(Wade writing today) A few weeks ago, Jen and I took the opportunity for a weekend getaway in Cincinnati, Ohio. On the way home, at the behest of some vegan friends, we stopped at the most remarkable grocery store we’ve ever visited: Jungle Jim’s.
It is located in Fairfield, Ohio, on the north side of Cincinnati and when you arrive, you’ know you’re about to experience something special! For example, when you pull into the parking lot, you realize that this grocery store has a monorail!
Jungle Jim’s was started as a small fruit stand in 1971 and has grown to one of the world’s most unique and impressive grocery stores. It has been featured on several television shows, boasts one of the world’s largest collections of wine and is a destination that many “foodies” trek to each year. According to wikipedia, they have 180,000 items (60,000 of which are international) and average over 82,000 visitors each week!
Some of the things that caught our attention while we were at Jungle Jim’s:
- They have an amazing assortment of produce items: There were dozens of colorful fruits and vegetables that I didn’t recognize. Fortunately, most of them are labeled with a name, description, how to choose a nice ripe item, and ideas for how to use it. For example, I had no idea what a Kiwano Melon was, but the sign told me that I should choose one with bright orange skin, cut it in half and scoop out the flesh and seeds with a spoon. Good to know!
- There were hundreds of hot sauces: A section, dedicated to an alphabetized collection of hot sauces, caught my attention. Some of the sauces included: “Acid Rain” and “Black Widow’s Kiss”.
- The international food sections were broken down by region or country including: Middle Eastern, Italy, Hispanic, India, Asia, Germany, England, Australia, and more.
- The health food and supplement sections were huge!: Jen and I agreed to split up and cover various sections of the store and meet at a pre-determined time. When that time came, I found Jen, smiling ear-to-ear, in the “Herb ‘n Jungle” supplement section. Jen loves all kinds of vitamins, essentials oils, and other supplements. She was in heaven!
-If you’re gluten free you need to visit Jungle Jim’s”: Under a sign boasting “The Largest Gluten Free Selection in the MidWest” you’ll find several aisles of every gluten free food imaginable.
In addition to all the interesting things above, there are animatronic singing animals, a cheese shop, a “cold beer cave”, a post office, a Starbucks, a gift shop, a cigar balcony for sampling stogies, a monorail and a cooking school where you can learn to make polenta, paella, Italian, and Indian foods.
Jen and I planned to spend only a few minutes taking in the sites of Jungle Jim’s but ended up spending well over an hour there. We could easily spend several hours there perusing all the interesting and unique foods, beverages, supplements, and other fascinating items.
However, to truly give you an idea of the impact of this amazing place, you really need to check out the photos below. For vegans, vegetarians, foodies and everyone else who loves food, you need to visit Jungle Jim’s. We have plans to go back!