by Ed Healy

broadwaymarketSpringtime is when Buffalo’s venerable Broadway Market blooms. In the weeks prior to Easter the market is mobbed by shoppers looking for the perfect ham for Easter dinner, perhaps accompanied by a butter lamb and hand-painted eggs from Poland. This mass migration of spring shoppers has been a Buffalo tradition since the inception of the Market in 1888.

Located in Buffalo’s historic Broadway Fillmore neighborhood, the Broadway Market is home to butchers, seafood vendors, bakers, restaurants and retailers selling “I Love Pierogi” T-shirts and other assorted sundries. Although the composition of this traditionally Polish neighborhood has changed in recent years – the nearby population is a mix of people of Eastern European, African and Vietnamese descent – you can still hear Polish spoken in the Market and purchase Polish specialties like pierogi, a dumpling filled with potato, cheese or sauerkraut, and placek, a delicious crumb covered coffeecake.

Stop by the White Eagle Bakery or E.M. Chrusciki for mouth-watering baked goods like paczki, a Polish doughnut. Or visit the Famous Horseradish stall for a heated exchange that will bring tears to your eyes and explain in no uncertain terms why the proprietor chose such an immodest name for his business. You’ll also want to stop by Peter Lupas Meats where you can still find old-fashioned delicacies like pickled pigs feet and oxtails. If you work up an appetite from shopping, visit Perison’s lunch counter where soup and a sandwich won’t set you back an arm and a leg. Other market highlights include the chocolate-dipped strawberries at Strawberry Island and the Southern fried specialties at the Soul Food Shack.

The current Broadway Market is the third such structure to stand at 999 Broadway. The market’s current home has 90,000-square feet of retailing with two levels of free parking for 1,000 cars. The Market is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 716-893-0705 or visit broadwaymarket.org.

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