Contributing Writer Shares Tips and Tricks to Navigate Dayton’s Hidden Gem: 2nd Street Market

Monica Rook
Contributing Writer

This time of year, shopping around a local market sounds like an amazing way to spend a summer afternoon, but it isn’t always practical for those of us who are living in a dorm. There’s nowhere to put the fresh flowers, fridge space is limited, and fancy cooking is almost out of the question if you don’t have a kitchen.

It may seem like market shopping is impossible until you’re a full-time adult,  but that’s not true! Armed with a few tips and tricks, you can stroll around the marketplace with the best of them.

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When to Go

2nd Street Market can get pretty busy, so you’ll want to get there early. The best time to beat the crowd is around 10 a.m. If you try to wait out the crowds, the vendors may run out of some things, and you’ll end up losing out.

The market is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 8 a.m. to 3p.m. on Saturdays. During the summer, they expand their hours to include 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays so you can get your Sunday brunch on at the market.

What to Eat

Eat a light lunch at Azra’s Mediterranean Cuisine. I love their crisp Greek salad with tangy olives, creamy feta and refreshing sliced veggies. The herbaceous salad dressing pulls it all together, making the salad worthy of being an entree. If you need some extra protein, you can ask for some sliced gyro meat on top. They also serve the perfect summertime lemonade that hits that sweet spot between too sour and too sugary.

Take your cool drink with you as you stroll up and down the stalls. For a sweet treat that cools you down on a hot summer day, get back in touch with your inner child at Sweet P’s. Nothing says summertime fun like a popsicle.

Sweet P’s updates childhood classics with unique twists like the Lighter Side of Ghiradelli pop that tastes just like a grown-up version of a fudgesicle.

Here, I got a pineapple habanero popsicle which was bright and spicy and tasted like a tropical vacation. Sweet P’s has also changed the popsicle game with their attention to detail. Each popsicle comes with a cupcake liner on the stick to avoid drips and sticky fingers.

What to Buy

Even a dorm room mini fridge has room for chocolate milk — especially when the chocolate milk is as divine as it is at Star Dancer Creamery. They sell milk in small bottles that are easily tucked in a cramped fridge, and the rich, fudgy milk that tastes like a melted milkshake makes for a decadent late-night snack.

A great recipe that is easy to make in a kitchenless, counter space challenged dorm room is sandwiches. My favorite is pesto, tomato, mozzarella and prosciutto. You can buy fresh, deliciously crusty bread at Rahn’s Artisan Breads and grab tomatoes at one of the produce stands. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also pick up some balsamic vinegar from The Olive Tree. These sandwiches are ridiculously easy to throw together and don’t need any special kitchen tools — just a flat space and a knife.  While they’re simple, they will still impress your friends at an impromptu campus picnic.

Tips and Tricks

If you’d like to make an adventure out of it, consider taking a Link bike ride to 2nd Street Market. There are lots of convenient spots that you can pick up a Link bike around campus, like off Brown Street or in front of Roesch Library.

Bonus:  there’s also a Link bike station right outside the market.

Any way you slice it, there’s fun and good food to be had at 2nd Street Market. Don’t let the lack of a kitchen keep you away!

Photos courtesy of Monica Rook/Contributing Writer.