The Year/The Decade: Markets

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You know how it is--nothing to do in Dallas but eat, drink and shop. If only we had a signature bridge...

We've always had Neiman Marcus for those who want to spend the credit and places like TJ Maxx for us who don't. In the last ten years, however, food shopping in this city has become much more interesting.

Credit Central Market if you wish, but Dallas is now flush with little farmers market events during the growing season. And you can hit stores for everything from burrata to kimchi. It is, in other words, a great time to be a gourmand in North Texas.

Probably can't be helped, but we left some great shops off this list, places on the level of TJ's Seafood Market, Flavors from Afar and Molto Formaggio--that's how good we've got it these days.

Our list of the best...

Markets of 2009:

1. Scardello
Great selection of cheeses, both the globally renown and wheels produced by small American farms. Don't really need to say more.

2. Jimmy's Food Store
Yes, it's been around for awhile. But it emerged from the ashes of a devastating 2004 blaze and instantly inserted themselves back at the top when it comes to Italian basics. Hell, they even expanded their selection. Still the spot for old world cured meats.

3. H-Mart
The Korean grocery in Carrollton is huge--something like 78,000 square feet. It's a chain, sure--and it sells corn flakes and other non-Asian staples. But few places can offer the breadth of H-Mart's selection.

Markets of the 00s:

1. Central Market
The world of fresh produce, ahi tuna, beer, coffee and everything else came to Dallas with Central Market. In the early 2000s, it was near impossible to navigate its aisles on weekends--and nothing's changed since...except they've added things.

2. World Wide Foods
To this former Lower Greenville shop we say 'rest in peace.' When people frequented that part of town for more than just tats and cheap beer (although that's always been the draw), World Wide Foods beckoned with buckets of olives, interesting boxed goods and whatever else they could cram into the space.

3. Jimmy's Food Store
Hey, it's an institution. Was then, is now.

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