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Reading Terminal Market: A Philly Highlight

August 23, 2011

Does it surprise you that my favorite place in Philadelphia is Reading Terminal Market, the massive indoor farmers market selling everything from Amish crafts and local produce to Philly cheesesteaks, cookbooks and coffee?

The market is so massive that you can actually pick up a map at the front door. Personally, I prefer to wander.

Philadelphia has a lot of famous historical sights but I’ll take its 118-year-old market any day!

The Healthy Living Summit welcome cocktail party was actually inside the market and as soon as I got a glimpse, I knew I had to go back. So much so that I skipped the conference’s keynote speaker (sshhhh) to do some exploring.

The first (and only) item on my shopping list: homemade peanut butter from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Rows of jams, honey and preserves were tempting, but I managed to walk away with only a ridiculously-cheap tub of butterscotch peanut butter. Yum, right?

DC has dozens of incredible farmers markets but nothing quite like this, where the usual farmers market fare is combined with regular retail shopping and quick cafes — Eastern Market may be the most similar and spending time at Reading Terminal Market actually made me want to visit Eastern Market more frequently.

After a long morning of informative HLS sessions, my co-market-goers Carly and Jenny and I were ready for some ‘social sweets.’ (One of the healthy mantras drilled into us during a morning talk by Dawn Jackson Blatner.) Enter: Flying Monkey Bakery.

A dozen flavors of whoopie pies were tempting — that’s what the other girls got — but a sweet, sticky, fluffy macaroon (the coconut kind, not the French) called my name.

The perfect treat.

Other people may come to Philadelphia to see the birthplace of America and a cracked bell…

but if I go back to Philadelphia, it will be all about the market.

No surprise here: Reading Terminal Market is home to the latest addition in the Great Coffee Shop Hunt, to be revealed tomorrow. Do you seek out farmers markets or unique shopping locales when you travel?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer Youjin Jung permalink
    August 23, 2011 11:03 am

    Erin! I enjoyed reading your post a lot! I have been to this market when i visited the States! I went philly by myself, and I still remember i felt a bit scared when I got there. This post reminds me of the lovely time I had in Philadelphia, US. Really hope we can go there together sometime near future! Miss you♥

    • August 23, 2011 6:01 pm

      Jennifer, when you come back to America, I’ll show you more of Washington since we didn’t even get to hang out in DC together last time you were here. Miss you lots!

  2. August 23, 2011 3:58 pm

    This market looks AMAZING!!! Will have to put this on my Must Visit list.

    Just found your blog, looking forward to reading more!!

    • August 23, 2011 6:01 pm

      Thanks for much for reading!

      I’d definitely recommend Reading Terminal Market. It’s just great for a meal on-the-go, too, without having to sit down at a restaurant or spend a lot of money.

  3. August 23, 2011 4:34 pm

    What a neat place, I’d love to visit there sometime. Found your blog from It All Changes. 🙂

    • August 23, 2011 6:02 pm

      Thanks for reading, Lauren. I hope you enjoy! (and I love It All Changes — met Cynthia this weekend and she’s just as sweet in real life as on the blog).

  4. August 24, 2011 7:48 am

    Thanks for visit Flying Monkey while you were in Reading Terminal Market. Before I opened the bakery, I wrote a food blog about eating out in Philadelphia. It was great to see so many bloggers attending the Healthy Living Summit visit Flying Monkey and pick up a sweet treat. Everything in moderation, right?

    • August 24, 2011 7:56 am

      I always say: Everything in moderation, including moderation!

      Although it took some restraint around your amazing sweets — I wish I’d gone back for a whoopee pie or 10. 😉

  5. August 28, 2011 11:09 am

    I ran my first half marathon in Philly and we ended up eating a good portion of our meals at this market!!! It’s so much fun and there are soooo many vendors!!!!! I’m so jealous of how much fun that cocktail party must have been!

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