A Local's Guide to the North Market

Things To Do 07/15/2019
A Local's Guide to the North Market

If you’re a Columbus native, chances are that you’ve driven past the long building with the green awnings and large red letters in the heart of Downtown Columbus. Although it’s the current home to the North Market, it hasn’t always been. 


Time for a short history lesson. The North Market first opened its doors in 1876, serving as one of four public markets to the city. Today, between the West, East, Central and North markets, it is the only one remaining. And well, if we’re being technical here, it’s not exactly the original North Market that served as the community hub back in the day. In 1948, the original building burned down, and from there, the merchants banded together and purchased a Quonset hut. In 1995, they moved to the current building after the hut fell into disrepair and it has served as the home to local merchants ever since.


Now onto the good stuff. We hate to brag, but after years of North Market visits, we consider ourselves quite the North Market experts. We didn’t feel it was right keeping all these tips and tricks for ourselves, so we’re spilling all our secrets.

Come hungry (like really hungry)

Skip breakfast, find your stretchiest pants, or do whatever you need to do to prepare for the food marathon ahead of you. North Market is home to over 30 merchants and, unfortunately for your waistline, every single one is amazing. Choosing what to eat will be near impossible, but that just means you’ll have to come back for more!

Take a Lap 

This lengthy list includes everything from sushi and Italian to Polish and hot chicken and just about everything else in between. Whether you’re a first timer or a North Market regular, the stands are constantly changing. Don’t rush into ordering from the first stand you lay eyes on. Take a lap, check out all the stands, and then head back to whichever merchant you’ve chosen. Trust us, we’ve tried the other way and we ended up with enough food to feed a small family.

Go Splitsies

Let’s be honest, with a line-up like North Market’s, it’s virtually impossible to choose what to eat. Do I want waffles or pasta or BBQ or tacos or donuts? The correct answer is all of them but obviously all of that isn’t fitting in one stomach. This is where your friends come in. Bring a group and challenge everyone to order from a different merchant. Everyone gets a taste of each dish and you won’t have to deal with food envy.

Parking is Validated

Bring your parking ticket into the market with you. Make a purchase at any merchant and they’ll validate your parking for the surface lot up front. With this validation stamp, the first hour is only $1. Making a quick grocery run? Shop any of the fresh merchants and your first hour of parking is free!


Have any other tips & tricks for a successful adventure at North Market? Share it with us on social at @lifestylecommunities.


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