If Disneyland and A supermarket had a baby it would be named Jungle Jim’s International market. A Cincinnati Institution, Jungle Jim’s sells food from over 70 countries over an area so large they have maps located throughout the store. They attract over 80K visitors a month. They have so many things you won’t see anywhere else: a monorail, an animatronic band featuring the Lucky Charm leprechaun jamming with the bee from Cheerios and the  Rabbit from Trix, a lagoon with life-size giraffes and elephants and even a camper van with Sonny and Cher. It’s surreal.

Starting off as just a humble roadside produce stand, the founder James Bonaminio was a dreamer who wanted more. He came upon the idea that anyone could sell groceries, but not everyone knew how to make it fun. He wanted going to buy a loaf of bread to be an event. So he worked on creating a quirky, entertaining store where people would come not just to shop but be entertained. The store has a full lounge that is designed to look like an airport waiting area. You can hear live music and even take cooking classes as well.

Sadly the monorail is just for show. It was part of the King’s Island Theme park in Cincinnati. But the cars have figurines in them. 
The waterfall was closed for the season but the animals didn’t seem to mind. 
That’s one saucy Gorilla
Looks like he’s got his groceries and is ready to head back to the waterhole. 
There is also a lounge area but the foodie entrance works for me. 
You see a lot of cars here. Sometimes even racing on the walls. 
An animatronic talking ear of corn and stick of butter welcome you. 
The lucky Charm guy, Cheerio guy, and the Trix Bunny formed a band. 
Tony the Tiger also serenades shoppers (This place loves animatronics) 
That cat can really sing. 
Fred Flintstone meet George Jetson


Johnny Bravo
Jungle Jim’s has over 2000 different kinds of hot sauce. So naturally, they would need firetrucks 


They even sell the hot sauce that has been rated by the Guinness book as the world’s hottest. But it is 400.00 a bottle. 
With a beer and Wine aisle longer than a football field. It makes sense to have a tasting bar. And if you like what you bought you can drink it in the lounge area. 
If you want some cheese with your wine the store carries over a thousand varieties including this 800-pound behemoth. 
I could get a cavity just looking. 
It wouldn’t be Cincinnati without the flying pig. 
Don’t let the entrance fool you. The doors are fake the actual bathrooms are enormous and even have jungle-themed art on the wall. 

Jungle Jim” Bonaminio wanted to make shopping an event. And I think he succeeded tremendously. Anyone visiting the Cincinnati area should take the time to visit. But plan ahead. There are two locations and they have almost a half a million square feet in retail space. You could easily wander around for hours. So grab the free map explore and maybe head over to the lounge and have a drink. Jungle Jim’s is quirky and fun. After all, it’s a theme park of food


5 Replies to “A Theme Park of Food”

  1. OMG I want to go! The cob of corn and butter made me laugh! The pics are great and the captions funny, what an enjoyable read!

    1. The “Jungle Jim” guy is a real character. he rides around the store on a segway dressed as a wizard handing out coupons. It really is a fun place to visit even if you don’t buy anything. Glad you liked the post. I had a lot of fun writing it. GG

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