When was the last time you and the kids had fun while at the grocery store? That’s what we thought! Between asking for cookies to declaring how bored they are, your little shoppers are usually not too excited about it either. What if we helped you turn a mundane task like getting groceries into something fun the whole family could enjoy? Yes, it can happen!

There are several specialty and ethnic food markets across San Diego that offer a slightly different shopping experience where kiddos can explore, sample food and listen to music — all while you cross items off of your grocery list and grab something fun to make for dinner. Click through the slideshow to check out our favorite family-friendly specialty markets.

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Roma Market

Taking a trip to Italy, (minus the cobblestone streets) has never been easier thanks to Roma Market.  Between the large wine selection and the rows of fresh, dry and frozen pastas you and your little cannolis  will feel like you have just walked into a neighborhood store in Rome.  Here you can pick up the essential groceries along with authentic Italian foods and your kiddos will have a blast sampling the fresh cheeses and pepperoni.  The real treat here is the gelato counter that may be impossible for anyone to pass up.  Just don't spoil your dinner because with the fresh pastas and different sauces they make in-store, it is going to be one delicious meal!

1054 W Valley Pkwy.
Escondido, CA
760-233-8003
Online: romamarkets.com

What are your favorite places to shop for groceries that are off the beaten path? Tell us in the Comments! 

—Shannon Reed (and photographs too!)