Philadelphia, PA - The Reading Terminal Market, established in 1892 at 12th and Arch Streets, is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market. Through its long and interesting history , it has seen times both good and bad, but has emerged in the 21st century as one of the greatest public markets in the country.
When you visit the market, you can enjoy eating virtually every type of cuisine, from sublime soul food and exquisite Asian and Middle Eastern dishes to authentic Philly Cheesesteaks and traditional Pennsylvania Dutch fare — all available from largely family-run stands.
The northwestern corner of the market is primarily devoted to Amish merchants from Lancaster County, who bring their farm-fresh products and distinctive prepared dishes to the Market four days a week. Watch as Amish bakers twist and bake soft pretzels right in front of your eyes — then try one while it is still warm from the oven.
Cooks from the finest local restaurants come to the market each morning for the very freshest in meats, poultry, seafood and specialty ingredients. Cooking demonstrations and cookbook signings are frequent events.
In all, the Market boasts more than 80 unique merchants, three of which are descendants of original stand holders from when it opened more than 110 years ago. Sit-down eateries are scattered throughout the market.
So when you visit, be sure to allot plenty of time to stroll through the vast food bazaar and browse everything from hand made imported crafts and American quilts to fresh produce, dairy products, exotic meats and seafood, freshly cut flowers, cookbooks and expertly prepared foods ranging from cannolis and soft pretzels to gourmet South Asian and organic vegetarian cuisine.
The Cheesesteaks - The circa 1892 and always busy Reading Terminal Market houses more than 80 vendors of farm-fresh produce, meats, cheeses, herbs and ready-to-eat meals—from Amish baked goods to Greek fare. It’s also a great spot to feast on Philly’s most famous sandwich: the cheesesteak. By George! Pizza, Pasta & Cheesesteaks, Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagies & Cheesesteaks and Spataro’s Cheesesteaks are among the solid options here. 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 922-2317, readingterminalmarket.org
Center City Philadelphia's Cheesesteak Guide - Here in Philly, cheesesteaks are a civic icon, a tourist draw and a cultural obsession. Often imitated around the world, the cheesesteak is rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia. Here are PhillyBite's and Visit Philly's List of top center city cheesesteak locations.