Pieces of strawberry shortcake on a pedestal inside a display case filled with pastries.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with pastries at the West Side Market. Photo © Erik Drost, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

The West Side Market is a big, bustling bazaar, with more than 100 food stands and dozens more next door in the produce annex. Here’s a taste of what’s inside.

Many shoppers begin or end their visit with a quick and tasty meal. The best options include Maha’s Falafel for fresh-fried falafel sandwiches, Kim Se for prepared Thai and Cambodian dishes, Crepes DeLuxe for amazing savory crepes filled with fresh ingredients, or Frank’s Bratwurst for, you guessed it, bratwurst sandwiches. (Ask for horseradish.)

Diet-shattering baked goods are around every turn. For artisan-style European bread, hit Mediterra Bakehouse. If your tooth leans more sweet than savory, wander over to Cake Royale, where the luscious pastries are made from scratch. Over at Campbell’s Popcorn, the sugary offerings include cotton candy, chocolate-covered pretzels, and amazing cheesy popcorn.

Ohio City Pasta supplies dozens of upscale restaurants with fresh pasta, ravioli, and gnocchi. At the ever-popular Pierogi Palace, dozens of varieties of stuffed Polish dumplings are sold frozen to go. Hit Orale Mexican Cuisine for empanadas, corn husk-wrapped tamales, fresh-fried chips, and the best salsas in town.

Adventurous home cooks shop at Urban Herbs and Narrin’s Spice to track down hard-to-find herbs, spices, grains, and chiles. Narrin’s also stocks a wide assortment of hot sauces. And if Mediterranean Imported Foods doesn’t carry the ingredient you’re looking for, it probably doesn’t exist. Tucked into the corner of the market, this jam-packed Italian grocery offers a dizzying array high-quality cheeses, olives, salamis, dried fruit, and nuts.

To purchase old-world Hungarian-style meats, like double-smoked bacon, rice sausage, and cottage ham, stroll over to Dohar Meats. Old Country Sausage sells authentic German favorites like liverwurst and Black Forest salamis.

Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon Cleveland.