This year was our second annual trip to the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. Last year was the first time I’d ever been there, and everything was so delicious. I couldn’t wait to go back this year.
The market opened in 1892 indoors. Before that time, open air markets had been the way of life in Philadelphia. Traffic and concerns over health hazards made open air markets fall out of favor. The market survived for a long while, but by the 1970′s there was fear that the market would close because of little interest by the Reading railroad. In 1985, the train station above the market stopped running, which threatened to close the market for good. Luckily by the 1990′s, the Philadelphia Convention Authority acquired the station, convention center, and the market. Local Philadelphians demanded that the market be part of restoration plan and today it is thriving. (for more information about the history, visit here)
The market is very easy to get to by taking the train into the Market East Station and just walking downstairs to the over 80 vendors. We went with the intention to try a little bit of everything, and we did.
The first stop was to the Pennsylvania Dutch section of the market so that I could get a pickle. I absolutely love pickles, but the PA Dutch vendors close up earlier than the rest of the market so that they can return home before it gets too late. Oh and that pickle was yummy.
Next, the boys wanted oysters. I don’t love fish, especially raw fish, but Dane and Jay can’t get enough of oysters. They’re served on the half shell, really fresh at Pearl’s Oyster Bar. One of the great things about the market is that you can purchase groceries to bring home, or grab a bite to eat and sit at any of the restaurants with counter service.
I got us some maps so we could see what other foods were available. The market has just about every type of cuisine from every region of the world that you can think of. I opted for a crepe with Nutella and fresh berries for my snack. I love watching the vendor make the crepes, it’s such an art form.
Because oysters, pickles, and crepes aren’t a weird enough combination, we headed to an Italian food vendor. Dane got a panini, and I got some fresh mozzarella balls. I can’t resist cheese.
Then to top it off, we headed to Tokyo Sushi at Jayneel’s request. Him and I decided to split a roll of veggie sushi. We saw a mango and avocado maki roll on the menu and went with it. Good decision. I love mango and had never had it in sushi.
After picking up some bread to bring home, we got some coffee and freshly baked cookies for dessert before calling it a day.
Our stomachs were totally full and happy. If you are in the Philadelphia area, I’d highly recommend you stop into the Reading Terminal Market. You can get any type of cuisine you are looking for and some fresh food to bring home! Enjoy.