Though the Reading Terminal Market is in no way a “hidden” vintage place to visit in the city, it is a destination for history buffs and food lovers alike (aka Retro Roadmappers!) Also, its location within a few blocks of Macy’s (hello, Wanamaker Organ!) and McGillin’s makes it a perfect stop to round out a retro day in the center of Center City.
Opened in 1893, the Reading Terminal Market is considered the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers market. Located on the street level of the historic train shed that was once the main station for the Reading railroad (the trains arrived on the level above the market.) While the trains no longer stop here, there are over 80 vendors located in the market for you to stop at.
Organized in a grid, vendors range from specialty grocers carrying fish, vegetables, meats, spices to prepared foods to eat here or take to-go. A number of the stalls have small counter seating areas, and there’s a communal dining area in the center.
No matter what you’re interested in eating, there’s certainly something there for most any palate.
A few Retro Roadmap-worthy faves include:
Bassett’s Ice Cream - who have been here at the market since 1893.
DiNic’s - know for their pork and broccoli rabe sandwich (that rivals cheesesteak as Philly’s famous hoagie).
The Dutch Eating Place is the place for hearty Pennsylvania Dutch fare. Beiler’s donuts are popular, but Mod Betty prefers their puddings and “salads” available by the pint.
Neon lovers will delight in the multitude of bent glass and gas filled signs in the market.
Planning on driving to the market? Check their website for discount parking (with purchase)