Reasons I love Kansas City, #5: City Market

In all of the excitement surrounding my book release, you may be thinking that I abandoned my “Reasons I love Kansas City” countdown.

Not so, my dears! We’re going to keep the party going, this time with the City Market.

Photo by Rob Schamberger

Celebrated as the largest farmers market in the Midwest, the City Market is a fresh food lover’s dream. The perimeter of the market is lined with wholesale produce sellers and various specialty food shops and restaurants, including an authentic Italian deli and Middle Eastern restaurant + grocer. The middle aisles are generally populated by local farmers, gardeners and artisans offering everything from homemade pasta to crafts.

I’ve been visiting the City Market for years, even before I lived in Kansas City. I can remember walking longingly through the aisles, lamenting the drive back to Columbia that prevented me from buying fresh flowers and anything requiring refrigeration. So when Rob and I moved to the River Market last year, we spent our first morning wandering the market, buying everything in sight and sipping freshly squeezed strawberry lemonades.

In addition to the amazing food selection and prime people watching, I love the market because you never know what you’ll find. Magicians, musicians, food demonstrations, garage sales–the market has a fun, eclectic vibe that’s hard to find elsewhere in the city.

But above all else, the City Market is home to the Holy Grail, or as I refer to him, The Spice Guy. Follow your nose to the impressive line-up of fresh spices, available by the scoop at insanely low prices. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve recommended Al-Habashi Mart and its spice selection, especially for people like me who need hard-to-find Indian and other ethnic spices.

Now that market season is picking up, I feel that balance and order has been restored to my life. There’s nothing I love more than starting a Saturday morning with a leisurely stroll around the market, returning home with bags full of produce, spices, flowers, bread and anything else that catches my eye. If you haven’t yet been to City Market, don’t make any plans next weekend and stop by. This is one of the true jewels in Kansas City and it deserves to be treasured.

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