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Philly’s food scene has been getting some high wattage attention lately, from the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Saveur, among others. Philadelphia has always had a history of great cuisine, and is justifiably proud of its food traditions. The Italian Market, billed as the oldest outdoor market still operating in America, is the grandaddy of the best of them.
Philadelphia’s Food Scene – New Energy, Solid Heritage
Currently the city is benefitting from the energy and experimental approaches of a crop of new young chefs, while retaining the best of Philly’s food origins. This is very apparent in the Italian Market area. Taffets Gluten Free Bakery has taken gluten-free bread baking to new levels of sophistication and deliciousness, and Paesano’s current generation of owners offers updated classic sandwiches (available on regular rolls or gluten-free Taffets baguettes).
While it’s still called the Italian Market, there’s a strong Asian, Mexican, and South American presence, with specialties available for every palate. You’ll find tiny markets, restaurants, and shops cheek by jowl all along Ninth Street, between Wharton and Fitzwater. Everything we saw was fresh, and the prices were very reasonable. Bring a cooler, and stock up!
Go See It!
Philadelphia’s Italian Market
Ninth Street between Wharton & Fitzwater streets
Public parking lot at Carpenter, between 9th & 10th streets, $5 for the day 7am-7pm. Street parking is pretty tough to find.
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