Columbus is a diverse city, and that means we get to enjoy a variety of foods from around the world. You can literally walk down to the Short North and try multiple dishes from different countries in one day if you have the time. But, if you’re looking to make your own international dishes or want to try new snacks, you’ll probably have to head to an international grocery. Luckily, Columbus has plenty of those, and some feature restaurants or eateries in them. So start making your shopping list and get hungry—here are three markets you won’t want to pass up.
International Market Foods
Location: Olentangy River Road
Best Menu Item: Chicken Gyro
International Market Foods is truly a hidden gem, and I honestly didn’t know about it until my friends wanted to get gyros for dinner—I passed by it a million times! This market has both a small eatery with seating and a grocery, and many of the menu items and groceries available are Indian-based; if you’re looking for fresh ingredients that are hard to find locally and don’t want to travel far from campus, this is your new favorite place. Their food is prepared fresh behind the counter, so feel free to let your mouth water as you watch your gyro get topped with veggies and Tzatziki sauce. Seasoned fries are the perfect side to order with gyros, and feel free to grab a pop from the grocery or try something new, like a bottled raspberry malt. Cheesy date life hack: get a date for your date! These fruits literally taste like candy, and you can find them right next to the ordering counter in the display case.
Saraga International Grocery
Location: Cleveland Ave
Best Menu Item: Dumplings
Want to go on a tour of foods from all around the world? If your answer is yes, Saraga International Grocery should be your next stop. Each aisle has food from a different part of the world—East Asia, Mexico, etc.—and features everything from pasta to snacks to tea. Saraga is best known for its dumplings that are served out of a small place in the store called Momo Ghar. These dumplings are covered with a delicious sauce, and are perfect for a quick dinner or snack stop while you’re shopping. You can grab dessert to take home that’s just a few steps away, too. Fresh baked pastries can be found at the front of Saraga, and many of them are bigger than a hand. I also recommend trying a new drink while you are there. Ramune is a sweet carbonated beverage that can double as a dessert; it has tons of flavors and a marble you get to punch into the drink container (Google it).
The Market Italian Village
Location: Summit Street
Best Menu Item: La Delice de Bourgogne (Waffle Fries)
Ok, so this place isn’t really a “market”, but it was so unique and delicious it just had to be included in this list. If you’re headed downtown on Summit Street, you may have seen the rooster logo on The Market’s exterior that makes it stand out from the endless rows of houses. The restaurant is located on the left and looks a lot smaller on the outside than it is on the inside. They serve a variety of rich Italian foods—from custom charcuterie boards to a classic pizza served straight from the fire fed oven. You’ll want to order ev- erything on the menu. I’m a huge fan of waffle fries, and though I’ve never put honey or spread truffle cheese on them, I want all my waffle fries prepared this way now. They’re a great appetizer, and the slice of truffle cheese works great as a pizza crust dip, too! Another great feature of the Market is that it is open on the weekends for brunch, so get your friends together and try out their morning menu.
Photos by Amal Saeed