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Reading Terminal Market is a completely enclosed market located at the intersection of N 12th Street and Cuthbert Street in Center City Philadelphia. It is open to the public and the entrance is free. It opened in 1893 and was initially a train shed of the Reading Railroad Company. It is a huge complex and is part of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Terminal Market is arranged in a grid pattern and over 100 merchants have their stalls inside the market. The market is open 7 days a week from 8 AM to 6 PM.
How to get to Reading Terminal Market.
There are several different ways you can get to Reading Terminal Market.
- Car: The Reading Terminal Market a few blocks from City Hall Philadelphia and just off of Market Street. Exits to I-676 and I-95 are fairly close by.
- Train: Taking the train is the best option. 30th Street Station, Suburban Station and Jefferson Station are the main train stations of Philadelphia. The Jefferson Station (formerly the Market East Station, is attached to the Reading Terminal Market. Most Regional trains stop at this station.
- Subway: You have to take the Market-Frankford line. Depending on the direction you are traveling in, you can either take the 13th Street stop or the 11th Street stop. Both stops are a block away from the Reading Terminal Market.
- PATCO: If you are traveling from New Jersey, you can take PATCO. The nearest PATCO Subway stop is 12-13th and Locust (about 4 blocks from the Reading Terminal Market).
- Bus: The Greyhound Bus Station, which is the main bus station in Philadelphia is one block away. There are several SEPTA bus routes that operate on Market Street (for example 38, 44 and 62).
Where to park when visiting the Reading Terminal Market?
There is a parking garage at the corner of N 12th Street and Cuthbert Street (right in front of one of main entrances to the Terminal Market). There are several other parking lots and garages very close to the Reading Terminal Market. My preference would be the Convention Center Parking Facility (1324 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA). They even have EV charging stations.
What is available inside the Reading Terminal Market?
There are bars, restaurants and grocery stores inside the market. In addition there are shops that sell the following: Cheese and Dairy, Flowers and Plans, Housewares, Books, Bakeries, Seafood, Meat and Poultry, Fish Stalls, Clothing & Specialty Foods. There is something for everybody.
My favorite places are: Pearl’s Oyster Bar (love their Brunch), Beck’s Cajun Cafe and Nanee’s Kitchen (Indian). There are several Pennsylvania Dutch eating options that you should try (Dutch Eating Place & Hatville Deli are two of the popular ones). I also regularly buy fish from either the Golden Fish Market or the John Yi Fish Market.
Taking photos inside the Reading Terminal Market is challenging. The walking lanes are narrow and the Market is always crowded. Over the years, I have managed to take quite a few photos inside the Market. Portrait mode is my preferred option..
Special Events at the Reading Terminal Market.
Three to four times a week, special events will be held inside the Reading Terminal Market. The events include a walking tour of the Reading Terminal Market called “Taste of Philadelphia“. The tour is 75 minutes long and costs about $17.00 per person. You can host your own private event inside the market as well!
Things to do near the Reading Terminal Market.
Many of Philadelphia’s major attractions are close to the Reading Terminal Market.
- Chinatown: Reading Terminal Market is one block from the boundary of the Chinatown neighborhood of Philadelphia. There are restaurants from all over Asia in Chinatown. Penang (Malaysian), Tom’s Dim Sum, Nan Zhou and Dae Bak (Cambodian) are some of the popular ones. Two of my favorites are Rangoon (Burmese) and David’s Mai Lai Wah (popular with the locals after a long night of drinking and partying!!).
- Independence Hall: Independence Hall is six blocks from the Reading Terminal Market. You can walk from the Market or take the subway. Independence Hall is the birthplace of American Democracy and is one of the most important buildings in the United States of America.
- City Hall: Philadelphia City Hall is two blocks from the Reading Terminal Market. The building sits on one of the original squares that was part of William Penn’s plan for the city. You can get a ticket from the visitor center inside the City Hall and take the City Hall Interior tour or the City Hall Tower Tour.
- Love Park: The Love Park is across the street from City Hall. The famous Love sculpture designed by Robert Indiana is the center piece of this park. During the winter holiday season, the Christmas Village will be in Love Park (as well as in the City Hall).
Reading Terminal: Ordering Online and Delivery.
You can order many products that are sold at the Market online. It is done by an organization known as Mercato. They connect the merchants to the consumer. You can go to their website, select the product you want and check and they will arrange for delivery. They will delivery to most parts of the country. You can also place and online order and then pickup yourself.
Reading Terminal Market is an important market for the residents of Center City Philadelphia. It’s a place where many residents buy meat, seafood and poultry. There is a decent grocery shop inside as well. One of my favorite places to have brunch is at Pearl’s Oyster Bar, which is inside the Market.
Have you visited the Reading Terminal Market?