Findlay Market makes NYE a blast

With Christmas quickly approaching, another favorite holiday is right around the corner—New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re throwing a party, hanging with a few neighbors, or staying home to tuck your kids in at 9pm, NYE planning is a breeze at Findlay Market.

A different kind of party prep

Findlay Market is a Cincinnati institution. Built in the middle of the 19th Century, the market is the longest continuously operating public market in Ohio. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is frequently named on lists of the best markets across the nation.

While there are plenty of customers who use the market for their daily grocery needs, it’s also a fine place for buying gifts and planning for special events. With over 50 full-time merchants to choose from and a farmers market with outdoor vendors on the weekend, Findlay Market and the surrounding business district are a shopping destination for any reason.

The Findlay Market Corporation is the nonprofit that operates Findlay Market, helping to curate the shops and vendors in the market house and the surrounding storefronts. In April, Findlay Market welcomed a new Executive Director, Cordelia Heaney.

Heaney is originally from the Cleveland area but came to Cincinnati from New Orleans. After spending the past few months getting to know her new hometown, she knows—from personal experience—that Findlay Market is a great place to take out-of-town visitors to show off Cincinnati.

Not only does Findlay Market show off some of the best of Cincinnati, but Heaney says that market vendors offer a different kind of shopping experience than one would find at a traditional corporate grocery store.

“You can ask merchants for suggestions or recommendations. You can get advice about how to prepare their products,” Heaney explains.

“Plus, by shopping here, you’re supporting neighbors and small businesses.”

So, if you’d like to knock out this year’s New Year’s shopping list at Findlay Market, consider these (limited) suggestions for what to buy and where—

Do it yourself from cheese to wine to dessert

Market Wines owner Michael Maxwell can recommend a bottle for every budget.
If you’re looking to plan a holiday celebration yourself from top to bottom, consider a visit to Silverglades.

One of the market’s oldest vendors, Silverglades has been open since 1922 and offers all the fixings for a charcuterie board that will impress your guests. There you’ll find familiar cheeses (alongside ones with names you’ll struggle to pronounce in front of friends), together with crackers, nuts, meats, jams, pickles, and more.

If you plan to cook a full meal, vendors like Luken's Poultry, Fish & Seafood, Heist Fish & Poultry, Eckerlin’s Meats, Grayson Meats, and LK at Findlay Market have you covered for meats. Visit Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices, Saigon Market, or Dean's Mediterranean Imports for help with the flavors and spices for your meal.

Madison’s at Findlay Market and ETC Produce & Provisions are great places to grab grocery items like veggies, snacks, and dairy items for your party. They both offer a variety of specialty and local items. Blue Oven Bakery and OTR Bagel Bar are local favorites for bread, rolls, and bagels.

Market Wines is your destination for beer and perfect wine pairings. Pick up a bottle of Prosecco for your midnight toast and, while you’re there, browse their selection of over 600 wines and 300 craft beers. Options range from inexpensive bottles, accessible for all budgets, to special releases. (Time your visit right and you can drink a glass while you make your decisions.)

Grab and go desserts can be found at many places around the market. Cover all your bases with a few pints of Dojo Gelato, some old school drinking chocolate mix from Maverick Chocolate Co., artisan sweets from Taste of Belgium or Cherbourg Cyprus, and a variety of cookies from Makers Bakers Co.

Let the professionals handle it

If you’d prefer someone else to cater your New Year’s Eve party, oysters from Sen by Kiki might be a good option.

Sen always has fresh oysters available at their oyster bar in the market house, but customers can also pre-order oysters for larger events. They also offer catering for events, featuring unlimited oysters and live shucking by their staff.

If you or your guests are looking for meat-free options, look up Harmony Plant Fare for salads, dips, and meat alternatives like their fresh, homemade seitan ham.

Gramma Debbie’s Kitchen is a mainstay at the market if you’re in the mood for comfort food. Are you serving brunch on New Year’s Day? Check out their homemade goetta breakfast casserole.

The Rhined is a cut-to-order cheese shop that will create the perfect charcuterie for you and your guests. Order online and pick up curbside for the easiest appetizer you’ve ever served.

Cater your sweets from Eliza Jane’s Bakeshop, a newer merchant at Findlay Market. Eliza Jane’s is one of the market’s Findlay Launch program vendors. Findlay Launch is a storefront accelerator program that helps launch new food and restaurant businesses in the market district.

Kids, especially, will love Eliza Jane’s menu of over-the-top desserts like colorful, stuffed cookies and layered brownies. The bakery will soon have special New Year’s Eve cupcakes available for pre-order and in-store. (Keep them in mind for future events—they have a mobile bakeshop truck!)

Order fresh oysters catered by Sen by Kiki.

Many of these catered items can be ordered early on the Findlay Market App or through the vendor’s own online ordering apps.

For a quick meal while you shop, try Eli’s BBQ, the Arepa Place, Mama Lo Hizo, or Flavors of the Isle. Pho Lang Thang is another local favorite.

Bring the perfect gift

When you show up to the party, don’t show up empty-handed. There are plenty of places at the market to grab a last-minute gift for your host.

During the weekend farmers market, you’ll find a variety of local produce and food items, as well as small outdoor vendors selling handmade items like soaps, jewelry, and textile items. If you visit during the week, you’ll need to stick to the full-time merchants and storefront shops, but there are plenty to choose from.

Lucca offers a selection of handmade woodcut decor and kitchen items. Bee Haven sells natural products like beeswax candles, lip balms, and hand salves. Rivertown Inkery & Apparel sells Cincinnati-themed merchandise. Gia and the Blooms sells houseplants and contemporary flower arrangements.

For consumable gifts, consider grabbing a bag of locally roasted coffee from Deeper Roots Coffee or a bottle of Bloody Mary mix or cocktail syrup from ETC Produce & Provisions.

Plan your visit

Inside the Findlay Market house, where NYE planning is a breeze.
Findlay Market is open Tuesday through Sunday, year-round. Hours are 9am-6pm on Tuesday through Friday, 8am-6pm on Saturday, and 10am-4pm on Sunday. The farmers market is from 8-2 Saturday and 10-2 on Sunday.

Parking is available on surrounding streets and on-site. The market is serviced by Cincinnati’s Connector streetcar and multiple metro buses. Plan your route here.
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Read more articles by Liz McEwan.

Liz McEwan is a proud wife, mama, urbanite, musician and blogger. Follow her at The Walking Green and on twitter at @thewalkinggreen.