The Reading Terminal Market – a walk-through of Philly’s finest & diverse food scene

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Welcome all! Today on Diversity Eats, I decided to take a stroll into the city of brotherly love again. Only this time to find the Nirvana for ethnic and cultural foods called the Reading Terminal Market. This place is just a short walk away from the Patco/Septa Market street stations for those who have access to such transportation. The place is pretty much a farmers market, cafeteria, and antique shop all in one. The entire place has been open for well over a century and it has changed rapidly over time. The market has seen everything come and go throughout history whether it’s here in Philadelphia or around the world.

The vendors/restaurants that are with us today offer a whole lot in terms of food diversity in the Philadelphia area. You have ones specializing in Chinese Food, German meats, foreign specialty cheeses, French eatery, Greek eatery, Halal Indian food, and much more. In the slide show above, I took picture of a few of the spots I visited which had an ethnic specialty to them as well as some dishes being made in the process. Some of these dished shown I have mentioned in previous blog post before.

As I took a stroll into the Reading Terminal Market, not only did I take picture of some of these spots, but I also interviewed a few guest who were in the area. I asked folks on what they’re favorite place to eat at the terminal and what type of ethnic food vendor/restaurant would they like to see here in the future. I’ll start off with a couple of friends from high school I saw along the way. Douglass Bardales and Zach Moore. First up would be Doug.

“Well personally I like Olympia Gyro. Gyros is a go to of mine when I visit here. This is the only place where I get one at. I like how the chiefs there are genuine, cool, and not you know, pestering (smirks). I also like Shanghai Gourmet too, they’re cool as well.”

Zach’s answer was very straight forward.

“Nenee’s Kitchen is my place. Halal food? Underrated. It’s fresh and I wonder why it’s not around more if you know what I mean. A matter of fact, I’d like to see another Middle Eastern Halal restaurant in the market. The more the merrier man.”

Next, I asked a couple who were in line at Beiler’s bakery section which is Dutch themed. Their names are Rebecca Williams and Keith Fox. They seemingly agree on their favorite restaurant here, but of course, not all couples agree on everything!

“I like a few places, Hunger Burger, Wan’s Seafood, Wursthaus, and Olympia Gyro off of the top. Plenty of options to choose from. Rebecca is in the similar boat with me except she’s not a fan of Wursthaus.”

“Yeah he’s right ahahaha! But yeah sub out Wursthaus for say Nanee’s Kitchen and now we’re talking. They have delicious kabobs so I’m sold on them. Another vendor I’d like to see here is something Caribbean or African based. They have plenty of spicy recipes I think so it’d be nice to see that here.”

“I’m definitely on the mild side of things haha. I wouldn’t mind seeing an Irish vendor here. I’m curious because my ‘little’ in my fraternity back at school is actually from Ireland and he tells me how his mother’s recipes are delicious so the curiosity draws the cat.”

And last but not least, I asked a young woman who seemed like as if she was getting off of work and ready to unwind. Her name is Toni Leonard and she had an interesting answer.

“Hmmm, my favorite place period is The Original Turkey. Ethnic food wise, I’d say the Dutch Eating Place (I gave her a blank stare and then asked what place). No really, that’s what it’s called (we both then laughed). I like it because you get sort of a triple threat that comes with being in that area, which is Beiler’s, the bakery and doughnut place. It’s like you have your main meal and if you want dessert, boom its right there. That vicinity is convenient. Now as far as what more I’d like to see in the market? Possibly another Latino delicacy vendor. Not another Mexican place exactly but something different like El Salvadorian, Colombian, you know!”

These few answers were pretty good ones and diverse as well. You can tell that the folks who visit the Terminal Market, usually come in with an open mind in addition to an open stomach. If you live in the Philly/South Jersey area, I’d suggest you take a trip towards there. I did and walked away with some goodies from Beiler’s. It’s a cool place that not only is good on food but there are also plenty of other merchandising nonfood related going on over there. And again, make sure you guys check out the photos I snapped above on a few of the vendors/restaurants I took interest to. Trust me, take the trip, you’ll enjoy it!


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