Photo from the Road: Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia

Three months in Southeast Asia in Review
August 6, 2011
Photo from the Road: Philadelphia Public Art
August 16, 2011

Photo from the Road: Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia

Beiler’s Bakery at Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia

Recently I’ve been through so many colorful markets of Southeast Asia. It’s great to see some of the finest markets back home in the US. This one’s in Philadelphia: The Reading Terminal Market.

One of America’s largest and oldest markets, Reading Terminal’s got a diverse selection of vendors with prepared foods as well as farm-fresh produce and meats, fish and poultry. And there’s even a bar with craft brews and two coffee shops roasting beans and selling coffee. The market has been housed since 1893 in a National Historic Landmark Building.

Fresh & Local Everyday

The market specializes in Amish goods by vendors from Lancaster county. They sell a variety of baked goods, candies, meats and other foods. We tried a pretzel from Miller’s Twist. After that we settled on Beck’s Cajun Café for lunch, sampling a variety of Louisiana specialties before deciding on the chicken and andouille gumbo and fried macaroni and cheese. But it wasn’t easy choosing a lunch spot. Pearl’s Oyster Bar, Little Thai Market, Tokyo Sushi Bar, Kamal’s Middle Eastern Specialties, and Olympic Gyro all got a long look from us. If you’re not hungry, there are vendors selling housewares, books, and crafts too.

In 1892 the Reading Railroad opened the Reading Terminal Market below the tracks of their enormous new train shed. It had nearly 800 spaces for vendors and one of the great food markets of the United States. In the 1970’s it fell into disrepair, but the 80’s and 90’s saw revitalization and today the market is home to 80 independently-owned businesses with more than 100,000 customers passing through every week. Reading Terminal Market is located at 12thand Arch and open Monday—Saturday 8-6pm, Sunday 9-5pm. Web:  Tel: 215-922-2317


Gumbo at Beck's Cajun Cafe

Pretzel from Miller's

Amish products at Reading Terminal Market

Olympic Gyro

Inside Reading Terminal Market

Pennslyvania Raw Milk cheeses

Pennslyvania Raw Milk cheeses

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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