Reading Terminal Market: A hungry girl’s wonderland

When Jonathan and I decided to go to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a little over a month ago, we had no idea what to expect. Our only solidified plan was to visit the gravesite of my long lost historical love, Benjamin Franklin. God rest his beautiful soul. We arrived at our Airbnb in the heart of south Philly Friday evening and instantly began researching where to find the best grub because lets be real, food rules all else.

We had heard about Reading Terminal Market while watching food travel shows in order to prepare for our trip and decided that we would visit while in the city. A market that was founded in 1893, boasting over 100 vendors selling artisan cheeses, chocolates, meats, fresh produce and everything in between, was something that I could absolutely not miss.

Lets be frank. I’m a hungry girl. I’m 5’2″ and I can still eat a healthy, grown man under the table no problem. It’s a blessing and a curse. The drive from Richmond To Philly was merely the pilgrimage that led me to my oversized market holy land. I was home.

Stepping through the side entrance door, bright eyed and bushy tailed, I immediately panicked. There were literally thousands of people in this place and I DON’T do crowds. Claustrophobia’s a real bitch. People dodging and weaving, vendors banging and smacking cookware, and little ol’ me scared shitless. It looked as though my visit was about to be cut short. Luckily my boyfriend grabbed my hand and led me away from my fears and down the corridors of the market towards some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten in my life. Thanks for that J.

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Like a kid in a candy store I could not look away. Every vendor stand I walked by was full of the most beautiful culinary ingredients I had ever laid eyes on. I don’t even eat lunch meat but I mean, come on, check out that meat.

Our first stop was a famous sandwich stand called Dinic’s. This place has been around for decades and has been serving up what has been named the “Best Sandwich in America” by the Travel Channel. It is simply a toasted bun with chopped broccoli rabe and thinly sliced roasted pork soaked in its own drippings. I added banana peppers and some horseradish sauce for a little extra kick. This sandwich was sublime and that is coming from a girl who never eats sandwiches. It was warm and flavorful and juicy and everything I could have ever hoped for. Thank you Dinic’s for giving me one of the best foodgasms of my life. Here she is in all her glory, the famous roast pork sandwich.

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Dinic’s roast pork dankwich!

After this initial experience, I decided that I would be back to Reading Terminal, a minimum of once a day, throughout our 4 day trip. I am proud to say that I kept that promise to myself. My life is run by food and I’m not afraid to admit it.

Saturday evening, after a long day of walking through the city in 95 degree weather, we returned to RTM to get a big, fat ice cream cone from Bassett’s Ice Cream. This place has been scooping up the good stuff since 1861 and they have it down to a science. My choice of moose track’s ice cream in a waffle cone did not disappoint. I highly recommend this place to EVERYONE because it is sheer perfection!!!

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Bassett’s ice cream cone!

On our final evening in the most glorious city in all the land, sorry Richmond, we ventured back to RTM and got a heaping plate of noodles from Golden Bowl. I don’t even remember the name of this dish but there were shrimp, onions, flat rice noodles, and the best “brown” sauce ever! I could have eaten 5 pounds of this stuff. The two owners of the stand, which I assume were husband and wife, were just as sweet and friendly as could be. Look at her, friggin precious.

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Golden Bowl noodles!

Long post short, Reading Terminal Market is a true gem and seriously one of the coolest places I have ever visited in my whole life. If you live in Philly and have eternal access to this place, you should feel blessed beyond reason. If you are not in Philly, go there now! Visit all the stands, soak in the scenery, people watch, and eat so so so much good food. Appreciate the holy land for all that it is. Thank you Philly for making this hungry girl happy.

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