Midwest Living Review
Symons General Store is much more than your typical fancy food shop. It was a trailblazer in establishing the region's now-flourishing food scene. In 1960, owner Tom Symons had a vision to convert a historic building into a hub of good flavor. He stocked the shop initially with coffee and spices and later expanded to offer a spectacular wine cellar. Today, you'll find a dazzling deli and bakery case as well, with pillowy croissants and ripe cheeses (many from the Midwest). Big glass jars hold cornichons, olives -- and penny candy. Tall shelves hold a dazzling array of jars, tins and boxes: mustards, jams, chutneys, imported cookies and coffee. The wine cellar is truly a basement-level affair, with a low wood ceiling, rustic stone walls and swooping light fixtures made out of old corks. (Note that unless you're a wine guru, you'll probably want to ask for help in making a selection; unlike in some wine shops, there isn't much signage explaining what all these fantastic vintages are.) For all the flavor packed inside, Symons is actually not a very big shop. On a busy day, maneuvering between the shelves and other customers can be tough. But it's absolutely worth a visit, even if you'll totally blow your vacation budget buying anything.