grim days. I see it even in my own neighborhood. People putting a little something outside to sort of show that we are all in this together.

Again, check out this article by Captain of the Kids to plan your routes! It’s really something for the entire family. Plus, it’s free (other than the gas) and it’s covid safe. You know my motto: experiences are more important than things.

If any of you would like to know some of my personal favorites so far, please comment on the post and I will get back to you. Or, if you have a house or neighborhood that you think I should check out, please comment and let me know.

GO THERE (Driving around your city)! TRY THAT (Checking out the Christmas lights)!