It was a wet and chilly day when I made my most recent trip to Columbus' North Market. I knew exactly where to head to defrost: to Lan Viet Market for a steaming hot bowl of Vietnamese pho. Even before taking my first slurp of broth, I was warmed by the friendly smiles of owner and chef Lan and her husband, Thanh Le, who serve up fresh, healthy dishes every day of the week.
I headed to the upstairs dining area with my lunch and took a table between a couple of elderly men playing chess and a group of professional types engaged in a business meeting. The smells from the market drifted upwards: aromas of Indian curries, fresh-baked bread and newly popped popcorn. Whatever the occasion and whatever I have a taste for, the North Market has what I need.
Regardless of my purpose, I rarely leave without giving in to my sweet tooth. This most recent trip was no different; I stopped first at Pam's Popcorn to pick up some 'Sweet and Salty,' then headed to Brezel for a cinnamon-sugar Bavarian-style pretzel.
No trip to the North Market would be complete without a couple of scoops of seasonal flavors from Columbus' most famous ice creamery, Jeni's. This time I enjoyed Magnolia Mochi and Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake from their Super Pop Cakes collection.
The North Market is Columbus' only public market and has been in business since 1876. The market also hosts regular cooking classes and special events. The next public event to take place at North Market is the Market to Market Bicycle Adventure bike ride between the Hills Market and North Market on May 5 -- riders will be issued passports to be stamped by local vendors and organizations along the route.