Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, PA
Reading Terminal Market is the hotspot for local and tourist foodies alike. Eighty vendors of every kind of edible goodie imaginable is housed at 12th & Arch Streets, adjacent to Chinatown and downtown corporate Philly in Center City.
Reading Terminal is 114 years old and is a Philly institution for locals and a must-see stop for tourists. Pick up produce from Iovine’s, local honeys and beeswax candles, fresh eggs, Pennsylvania wine (ok, not the wine…trust me.). The freshest meat, chicken and fish are available at excellent prices. Or if you’re in the mood for a quick lunch, check out any of the twenty-plus take out joints. Your food wish can come true at Reading Terminal, from Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and of course Cheesesteak.
The Philly Cheesesteak is an absolute necessity when visiting Philly. Locals have their favorites, but personally, I have to say that Rick’s Cheesesteaks in the Market has the absolute tastiest cheesesteak on the planet. And the bread is fluffy, but has some tooth. But you’ve got to have it “Wit Wiz”, that is with Cheez Wiz, a salty, orange, fake cheese concoction that is simply divine. Bon Appetit!
One of the big draws of Reading Terminal is the Amish vendors. These old school Christians of German descent who still wear turn-of-the-19th century garb (Seen Witness?) can make you one mean hot pretzel, smothered in butter of course. Butter that’s as close to the cow as you can pretty much get these days. If you want to check them out, however, you need to come to the Market Wednesday through Saturday.
There are two gourmet cheese shops, but the one that I recommend is Salumeria. The fromagieres know everything there is to know about cheese. Don’t hesitate to ask for a sample, so long as it’s not too busy.
And after you’ve purchased all your fabulously fresh ingredients, stop by The Cook Book Stall to pick up that book to make the most delicious dinner ever. Jill will steer you right. And if you tell her you I sent you, she may even give you a wink and a smile. Maybe.
I’m not a native Philadelphian, but I can see why The Market is considered The Gem of the City. There is no other Market on the East Coast that is remotely like it. In fact, Washington DC’s sister market, Eastern Market, in South East DC, doesn’t even compare in size and scope to Reading Terminal. The closest thing that I’ve come across in my travels to anything like RTM is Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
So, come by. And make sure you’re hungry.
Reading Terminal Market photos
How to get there
Reading Terminal Market is on 12th & Arch Streets. Directions and parking.