The World Heritage City of Philadelphia is a melting pot of global cuisines and with over 80 outlets, the 125-year old Reading Terminal Market is diverse enough to suit any craving. Housed in a National Historic Landmark building since 1893, the market offers visitors a wide selection of both exotic food and locally grown produce, including Pennsylvania Dutch goodies.
Local experts Discover PHL, recommend:
Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagies & Cheesesteaks
A trip to Philadelphia isn’t complete without a taste of a Philly cheesesteak, which consists of thin slices of steak, onions and melted cheese served in a long, crusty roll. Carmen’s also serves up a vegetarian version made up of onions, peppers and cheese, and Italian-style hoagies, a long sandwich typically filled with deli meat, salad and cheese.
Po’ Boys at Beck’s Cajun Cafe
Beck’s Cajun Café brings a taste of New Orleans to Philadelphia, plating up authentic Cajun cuisine such as gumbo, jambalaya and deep-fried macaroni cheese. The stall also serves traditional po’ boys: a long sandwich from Louisiana that consists of thinly sliced roast beef or fried seafood in a baguette-style roll.
Whoopie Pies at Flying Monkey Bakery
Every one of the meticulously crafted desserts on offer at Flying Monkey Bakery is made from scratch in small batches, including the bakery’s award-winning whoopie pies, which consist of two soft cookies sandwiched together with a marshmallow cream filling.
Burgers at Hunger Burger
Hunger Burger aims to provide guests with mouth-watering burgers, while also making a positive impact on world hunger. Owned by a husband and wife team, Hunger Burger donates the equivalent of one meal for the sale of each burger to several anti-hunger organisations. Burgers on the menu include the Mac ‘n’ Cheese Burger, the Fun Guy Burger and for vegetarians, the Bello Burger.
Slow-Roasted Brisket at DiNic’s
Founded by the four Nicolosi brothers in 1954, DiNic’s menu includes a line-up of classic Italian sandwiches, including the Roast Pork Sandwich made from thinly sliced pork, sharp provolone, broccoli rabe and a long hot (spicy pepper). This has become a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike and was even crowned the Best Sandwich in America by the TV series ‘Man vs. Food’ in 2013.
Amish-Style Rotisserie Chicken at Dienner’s Bar-B-Q
The chicken at Dienner’s Bar-B-Q arrives fresh every morning from farms in the Philadelphia region and with three different flavours of wings and a selection of home-style sides and signature sauces, travellers will find just the thing to satisfy even the strongest BBQ craving.
Corndogs at Fox & Son Fancy Corndogs
A key foodie attraction at American festivals or fairs, corndogs can also be found in Philadelphia’s Fox & Son’s at Reading Terminal Market. A traditional corndog consists of a sausage coated in deep-fried batter, but travellers at Fox & Son’s can also enjoy gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly varieties.
Hot Dogs at Franks-A-Lot
Franks-A-Lot has been serving up hot dogs since 1982 and every morsel on the menu is made from fresh daily. Highlights include barbecue baked chicken, sausage and meatball sandwiches, and Polish classics such as pierogis, which is a sweet or savoury stuffed dumpling.
Reuben Sandwiches at Hershel’s East Side Deli
Regarded by many as ‘the best Jewish deli outside New York’, Hershel’s provides a full assortment of Jewish deli classics, including piled-high hot Reuben sandwiches with corned beef, chicken noodle soup, and savoury potato knishes. The meat served in Hershel’s menu items is carved to order and travellers can enjoy their made-from-scratch meal on old-fashioned counter seating.
Blueberry Pancakes at Down Home Diner
Down Home Diner has a mix of vinyl booth and counter seating and a menu of American comfort foods and all-day breakfasts. Owner and chef Jack McDavid has forged strong relationships with local farmers and therefore bases his menu on local produce and meats from the Philadelphia area. For a breakfast treat, try the moreish homemade blueberry pancakes.
Reading Terminal Market is open to the public from 8am – 6pm Monday to Sunday. A 75-minute walking tour of the market is provided by Taste of Philly Food Tour every Wednesday and Saturday at 10am and tickets cost £12 ($16.95) for adults and £7 for children aged 7-11-years-old ($9.95).
For more information on Philadelphia, visit the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website.