Boasting two locations near Cincinnati, Ohio, and award-winning bathrooms, Jungle Jim’s is not just a grocery store, but an adventure each time we visit!
Hi friends! I’m taking a break from recipes to share my absolute favorite grocery store with you- Jungle Jim’s International Market… A calorie free post, for those of us who try to watch what we eat:) Not to worry though, I have something fun, easy, & delicious planned for this Thursday.
If you live in southern Ohio, I’m going to assume you’ve at least heard of Jungle Jim’s. If not, just keep reading… This post is a really, really chock full of pictures, so I apologize ahead of time. If you love eating, like I do, you’ll appreciate the ginormous amount of food Jungle Jim’s offers.
I’m actually splitting our visit into two posts, since I have so many to share with you! Stay tuned next week for Part 2…
Jungle Jim’s International Market started up in the early 1970s and both of their stores are in the Cincinnati region. The original location in Fairfield is where we’ve shopped the most. But in 2012, they opened another store in Eastgate, and we’ve fallen in love with the more open layout of the newer location. Both stores are amazing though!
All the pictures I’m sharing are from the Eastgate Jungle Jim’s, but the Fairfield store has the same basic shopping areas, but with different personalizations. One note: If you have young kids, I recommend checking out the Fairfield store first because they have the most amazing animated displays there, like a bear dressed like Elvis and a stick of butter that talks. When my kids were younger, that’s all they talked about…
I do believe their website says their stores contains over 200,000 square feet each! And I believe it, with the massive amount of groceries they carry… They even hand out maps when you enter the doors and have a small movie theater where they play a movie of how Jungle Jim’s began and expanded over the years. Plan to spend around 2-3 hours exploring; we’ve been so many times I can’t remember and there’s still some areas we’ve never even discovered!
For those interested, I’ll let you read more about Jungle Jim’s history, or The Jungle Story, as they call it. Just make sure you come back around here to read the rest of the post…
When you enter the parking lot, you can’t miss the enormous monorail entering(or is it leaving?) the building. This is not Krogers, as my Ohio friends would say… I love how much thought and attention to detail seem to go into everything at Jungle Jim’s.
After grabbing a cart, we always stop by the sushi section. I know, some of you are like “Ewww!”, but we love it… They were even giving out samples the day we visited~bonus! All of their sushi is made on site and it’s the best we’ve ever tasted. Azusa, who lives in Japan and is staying with us for a month, said it was delicious.
The first indication that you’re not in a normal grocery store is the absolutely huge selection of edible insect products for sale. Yes, I said edible… There’s not too much here that I find appetizing, but we always stop and gawk. I have sampled the Larvets before and they tasted cheesy like Doritos, but without the corn taste.
Suspended in the air near the insect candy and treats is an Airstream, painted with groovy designs, announcing the Natural Food aisles. This side had John Lennon peeking out and I do believe I spotted Sonny and Cher on the driver’s side.
Jungle Jim’s is (in)famously known for their restrooms, and even won an award in 2007 for their unique design. I didn’t take a picture of the inside, but like the tardis from Doctor Who, it’s much bigger on the inside.
The kids and I are quite adventurous when it comes to food, so our favorite section is International, where food from countries around the world is featured. Some from countries you might not even know existed. The food lover in me is absolutely fascinated by what people in other countries eat and I will try almost anything once.
Turkish Delight(like from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), which we have brought home and eaten. Pretty tasty, but more of a favorite with the kids.
Where else in Ohio would you see an Indian autorickshaw?
The Indian spice selection is astounding and this is only a small portion of it.
Have you tried kimchee before? We homeschool and when we studied Korea, kimchee was one of the foods we decided to try and we’ve bought it a few times since then. It’s definitely an acquired taste and not something you’d serve when you have company over for dinner…
If you’re not willing to try kimchee, a safer approach is to pick up some candy from the International area. Each country had their own type, and we’ve loved everything we’ve purchased. The Japanese candy section is always so colorful and fun to browse, like this huge section of Pocky.
Still more candy and this time it’s from Holland. The black licorice section is one of my faves.
While you’re hanging out in the Dutch area, check out these toast sprinkles. Yes, sprinkles for your toast! My sister, Christine, has traveled to Europe and says they’re quite tasty.
If you’re into tea, I’m sure you can find what you need here…
Great Britain is a popular place to find my kids exploring and we’re always amazed by the potato chips flavors, like Roast Chicken, Worchester Sauce, and Smoky Bacon.
If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to your food, don’t despair. You can just skip over the International aisles because the rest of the store will definitely be worth the trip. Next week, I’ll be featuring the rest of the store, including cheese, butter, and hot sauce. All good things, I promise! Jungle Jim’s has something for everyone and I hope I’ve convinced you to take your family for a visit.
Has your family ever been to Jungle Jim’s? If so, where do you head first?
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