Reading Terminal Market – 12th & Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA
Located in downtown Philadelphia this establishment holds a block long of fresh vegetables, meats, and foods from around the area. That does not include its wonderful dessert sections and fresh teas and coffees. If you are attending a conference at the Convention Center I highly recommend that you stop in for a bite between seminars. The food is the freshest you will find from local farmers and growers.
Even Hollywood knows about Reading Terminal Market. This market has been the back drop in many movies. Often used as backdrops are Pearl’s Oyster Bar and Martin’s Meats. So if you are strolling through Reading Terminal Market some day do not be surprised if you run into Tom Hanks or Nicole Kidman. The photographic backdrops it provides in several theatrical releases are stunning. It is best know role was in National Treasure in which Diane Kruger and Justin Bartha duck into Reading Terminal Market to avoid capture. Brian De Palma also used Reading Terminal Market the film Blow Out.
My favorite area in Reading Terminal Market I must admit is the yummy dessert shop. The Flying Monkey Bakery has a long line but it is worth the wait. The cupcakes are huge and delicious. Each item baked from scratch with a touch of whimsy. Remember the old black and white movies when Our Gang would eat whoopee pies? Well The Flying Monkey Bakery has them and they are huge. I suggest a fork and knife because one bite and the whoopee comes right out. The selection of flavors are endless and include Banana Foster, Creamsicle, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut, Cookies 'n Cream, Chocolate Covered Pumpkin, Lavender Honey along with Classic just to name a few.
The ever popular Pearl’s Oyster Bar serves broiled or fried fresh seafood platters and homemade snapper soup. Get there before the lunch crowed or you may not be able to find a seat. This is a popular destination for the locals who work in the downtown district. I recommend the fried clams and snapper soup. The snapper soup is rich and warming on a cold winter’s day. It is packed with flavor that you would not expect at a market.The Down Home Diner has been newly renovated but that does not change the home goodness. It is authentic home cooking with a Southern twist. This is a meat lovers heaven serving up scrapple, bacon, sausage, pork and bar-b-que goodies. It serves gourmet sandwiches and fresh salads. The ingredients come from the market itself. So if meat is not your choice of ingredient do not be discourage there is more health friendly items on the menu.
If you are unable to pick one item then try a little of everything the merchants are more than friendly. There are ATM’s located throughout the market as some of the local shops only take credit. But credit cards are accepted at most establishments.
The Pennsylvania Dutch even has several specialty shops to delight anyone’s taste in food and crafts. Beiler’s Bakery is an Amish bakery serving homemade baked goods such as sticky buns, pies and apple fritters. Perhaps you want to try the Dutch Eating Place which serves breakfast and lunch. They are famous for their blueberry pancakes. They also serve up apple dumplings, deli sandwiches and scrapple. The Dutch Eating Place only takes cash.