Reading Terminal Market

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12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Reading Terminal Market Philadelphia Reviews

vances vances
582 reviews
To market, to market..... Dec 11, 2017
Reading Terminal Market is one of the finest public markets you will ever find nestled in the heart of a major city. What you enjoy today is the descendant of defiance, originating from a pair of open air markets operating on the appropriately named Market Street. When the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company bought the entire block where the markets conducted business to build a train station, the stand holders balked at being kicked out. The railroad wisely compromised, constructing an elevated train shed and acting as proprietor for farmer operations at street level below. They also built a basement featuring modern refrigeration equipment, so it was good times for all.

The market benefited from people getting on and off trains, but they also offered an innovative service where you could phone in an order and for no delivery charge they would fill up a basket and have it dropped off at your local train station for pick up! There was a good run of seventy years (the market held up very well through the Great Depression), but railroad fortunes eventually plummeted. The refrigeration facility was closed in the 1960’s and the railroad went bankrupt in the 1970’s. With no true landlord, the building deteriorated and leaked badly. The market limped along through the next decade but never gave up. In the 1990’s a convention center was proposed next door, and the market was viewed as a possible attraction for a new influx of human beings. A non-profit authority was established to take ownership, the building spiffed up and this wonderful atmosphere preserved.

Focus is on the superb food offerings – virtually every type of cuisine is available at the numerous eateries throughout. Of course local specialties are a big draw and while plenty of options are available for scoring a Philly Cheesesteak here, I suggest you save that for later during a side trip to the South Street neighborhood. My recommendation is to recognize the rich Italian heritage in Philly and order a roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s, which was voted “best sandwich in America” by Travel Channel!

Breakfast is also served, and during this recent return I had to score some scrapple. I love scrapple, more or less leftover bits from a slaughtered pig. You probably had to grow up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to treasure this, but I rarely get to indulge any longer. Speaking of my roots, I should mention many stands are family run and the entire northeast section of the market is a block run by Amish and Mennonite folks from Lancaster County, and these are all closed Sundays - not a good day to visit if you hanker for a soft pretzel or an apple dumpling. I will add that despite being diabetic and no longer able to partake, Whoopie Pies are a 'sweet' Lancaster tradition marketed by the Amish contingent (my mother, sister and I used to have a stand at a farmer’s market in Lancaster and the reason we never profited was because whoopie pies were offered right next door!).

Beyond prepared food, there is a bounty of traditional farmer’s market offerings, including fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, meats and more. Now a tourist attraction as well, you will discover plenty of options for your money beyond foodstuffs: flowers, quilts, jewelry, spices and a wide range of handmade crafts are all for sale. Reading Terminal Market remains a vibrant tradition in downtown Philadelphia and is highly recommended to gain a sense of the city. Weekly visitor volume exceeds one hundred thousand customers, so come on down and join the crowd.
Reading Terminal Market - an excel…
The place to go if you are hungry.…
No more worries about rationing wh…
An almost overwhelming variety of …
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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jamesatticuslevin jamesatt…
1 reviews
Best place to eat in Philadelphia May 11, 2013
The Reading Terminal is THE place to eat in Philly. It has something to please everyone and has some secret gems that shouldn't be missed. The famous Fourth Street Cookies in the front corner of the market are the best I have ever had. A lot of locals go there for lunch so expect big crowds during the day and avoid going on Sunday because a whole section of the market (the Amish section) is closed on Sundays and they make great pretzels, ice cream, and fudge. After you eat be sure to walk around and look at the vendors who have a variety of homemade items from all over. As someone who grew up about half an hour from the market and went their frequently, I would highly recommend this place to all travelers.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
mefman00 mefman00
2 reviews
Philly food staple Jun 13, 2011
Philly is a very big city with people from all over the world, each with their own culinary tastes and traditions. Reading Terminal Market is by far the most efficient way to experience the most of the Philadelphia food scene. Inside this building you'll find around 100 vendors of all kinds of goodies, with ready-to-eat food from cheesesteaks to chop suey, to fresh fruit and catch-of-the-day seafood. It's like Baltimore's Lexington Market, only it's in Philly which makes it way better.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Andy99 Andy99
623 reviews
An array of foods and feasts at Reading Terminal Market Dec 05, 2010
Reading Terminal Market has been the principal urban fresh food market in Philadelphia since 1892. The space above was once a train shed, and it was easy to bring fresh food to the market from surrounding farms by train. Reading Terminal Market continues today as a market for fresh produce, meats, and seafood but also has many delis, food counters, and ethnic food cafes. There are dozens of food vendors and wholesale and retail stalls. You can find almost anything here from a Philadelphia Cheesesteak sandwich or a New York Reuben to Soul Food and Indian food. Amish farmers from Lancaster sell their fresh produce, meats, and preserves at the market. It’s great to wander through just to see the many varieties of food offered.

Amish delis and New York delis sit side-by-side. Which has the best pastrami? You'll have to try them both! (Amish vendor stalls are closed on Sunday.)

I definitely recommend coming here for lunch. (Don’t eat elsewhere beforehand!) There is no end to the selection!
Reading Terminal Market 12th Stree…
Reading Terminal Market
Reading Terminal Market
Reading Terminal Market
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sUrAbUyA says:
Wish I could have lunch right now at one of those delis!
Posted on: Dec 17, 2010
WalterC says:
It's been a while since I've been there. Someday, I'll have to stop by.
Posted on: Dec 17, 2010
vances says:
Reading Terminal is a must stop...but you forgot to mention all of the "non-food" junk that is alos available!

Posted on: Dec 16, 2010

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