By Mary Heyl
Just because the snow has been piling up this week doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy shopping for fresh produce, ethnic foods, and unique goods in one of the largest marketplaces in Western New York! The Broadway Market, located at 999 Broadway in Buffalo, is an in-door market that occupies 90,000 square feet and is open ‘year round. With 40 regular vendors selling their wares from Monday through Friday, and 20 more vendors on Saturday, the Broadway Market is the only place to find fresh baked goods, meats, seafood, candy, and so much more, all under one roof!
The Broadway Market has a long, rich history rooted in the traditions of Buffalo’s Eastern European immigrants. In the late 1800s, Buffalo saw a surge of immigrants settle in the east side of the city who looked forward to embracing their new life in America but still wanted to preserve the traditions of the past. In 1888, the city donated a parcel of land to a group of citizens who used it to gather together and share news, sell goods, and celebrate their heritage. The Market quickly grew, covering an entire city block, and became the second largest business section in the city. In addition to traditional Eastern European foods like Polish sausage, pierogis, galumpkis (cabbage rolls), butter lambs, and fresh ground horseradish, exotic delicacies from all over the world were imported, like African dates, Spanish olives, jellied eels, and rare wines.
Although the physical building of the Market has changed over the decades, the tradition of the ethnic “old world” shopping atmosphere remains strong. The first structure was destroyed by a fire at the beginning of the 20th century; it was replaced with an unheated structure that was twice as large, and in 1956, the third structure (the market’s current building) was built, with 90,000 square feet of retail space. Now, the Market has a three-level parking ramp with entrances on both Gibson and Lombard streets; handicapped accessible parking is available on the first level of the ramp near the Market entrance.
The Market is well known for its regular vendors who are set up daily. Three bakeries— Chrusciki Bakery, Mazurek’s Bakery and White Eagle— offer a variety of treats including fresh pastries, pierogi and paczki.
Get a great cut of meat or fresh made sausage from Camellia Meats, Lupas Meats, or Broadway Seafood, Meats & Poultry.
Of course, no visit is complete without stopping at the Market’s regular produce vendors, Lewandowski Produce and Famous Horseradish.
Those who plan on spending the day at the Market can enjoy a meal at one of three on-site restaurants: East-West Café, Marge’s Soul Food, and Potts Deli.
Saturday is a great day to visit the Broadway Market, as many more specialty vendors set up on this day only. Chateau Buffalo Wines, D’Avolio Olive Oils & Vinegar, Gino’s Italian Bakery, Lewiston Jams & Jellies, and Sweet Temptations Du Jour are just a few of the vendors you can find at the Market on Saturdays! For a complete listing of vendors, visit www.broadwaymarket.org.
There’s no better time than this weekend to visit the Market. Saturday, March 18th is the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, which takes place at the Market’s stage in the food court area. At 11:30 a.m., the Rince na Tiarna Irish Dancers will perform, followed by a live performance of traditional Irish songs by the Blarney Bunch from noon to 3 p.m. Visitors are invited to take part in the Polish Beer Tastings and vote on your favorite one to be served at the annual Dyngus Day Party on April 17.
For many, heading to the Boardway Market at Easter time is a family tradition. Mark your calendars—their Easter Festival kicks off on Friday, March 31.
The Broadway Market is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sundays). To learn more about the Market or to become a vendor, visit www.broadwaymarket.org or call (716)893-0705. Follow the Broadway Market on Facebook for photos and news about upcoming events.