Kroeger and Sons, as its name might imply, has been family owned and operated since 1972, though it recently passed to a new family equally dedicated to the art of the sausage. The meat market offers some 40 different varieties of sausage every day. Load up on Kroeger and Sons' super lean hand-made chicken sausages ($5.99/lb), southern sagey breakfast links ($3.29/lb), or hand-packed German franks in natural casing ($4.99/lb). Break out of the sheath with a whole pork roast ($4.89/lb), piggy chops stuffed with cornbread ($4.49/lb), and thick- or thin-cut hickory-smoked bacon ($3.99/lb). If you're still beneath your daily pork quota and need one more pig tick to satisfy your bacon boss, then nosh into Kroeger's extra-thick baby back ribs ($5.89/lb).
Voted the best stop for chocoholics by Ohio magazine, the Dayton-based Esther Price infuses its old-fashioned chocolate concoctions with dairy-fresh cream and butter—pairing rich cocoa with several fruity and savory flavors. Sample an array of aromas with the 18-ounce light and dark assorted chocolates ($12.30), with each box containing a sampling of Esther Price's most popular pieces—coconut cream, peanut butter cream, caramel pecans, cherries, almond toppers, and more. Other options include the chocolate-coated pretzels ($9.75), which come dipped in light or white chocolate, and the 8-ounce sweetheart mints ($7.55), which offer a decadent way to freshen one's breath before a hoverboat driving test. For those who prefer their sweets minus the sucrose, the confectionary also offers plenty of sugar-free options. Tentative tasters can use the Esther Price candy key to determine what flavors are contained within each morsel before tasting.
The aromas of fresh-baked pita in clay ovens, char-grilled kebabs, and homemade baklava mingle and waft through Istanbul Cafe's bright turquoise dining room replete with Turkish wall hangings. To ensure authentic Mediterranean and Turkish flavors, the chefs do as much food preparation in house as possible, from spearing fresh kebabs daily to hand making desserts from scratch to carving gyros meat right off a spinning gyroscope. The baked eggplant comes stuffed with lamb, tomatoes, peppers, and and herbs served with sauteed seasonal vegetables and basmati rice. Seated around tables, patrons may sip steaming mugs of turkish coffee and tea or uncork their own bottles of wine toted from home.
A humble standalone shop with an impressive inventory, Pipkin's provides the area with locally raised produce, specialty groceries, fresh-from-the-plot flowers, and more. Using a 100-mile radial rule of thumb, the store trucks in juicy and sweet eats from Ohio, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and anywhere flavorful greenery grows. Food-pyramid summiteers can snag one of 20 varieties of apples ($0.99 per pound) or a few bunches of spotless bananas ($0.49 per pound), while pigskin fans can snag some homemade salsa and guacamole ($3.99–$5.99). Before the leaves fall and the sun burns out, families can also stock up on pumpkins—nature's emotional lantern ($0.39 per pound).
Queen City Cookies, baked in Cincinnati. Kinkead Ridge wines from Ripley. Riehle’s Select colorful popcorns from Southern Indiana. The shelves at Keegan’s Specialty Seafood Market read like an atlas of the region. The range of seafood, on the other hand, travels from around the world each day, the fresh tubs of ice brimming with sunset-hued king crab legs and live oysters. With Carabello Coffee and locally crafted wines from Kinkead Ridge filling the shop with earthy aromas and revelry, chefs in the kitchen craft a host of prepared foods. There, clams simmer in a creamy chowder base, a smoker cooks tuna belly and mahi mahi at low temperatures, and whisks dream of being used as anything other than an imaginary microphone.
At Z Place, oenophiles sample a medley of newly discovered domestic and imported wine varietals along with handpicked pairings of complementary cheeses. Douse your mouth with red selections including the medium-bodied merlot—which harmonizes with tangy gruyere, parmesan, and gorgonzola—as well as the mildly fruity cabernet sauvignon, complemented with nutty and sharp cheddar and blue cheese. Feta, goat cheese, and asiago bring the tart notes of the sauvignon blanc to life like a lime playing a kazoo. Grab a grape-blooded partner for a sipping soirée within Z Place's charming pale-yellow and red confines, littered with an abundance of wine bottles, high-top tables, chalkboard signage, and a Persian rug.