Reading Terminal Market

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by rudolf_r_reindeer on August 28, 2005

Reading Terminal Market ("Reading Terminal" to locals) is the very definition of local cuisine. More than an indoor farmer's market, the Terminal brings together local farmers, producers, restaurateurs, and a few regular vendors to sell their wares in a huge former train terminal.

The only "formal" restaurant is the Down Home Diner, the offering of the chef/owner of Jack's Firehouse. He plumbs his Southern roots to produce a unique twist on traditional diner menus featuring huge breakfasts, fresh soups, etc. While not as adventurous as his other place, the food is wonderful.

Other food spots include the venerable 12th Street Cantina, a good Mexican place with fresh, fresh, fresh ingredients, and several Amish stands offering traditional menu items, such as chicken pot pie with a waffle crust and chick fricassee. When perusing these menus, I believe the Amish tend to forget that we don't all farm for a living and therefore don't eat the hearty noon meal!

The one spot I never miss (and neither, apparently, does anyone else judging by the inevitable line) is Fisher's pretzel stand. Centrally located, they make pretzels continually: forming them, baking them, brushing them with butter, salting them. One good thing about the line: the salty goods are always warm when you finally get them!

After breakfast or lunch, it’s time to shop. The meats and poultry, most of it local, are incomparable. You can find free-range and antibiotic-free items with no problem at all. Butchers (yes, real butchers!) will cut and trim to order. They will order special cuts for you and even teach you about meat in case your Joy of Cooking doesn't cover the finer points. The fish is fresh and the variety seems endless. I know I'm rhapsodizing. It's deserved.

I'll just say "ditto the veggies," okay?

To review:
Lunch, check
Meat, check
Poultry, check
Fish, check.
PRETZEL, check, check, check, check…

Reading Terminal Market
12th And Arch Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107
+1 215 922 2317

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