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.

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

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

 

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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.
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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.
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If you want some cheese with your wine the store carries over a thousand varieties including this 800-pound behemoth.
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I could get a cavity just looking.
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It wouldn’t be Cincinnati without the flying pig.
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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

 

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