Midwest Living Review
Kansas City's historic City Market settles comfortably in the space between global and local. You can buy aromatic spices from Al Habashi Middle-Eastern grocery, or walk a few feet to snag a flaky croissant from Bloom Baking Company. Anchoring the River Market neighborhood, City Market includes year-round vendors (shops, really) in a U-shape building that surrounds an open courtyard. They're connected by an open walkway that has a roof. In the center, you'll find a weekend farmers market where trucks pull right in to sell flats of annuals and bundles of fresh asparagus. Some produce vendors shout noisily to attract visitors, musicians play, meats sizzles on the grill outside Carrollo's Italian Market, and on the fringe of the market, a hodgepodge of flea-market type vendors sell tie-dyed shirts and garage sale junk. The atmosphere is bright, colorful, stimulating, a bit like an international bazaar. Just beyond the market, a pair of huge (if not quite shiny-clean) Asian supermarkets also lure adventurous foodies. There, you'll find an enormous array of intriguing foods: seafood cases piled with glistening cockle shells and whole red snapper, butcher areas stocking pig heads, and produce bins with ripe mangos and leafy bok choy. Even if you don't buy anything, it's great fun to wander and marvel at the diversity that flourishes in the most unexpected places.