Historic City Market in Kansas City

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I visited Kansas City again last weekend for a family reunion. We ate and drank, went to a Royal’s game, shopped in Weston – and on Saturday morning we visited the City Market.

The City Market is old – its history goes back to 1857 – but it feels hip and new to me. It’s a combination of fixed shops and restaurants (open daily) mixed with pop-up outdoor vendors on the weekends. Located on the north edge of downtown, the City Market operates year round, rain or shine.

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This past Saturday, even though it’s still May, the farmers market vendors had tables overflowing with local and regional produce: strawberries and blueberries, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, broccoli, peppers, beans, radishes, potatoes, turnips, and more. Everything looked healthy and wonderful. A sign promised that sweet corn would be coming soon.

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There were also a lot of vendors selling seedlings you could take home and plant in your own garden, as well as beautiful flowering plants. I bought tomatoes, and they actually tasted pretty good for this early in the summer. I also bought some berries, and my daughter bought a plant for her apartment.

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Inside the permanent part of the market, things got seriously delicious. There are booths with non-seasonal fruit and such, sure, but there are also bakeries, ethnic food vendors, and lots of other exotic offerings. I went crazy for the spice vendor and the Al Habashi Market, which sells imported groceries from the Middle East, India, and the Mediterranean. It smells like Istanbul. The pistachios look amazing. I bought flatbread, dates, and some small candies. This was my favorite place in the market.

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Also awesome-smelling was Beignet, a New Orleans-style restaurant. It’s probably good that the line was out the door, because I probably would have eaten beignets, and I definitely didn’t need to since I’d already had breakfast. I did buy some bread at Bloom Baking Company; that, along with the tomatoes, was my contribution to our family dinner.

The City Market is also home to the fabulous Arabia Steamboat Museum, which I wrote about here back in 2011.

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