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This February, Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market will be 124 years old. Opened by the Reading Railroad Company in 1892, the Market continues to operate as it did over a century ago. Locals still frequent this historic building (which is the size of a city block!) to shop for groceries and to dine at local stalls. From fresh meats from the butcher, to local produce and fish markets, the Reading Terminal Market has it all.

Beyond shopping, there are countless dining options - but you won’t find any franchises or chain restaurants- all of the businesses are independently owned. At Reading Terminal Market you can sink your teeth into the “Best Sandwich in America”, a roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s.  This meaty delight was popular with Philadelphians before The Travel Channel’s award, but has since become a nation-wide sensation. Another specialty that’s a Market favorite is MeltKraft, a company that is serving up scrumptious grilled cheese sandwiches made with cheese made at their own dairy farm. (Who doesn’t love grilled cheese?!)

Those with a sweet tooth, look no further than Beiler’s, a donut shop that has been nationally recognized and awarded. Or stop at Bassett’s Ice Cream, the oldest ice cream company in the United States, with the family’s fifth generation churning out creamy flavors at its location at the Market.

What makes Reading Terminal Market unique? According to Sarah Levitsky, Marketing and Events Manager, it’s the sense of community. “The store owners are in competition but there’s a sense of community. The cheese place sells crackers made by one of the bakeries, or a bar will sell a sandwich made with ingredients from the butcher,” she says. “It’s different from walking into a mall because there’s a sense of family. And the customers become part of the market family too. That is the best part of working here.

“The food is fabulous there’s no way around it,” she adds. “The food aspect can be potentially duplicated. What can’t be duplicated is the community and how it works together.”

The best time to visit Reading Terminal Market depends on what you want to do. Shoppers that want to beat the lunch rush should head to the Market early. Lunchtime will get busy but as Levitsky explains, “I never tell people not to come during lunch. The Market is at its bustling best. It’s part of the experience.”

Market hours are Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 


- By Ettractions Digital Content Editor PAULA MARINO

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Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh

Other States: Pennsylvania

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