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“Reading Terminal Market...Sensory Overload”

Reading Terminal Market
Ranked #2 of 91 Dessert in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $8
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Buffet, Delivery, Takeout
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Decatur, Alabama
Level 6 Contributor
160 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Reading Terminal Market...Sensory Overload”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

My husband and I visited Reading Terminal Market on a Saturday...it was packed with people. However, we didn't really mind the overcrowding because there is so much to see, taste, smell and experience. This is a very diverse place... it is the melting pot of Philly.

The origins of the market began in the 17th century when farmers, fisherman and other merchants gathered in the area to hawk their wares in the open air. The market grew so big that it started causing complaints due to congestion and health hazards. The city closed it in 1859. Two indoor markets sprang up later and eventually grew into the Reading Terminal Market because the Reading Railroad built a terminal there.

We came here with a food tour and since the tour ended here, we stayed to experience it. We bought butter cake from the Flying Monkey. We were told that this is a Pennsylvania staple. It was delicious and tasted like chess cake. We also bought shoofly pie from a Amish bakery in the rear of the building. Shoofly pie is made from molasses and is a favorite of Amish. Since it was late in the day, they were selling everything for $2. So, we got half a pie for $2. It was delicious. We also visited Bassets Ice Cream, established in 1861. More about that later...

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Thank Hrpamw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Must See!”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

I love the Reading Market. I was trying to find a way to have a Pumple Cake shipped to me. It's something to see and to taste. If you are in Philly you must visit this market. It is a mix of cultures and ethnicities and all the sounds are happy. I saw vegetables and fruits that were absolutely amazing. The bakery was fantastic and the overall atmosphere even better!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Glassnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forest of Dean
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The place to eat, shop and just be in Philadelphia”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Reading Terminal Market is fabulous, from the outside you would never realise but this is the Philadelphia experience that should not be missed!!!
The building is full of great independant food stalls, coffee shops, grocery stands, sweet shoppes, gift emporiums, ice cream parlours, bakers, patisseries, butchers, fishmongers and even foodie bookshops - it is a real blast on the senses!
The noisy, vibrant and friendly atmosphere makes this one of the best places for breakfast, lunch or an early dinner in the city, and even if you arrive not feeling hungry, I defy anyone not to be tempted into a nibble or sipp of something before leaving the market.
We didn't try everything but our top recommends would be: Breakfast at the Down Home Diner, the Train Wreck Po'Boy from Beck's Cajun Cafe (as long as you are hungry), the Butter pies, Whoopee pies, Muffins and coffee from the Flying Monkey and the Bagels from Hershels East Side Deli.
Make sure you are able to visit the market, or revisit, from mid week onwards because then you can also have the pleasure of visiting the stalls run by the Pennsylvania Dutch traders who don't come into town until later in the week, lots of specialities to choose from but don't miss the cakes and the preserves.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Floss-n-Meg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“All of the cuisines in the world in one building!”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

I was on a school field trip on November 7, 2012, to Philadelphia. For lunch, we ate at Reading Terminal Market. The building is crazy. When you come in at 12th and Arch Sts, you can't even see the other side of the building. One moment, you see Amish vendors, and the next moment, you see Asian and kosher vendors. For lunch, I got an apple dumpling, and a whoopie pie, which were both from Amish vendors. I also got a kosher corn beef sandwich from a kosher vendor. While these were all on the go, and I particularly had to eat the desserts fast, I still definitely experienced the delicious taste of them all. If I could, I would go there everyday for lunch. I also bought a book on Amish cooking. Please don't forget that they do have full service restaurants, as well as a cookbook store, and jewelry and accessories. This place is not just a Philadelphia landmark, it's an east coast landmark, and is world-famous! Highly reccomend it!! I will definitely be back!!! Keep in mind though that the atmosphere is terrible in the sense that there is a ton of commotion and its very easy to get lost in this building with over 80 vendors.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank travelman4392
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Hands down best place to eat in Philly if you're not fussy about the ambience”
Reviewed November 8, 2012 via mobile

Philly style street food- cheese steaks, fresh lobster, Chinese, Mexican, desserts. Loved eating there on the canteen style table. Fresh juices and coffees alongside - food heaven!

Located in the heart of the city, right behind our Marriott- doesn't get better :)

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank wazsup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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