Dining and Drinking in Philly, Day Two: Reading Terminal Market

Welcome to Day Two of the Dining and Drinking in Philly series! If you missed my recap of Day One, check it out here.

I awoke after the previous night’s over-imbibement with a killer hangover that only hurt more with a looming 12PM hotel checkout time. Showering and getting ready for our final morning in Philadelphia, BT and I managed to check out only twenty minutes late. We had a 4PM bus to catch, so we wanted to keep our explorations pretty low-key for the day. A friend of mine from the Philly area recommended we go to Reading Terminal Market, a large indoor marketplace (that was once a train station) with several food vendors. We were able to walk to the market from our hotel, forcing us to finally brave the winds. It was rather painful, but there were many sweet rewards upon our arrival to the market.

BT’s first stop: one of the many Amish bakeries. He wanted a cider donut, but they had run out, so he settled for jelly.


Full of sweetness from the night before, I wasn’t ready for a pastry just yet. But everything looked delicious. I was more intrigued by the fact that actual Amish people were here selling their home-baked goods. Yes, I’m a social worker and understand cultural competence. But real Amish people? C’mon, that doesn’t happen every day! Though I’m kind of tactless with the camera, I refrained from taking a picture of one of them. Sometimes I do in fact practice self-control. Only sometimes.


Moving onto our next stop, BT bought his breakfast of champions: diet coke, manchego cheese, and jamón serrano from one of the many meat and cheese shops. I told him he was being very European. Yes indeed.


Overwhelmed by choices as to what I should eat, I started off my market brunch search with a bold cup of Old City Coffee. I ended up with a “Euro salad” from Mezze, which translates into bunch-of-greasy-ingredients-atop-two-romaine-leaves-salad. The salad was rather boring, but I wanted to keep things simple since I really just wanted one thing: ice cream.


But first, we stopped by the famous Termini Brothers for a cannoli. The line for one of these things took forever only because they freshly squeeze the creamy stuff into each fried cannoli shell as you order. That may sound gross, but it’s actually a beautiful thing. This was all for BT (he is Italian, after all). My picky dessert palate was frolicking in frozen treat-land, despite the fact that it was ten degrees outside.



Finally, my time had come. Before us was Bassetts Ice Cream, touted as American’s oldest ice cream company.

Philadelphia Food Binge 107

I figured if I ordered the ice cream in a sugar cone I would get a smaller portion, which is probably for the best, right? Not exactly. Here, they give you two humongous scoops that end up in a cup eventually, as this was the little cone that couldn’t. I opted for cherry vanilla, which had real chunks of cherry. Paradise was found once again.

Philadelphia Food Binge 115

Reading Terminal Market was a great way to end our short vacation, as it’s full of eats and treats only found in Philly. I was also happy to leave behind the insane crowds, which were anxiety-inducing, might I mention.

Upon my return to New York, I decided I would try to eat maybe a little less indulgently for the next couple of days. This plan was spoiled quickly, as my coworker, whose party I was attending that night, turns out to be a domestic and baking goddess. This is what I was faced with:

Philadelphia Food Binge 137

Philadelphia Food Binge 138

Philadelphia Food Binge 139

Sometimes, my friends, just saying no is foolish.

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8 responses to “Dining and Drinking in Philly, Day Two: Reading Terminal Market

  1. if anyone knows how to do a food tour, it is the two of you. i’m impressed by the ground you covered! (and also impressed by your coworker. why can’t every party have a spread like that?)

    i’m so glad you guys took this impromptu trip away. weekends away are so invigorating – and so rejuvenating. i always feel better about everything when i’ve been somewhere else for just a little while.

  2. Now this is my kind of weekend! When I traveled around Europe during my junior semester abroad, I often only had a day or two to spend in big cities so my time looked a lot like yours, bouncing from pastry shop to coffee house to spectacular lunch spot and onwards. We’re lucky to have found partners who love this as much as we do!

  3. glad you had such a fun trip! I was in Philly this past summer and went into Reading Terminal Market right after a run (it was near my hotel) and was so overwhelmed by all of the deliciousness only bought two random pieces of fruit. It was either that or buy everything, I guess!

    I don’t know how you passed up that cannoli – I can almost taste it from here!

  4. I’ve never had a cannoli in my life. What is it made of?
    Looks good, though :)

    • Cannoli are fried pastry shells with a creamy filling made of ricotta and sugary stuff. Not a fan of the filling myself, but that’s just me. Most people love ‘em.

  5. saying no is often a bad idea when you have THESE kinds of options. : ) I LOVE canolli, I had the best one ever in Boston in little italy and I’m pretty sure it changed my life.

  6. So many delicious and wonderful things to comment on! However, I am currently too distracted by your co-workers party spread…

    Does she want to be my friend too?!

  7. when it comes to food, YES is always a much better answer :)

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