This post is part one of four in a mini series on Philadelphia. I made a quick trip this weekend with my friends Chris and Andrew. (Yes, the hungry trio strikes again). I have never had the opportunity to explore Philadelphia before, but my friends are rather familiar with the city having both grown up in the area.
When Chris asked me what I’d like to see in Philly, my first response was Reading Terminal Market. What food lover wouldn’t want to step foot in this paradise? Conveniently, our hotel was right beside the market, so we ended up going twice. In fact, it was our first stop in the city after parking the car, since we were very hungry for lunch.
Before we could possibly make a decision on where to eat, we had to make a full lap around the market. Easier said than done. It was difficult to both look around at the restaurants and watch where we were going given the amount of people packed into the market. I should have expected the market to be this busy on a Friday at lunch, but that many people just made me feel anxious.
After taking a full lap, I decided I wanted to get something DiNic’s which is known for roast pork and roast beef. I went with the roast pork sandwich with provolone and broccoli rabe. Chris settled on a pastrami sandwich from Hershel’s East Side Deli.
I took a bite of Chris’s sandwich, and to my surprise, my taste buds were thoroughly satisfied. really do not care for sauerkraut, but it was perfect on this sandwich. It wasn’t the main taste of the sandwich and actually blended well with the other flavors. The pastrami was a high quality meat, and the Russian dressing tasted great.
As for my meal, I haven’t had such a good sandwich in a long time. This sandwich had everything you could want. It started with amazing bread, soft and delicious but also thick enough to soak up all the juices released from the meat and veggies. The meat itself was divine. It was perfectly roasted, well-seasoned, and sliced beautifully. The broccoli rabe not only added a nice crunch and texture to the sandwich but a welcome bitter flavor, which was well-balanced with the other flavors.
We enjoyed our sandwiches, devouring them. I would say we were pleased with our choices. I knew I was not done with this market though. When we were talking around, I saw a bunch of little shops I wanted to check out before we left the city, but that would have to wait for the next day.
After we ate lunch, we grabbed some coffee from Old City Coffee. They served us some of the best iced coffee I have ever had. It wasn’t too strong or too bitter, and I would say it is best sipped black without anything added. We also grabbed a couple cookies from a stand located near the coffee stand. I got oatmeal raisin, and Chris got white chocolate macadamia nut. Oatmeal raisin are my favorite cookies, always have been. This one did not disappoint me. Chris’s cookie was also delicious, with a crisp buttery edge.
Chris and I took our coffee and started to explore the city, winding up outside City Hall before walking towards Independence Hall. My coffee gave me a boost of energy to get through the day of sight-seeing.
On Saturday, we stopped by the market again for breakfast. It was recommended that we check out the Amish donuts at Beiler’s Bakery. Awesome recommendation. This was the best donut I have had in such a long time. Andrew (who was with us this time) got an apple harvest (apple filling with vanilla glaze on top). Chris got caramel apple (apple filling with caramel glaze on top). I got pumpkin creme (pumpkin creme stuffed inside and on top). What I liked about this donut the most was that it actually tasted like pumpkin. I could tell that the filling actually contained pumpkin, not just pumpkin spices. It tasted like pumpkin pie stuffed into a fluffy fried dough. Oh, and of course we got iced coffee again from the Old City Coffee. I wish I could drink this coffee everyday. The price of the coffee was reasonable, too.
After coffee and donuts, we walked around the market. I was looking for some gifts for family and a few treats for myself. My favorite stand had to be this Kauffman’s Lancaster Country Produce. This is an Amish shop that sold everything from fruits to flavored popcorn to jellies to handmade candles. I may have gone a little overboard with my jelly purchase, but can you really ever have too much jelly?
Reading Terminal Market one of the coolest indoor markets I have been to, ranking up there with the indoor markets I visited in South America (Ecuador and Argentina). I have never seen an indoor market with so many eateries inside (and with such variety of cuisines). Most of the other markets I have been in have primarily been like farmers markets with fresh produce, meat, cheese. Reading Terminal Market has all that plus so much more. Part of me wishes I lived nearby this market, and the other part of me is glad I don’t because I’d eat there way too much.
*This post reflects my honest views. I did not receive any compensation or other incentives to post this review.
This post features various shops from Reading Terminal Market
51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107