The moment you set foot into Reading Terminal Market, the sights, sounds and smells will overwhelm your senses.
Shoppers and merchants make their way through aisle upon aisle of everything from fresh produce to fine jewelry.
Not only is the market a must-see for tourists staying in nearby hotels and convention goers, it is also a daily stop for local Philadelphians and even some Temple students.
“I love to go there to buy fresh cut flowers, but I always find myself walking around to all the stands and buying something good to eat,” junior Amy Dry said.
There are many stands that provide you with your daily grocery store needs, but the market also offers some on the spot dining options so you can chow down as you stroll through, or if you’re lucky, grab a table and people-watch. You can probably find an eatery to fulfill just about any craving you desire.
From Franks-a-Lot, voted Best of Philly for their delicious hot dogs to Delilah’s at the Terminal, featured on Oprah for their mac n’ cheese, there are so many to choose from.
The line is long, but it’s worth the wait for Original Turkey. They have home cooking to write home about. Another big draw to the market is Rick’s Steaks, a proud descendent of Pat’s, with the taste to prove it.
The market has food beyond your imagination, but if you want to make your own, they have all the ingredients to do that, too. With produce stands, fish and meat markets, spice shops, cheese merchants and even house wares stores, if you can’t find what you need to make a decent meal, then maybe you shouldn’t be cooking.
Not everyone comes to the Reading Terminal Market simply for gastric reasons though. There is plenty more to see.
There are book shops, jewelry stands, gift shops, art galleries and much more. Plus, the market occasionally features live music from local musicians.
The market has been a Philly treasure for many years. As the years go by, it adapts and grows with the city. “The Reading Terminal Market is a thriving, bustling, crowded place in the middle of a busy downtown area in one of America’s largest cities,” General Manager Paul Steinke said.
Perhaps it is the market’s ability to thrive in the midst of a chaotic city that has made it such a treasure through the years.
The market’s longevity is remarkable. When it first opened in 1892, it was situated beneath the station of the Reading Railway. This location ensured economic security for merchants.
Surviving through the Great Depression, the market continued to thrive, becoming a favorite among Philadelphians. In the mid-70s, however, the market suffered due to the bankruptcy of the railroad.
Several years of slow business did not kill this iron-willed establishment. With the arrival of the new convention center in the 80s, the market made a comeback and has been the lively melting pot that it is ever since.
Located just blocks from City Hall on 12th and Arch streets, the Reading Terminal Market is a food mecca for Philadelphians, tourists and Temple students alike.
With merchants and customers from all walks of life, delicious foods, fresh, quality meats and produce, arts, crafts and jewelry and much more, the market is the place to get a taste of Philly and the rest of the world.
The market is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Don’t miss out on this Philadelphia gem.
It’s not just a market, it’s an experience.
Milli Protheroe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org