The Philadelphia Reading Terminal Market has been apart of the city of Philadelphia's history for quite some time now. It's a tourist attraction to people who visit from all over the world, as well as a staple for shopping to many of Philadelphia's residents.
In the early 1990's, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority was founded and acquired the notion to transform the original Reading Terminal (originally used as a market since 1860) into something spectacular &mdash the final result was the present day Reading Terminal Market.
Many of the historic Market stands survived the reconstruction and are once again filled with local produce, fresh eggs, milk, meats, poultry, seafood, handmade crafts, jewelry, and clothing. The Market is home to more than 80 merchants, two of whom are descendants of the original standholders from a century before.
My personal favorite aspect of the market is Iovine Brothers Produce (pictured 1-3). You can find the freshest produce you could imagine and for amazing prices. It was a staple shopping destination while I was in college &mdash two large bags filled to the brim with fresh produce for under $20, I couldn't resist. The atmosphere is one that takes getting used to; I had never gotten elbowed while reaching for kale before!
There are several fish, poultry and meat counters with items ranging from wild shrimp to croaker to veal and rabbit &mdash all fresh and butchered for you (or not, if you prefer to do it yourself.)
I settled down for some lunch after walking around the market and feasted on a Flank Steak sandwich from Mezze. The sandwich was tender flank steak with blue cheese dressing, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, spinach leaves and sun dried tomato pesto.
When visiting the Reading Terminal Market, make sure you take time to sample food from the local markets!
(Images: Kristen Lubbe)