The Reading Terminal Market opened in 1892. The street-level Market reverberated with the sound of trains rumbling overhead. The stalls were laid out in a grid pattern with twelve aisles running east-west and four wider avenues running north-south. Sawdust was spread on the floor to absorb spills and moisture rising from the cold storage facility in the basement. By 1913 the Market was booming, with 250 food dealers and 100 farmers occupying its stalls.
Today’s Reading Terminal Market had its roots in the Butchers’ and Farmers’ and Franklin Markets, both located on the 1100 block of Market Street. In 1890 the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company purchased this block for its new terminal. The merchants’ refusal to relocate for the new building resulted in an agreement to erect a new market tucked beneath the train shed and tracks. When America faced national crises, the Reading Terminal Market demonstrated the importance of a regional food supply. Compared to other retail businesses, the Market prospered during the Depression because local farmers were eager to bring their merchandise to a city where supply was scarce and prices were good. During World War II, when large-scale farmers redirected food production to the war effort, small local farmers sold their goods at the Market. Customers with ration books waited in long lines to buy whatever merchants had to sell.
The Market became known for its free delivery service. Boys called “Market brats” carried small orders to in-town customers. People living near train stations served by the Reading or Pennsylvania Railroads called in orders and had their goods dropped off near their homes. Some merchants had their own fleet of trucks. A parcel post department shipped products around the country and to Canada and Mexico.
By the early 1980s the reawakening of Philadelphia’s commercial center and a growing interest in artisan food drew a new generation of shoppers to the Market. The newly formed Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority purchased the Reading Terminal Market from the Reading Company in 1990. The Authority and the merchants negotiated preservation agreements and a plan to keep the Market opened. The Authority secured a critical $30 million in public funding to upgrade the Market’s infrastructure and interior.
In 1995, the Authority created a non-profit corporation to manage the Market. In the years since, this historic landmark has prospered. Today the Reading Terminal Market is one of the nation’s most successful public markets with more than 75 independent small businesses that offer an array of fresh and prepared foods, lunch counters, and places to eat and shop.
Today there are events, we saw a train show, private party rooms food tours and cooking classes. Hours are 8 to 6 weekdays & 9 to 5 Sundays. It is crowded and lines can be long but people are friendly and food is reasonable, fresh and excellent.
I thoroughly recommend Frank's Wings. The wings are delectably delicious and the cornbread is to die for. The service is fast and efficient. They serve other dishes like perogies and hotdogs but the wings are the best.
I was so excited to be at the Market and had heard so much about it on TV, but when I went to The "Coastal Cove" for lunch I was so disappointed. My daughter and I had a Blue Crap sandwich and it was awful! Not only were they served BURNT but when we went to complain and ask for another the owner would do nothing and did not apologize. I do not recommend go to the booth at all!
Though markets were common in Philadelphia as far back as William Penn's day, they were mostly outdoor affairs and unorganized at that. Their move indoors paved the way for more cohesion and in 1892, The Reading Terminal Market opened its doors as the state-of-the-art market of the day.
It has not lost a bit of its popularity and though still very much a market, selling produce, meats and any number of food stuffs, it is also a major tourist attraction as well as one of the city's first and foremost food courts.
One of the big attractions are the Amish. They open up stalls every weekend and sell home a number of their traditional foods such as home-baked pies and old world recipe deserts like my favorite egg cup custard. Don't worry about your cholesterol, egg yolks almost HAVE to be good for you, right? Perhaps best of their wares are their freshly baked hand made pretzels. What makes them so exta good? It's all the butter they smear on them with a paint brush. Yup, you read that right: a paint brush.
Not in the mood for any of those delights? Try DiNick's. They have some of the best roast pork sandwiches in the city. Particularly good is the Italian pulled pork. Yum, yum, yum.
Want a beer? Try their beer garden. Well, it's not really a beer garden and not even outside but it does have some okay local beers. This is not a fancy place so don't expect expensive Belgian imports. They have Yuengling on tap, the US's oldest running brewery and not all that far from Philly. Yuengling lager is pretty common in the area but this place has their tasty porter on tap. My guess is it's the oldest continually made porter in the US.
Honestly, this place is amazing! My husband and I stopped in here to get out of the rain, and we were so glad we did. If you are a foodie, you could spend hours in here. It is cool indoor style Farmers market with lil restaurants, bakeries and butchers. There are great flower shops and souvenirs as well. The food choices range from Subs to Sushi. There is a nice eating area- you can tell the crowd is a mix of locals on their lunch breaks and tourists alike. I consider that a great sign.
I opted to eat at the local Italian sub shop. The turkey and condiments were great, but the bread is what makes it so good. There is something about the bread in PA that is really good!
Kevin had Asian teriyaki and it was really yummy as well. All in all, we loved this place. I HIGHLY recommend it as a stop to anyone in the Philly area!
Large market filled with various shops, bakeries , butchers, seafood stores, hoagie shops, fresh fruits and veggies, coffee, etc...Many of the locals come here for lunch( I did when I worked close by a few years ago, it was right across the street from where I worked and an easy place to find a bite to eat).
The Reading Terminal Market is a large traditional market where you will find everything from local food products (including Pennsylvania Dutch) to Thai and Mexican offerings. Despite being entirely indoors, the market has a great atmosphere. It is a very inexpensive place to buy not only food, but also local crafts and gifts. As the name suggests, it is next to the bus terminal -- so if you are travelling to Philadelphia by bus like we did, you will have no excuse to skip it!
The market's opening hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
This was the greatest farmers market I have ever been to! It was huge, and very cute and creative. There was a million places to eat and the place was packed. They had a few cooking demonstrations set up which were fun to watch. All the vendors were super friendly and would more than willingly recommend another vendor in the complex if they didn't have something you needed. Even if you don't have much time to explore, I would at least walk in for 10 minutes just to see the place. It had to be one of the best parts of our trip.
This place is great. It is right next to Chinatown, on the other side of Arch St. This place has everything, starting from teas, veggies, herbs, fruits to chocolate, fish, sea food, coffee, and much much more. People come here from Lancaster County with fresh veggies, fruits, bread, deli and much much more. So if you are staying in a hotel around center city, stop by and enjoy some great food. There is also a really good ice cream shop. If you've ever heard of Preston & Steve show then you will be glad to know that that ice cream place now (since April 15th or 18th I think) sells ice cream called "Gadzooks." Also check out cheeses that they are selling there, especially the Lancaster County cheese. And you have to try the sweets! You've never seen anything like it. If you want to catch Pennsylvania Dutch marchants, make sure you stop by Wednesday 8am - 3pm, Thursday - Saturday 8am - 5pm
because those are the only days they are there.
The Reading Terminal is a fantastic indoor market full of vendors selling food and other items. It is more of a place to grab lunch than a place to shop for food, but that does not diminish it as a destination. One could spend months sampling all the different stalls.
Since 1893 Reading Terminal Market has been the preeminent culinary market in Philadelphia. Domestic and exotic produce, produce and meat, herbs, kitchen wares, fresh baked goods and eat-in and take out goodies as well flower vendors populate this heavenly desination. As a teenager, Reading Terminal Market was the first place I ever encountered such diversity in foods. I've been hooked ever since. If you are a person who really enjoys things to related to food, you could easily spend half a day perusing the Market.
Reading Terminal Market opened its doors in 1892. The market today is home to more than 80 merchants, three of whom are descendants of the original standholders from a century before. What a wonderful place to explore. We had a great time and whiled away a few hours. There is a huge range of different foods including fresh baked Amish goods, produce direct from the field, unusual spices, free range meats and poultry, flowers, ethnic foods and much more. We had a lovely Greek lunch and bought a shoo fly pie from the Amish traders which was magnificent. There are also crafts, books, clothing, groceries. The market is closed on Sundays. There is a Parkway garage across from the market.