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Greek / Turkish / Armenian grocer in Phila ?

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, but I've just moved to Philly and I'm trying to find a place to get amazing feta cheese. A Middle Eastern grocer or Turkish / Greek / or Armenian place would be ideal. Know of anything?

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  1. Welcome to Philly! It's not middle eastern, but Claudio's on 9th Street in the Italian market has a great assortment of cheeses, and feta from several different countries. You can sample them and get the one that best suits your taste for saltiness and texture. Also, Bitar's is on 10th and Federal. I don't think they have a big selection of feta, but they are a Lebanese market and you'll be able to get lots of other middle eastern goodies there. It's the one place I've found with fresh filo dough. Another good place to visit is the Reading Terminal market on Arch and 10th??? I think that's where it is. If you do a lot of your own cooking, you'll love it.
    Happy shopping!

    1 Reply
    1. re: pafoodie

      Thank you for the nice welcome (^__^)
      I should try Claudio's - I like the idea of sampling before buying. You actually addressed my other, unmentioned inquiry - where to get good filo - as well.

    2. I second both Claudio's, Bitar's, and the Reading Terminal Market. Reading Terminal does have a middle eastern stall (where I get filo), but I don't know that it has much of a feta selection. (There is also a cheese stall at the Reading Terminal.) DiBruno Brothers at approximately 18th and Chestnut has a good cheese selection. They also have a smaller store in the Italian Market on 9th Street in South Philly. Coincidentally I got delicious creamy-style goat milk feta cheese this past Sunday at the farmer's market at Headhouse (2nd Street, just south of Pine Street). The market is open between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays and is worth going to. The feta came from Patches of Star Dairy. It's not traditional feta, but it was delicious. Finally, there is a small Turkish convenience store/grocery, also in Queen Village, at the corner of Bainbridge and 4th Streets. It's not the place to get fresh food, but they do have unusual Turkish packaged goods. I especially like the sour cherry juice. And if you're in the neighborhood, stop at Cafe Fulya (2nd and Monroe Streets) for Turkish coffee and borek.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Hansel

        Wow, the Cafe Fulya tip sounds great - do they serve other fare that you'd recommend?

        I'm also really interested in the market at Headhouse. I've definitely been looking for a good farmer's market in the city. I have already been to Reading Terminal Market + the fruit stands at the Italian Market. Do you recommend it for produce as well ?

        1. re: Neu FM

          The Headhouse Market is fantastic. I do most of my shopping there when they're open (and they run 'til past Thanksgiving.) The produce is great, as are the meat, eggs, chicken, cheese, baked goods, sausage, etc. The Reading Terminal Market is not actually a farmer's market except for some of the Amish stands (and the Livengood stand in the middle of the market on certain days in the summer), nor is the Italian Market. One exception at the Reading Terminal Market is the Fair Food Project in the back (Arch St. side of the market near Metropolitan Bakery) which stocks local farm produce and other products, grass fed meats, etc.) and which is a great resource, esp. in the winter when the farmer's markets are closed. Anyway, I highly recommend the Headhouse Market, which is the biggest of the city farmer's markets. But depending where you live, there may be a closer market - there are a lot of them, and although the big markets are fun, you can often get everything you want at a smaller one. You can check out locations at the Food Trust website, www.thefoodtrust.org. (However, there's another organization that runs some of the other markets, and I can't remember their name right at the moment,) There's a big market at Clark Park in West Philly and lots of smaller markets all over the city. (The Headhouse also has a good, but smaller market on Saturdays.) It's actually fun to check out the different markets and get a feel for some of the different neighborhoods, too.

          Cafe Fulya is pretty new (only open maybe a month), so I've only been there a couple times. (But it's just a few blocks south of the Headhouse Market, if you want to check them both out at the same time.) They have homemade cakes and a few kinds of Turkish-type baked goods, sweet and savory. They don't have a huge selection, but everything looks good. Their sign says they are now serving a breakfast - omelet, coffee, OJ and fruit? (I forget the last part of it.) Might be worth a try. They are part of the same family that runs a Turkish restaurant, Divan, that I have never been to.

          I don't know where you have moved from, and I sometimes have mixed feelings about Philadelphia, but I think there is really great access to good food here (considering that in center city you can walk to so many places.)

          1. re: Hansel

            Yeah, I've found some gems thus far. Vietnamese here is generally good, and I am so fond of Rangoon.

            Headhouse Market sounds amazing; I'll definitely post a follow up after I check it out sometime. I love your idea of getting to know various neighborhoods via their farmers' markets.

            Turkish restaurants in Philly.... I have only been to Konak and was sorely disappointed. Perhaps Divan is worth checking out.

            1. re: Hansel

              P.S. I can't resist - what are three of your fav places to eat in Phila ?

              1. re: Neu FM

                Wow - that's a tough one. Right now, I'd say my own kitchen, but that's because I suffered through a kitchen renovation last summer (i.e., no kitchen), and it was torture, with all the great summer food, not to be able to cook. I eat a lot in neighborhood places in my own neighborhood, that are great neighborhood spots, but maybe you wouldn't go out of the way to go to them from somewhere else. Here's a tip: I love Ethiopian food, and a good find is Almaz Cafe, 20th Street near Walnut. (really, a hole in the wall cafe you might not even notice, but they're very nice and make good food.)

                1. re: Neu FM

                  What kinds of places do you like neu FM?

              2. re: Neu FM

                The Headhouse Market is fantastic. I do most of my shopping there when it is open (and it goes 'til past Thanksgiving.) The produce is great, as are the meats, cheese, eggs, baked goods, poultry, sausage, etc.) Headhouse is the biggest market in the city, and so is fun, but depending on where you live there may be a closer market. The Food Trust website (www.thefoodtrust.org) has a listing, though there is another organization that runs some other markets, and I've forgotten their name at the moment. There are a lot of markets all over the city, and you can often get everything you want at a smaller market. Clark Park in West Philly is another pretty big one. Actually, it's fun to check out the different markets and get a feel for different neighborhoods at the same time.

                Neither the Reading Terminal nor the Italian Market is actually a farmer's market. (At the Reading Terminal, the exceptions to this are some of the Amish stands, the Livengood family stand in the middle of the market certain days during the summer, and the Fair Food Project at the back of the market near Metropolitan Bakery.) The Fair Food Project stocks local farm produce and products, grass fed meats, etc., and is a great resource, especially in the winter when the farmers' markets are closed.

                Cafe Fulya has only been open about a month, so I've only been a couple times. They have homemade cakes and a small selection of Turkish-type pastries, sweet and savory, but everything looks good. Their sign says they are now serving a breakfast - omelet, coffee, OJ and fruit? (I can't quite remember the last part); it might be worth a try. It is just a few blocks south of the Headhouse Market, so you could check them both out at the same time. It is run by the family that owns Divan, a Turkish restaurant I have never been to.

                I don't know where you have moved from, and I sometimes have mixed feelings about Philadelphia, but I think there is great access to good food here, given that we have these great markets and the city is so walkable.

                1. re: Hansel

                  Sorry! I thought my response did not post, so I typed it all over again!

                  1. re: Hansel

                    The other farmers' markets are sponsored by Farm to City (for a listing see www.farmtocity.org). Also, I forgot, the Fair Food Project (Reading Terminal) sometimes carries locally made feta cheeses.

            2. There are Greek stores on Market Street in Upper Darby and there is a Turkish grocery on Bristol Pike in Bucks County.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JohnnyT

                Johnny T - can you tell us the name of the Turkish Grocery on Bristol PIke? Or where on Bristol Pke it is located? Thanks.

                1. re: pafoodie

                  TURKISH DELI

                  6923 Bristol Pike
                  Lewittown Pennsylvania 19057

                  1. re: JohnnyT

                    Thanks JohnnyT. I'll definitely check it out.

              2. Following up on this thread of multiple topics....

                I still have to go to Claudio's - it seems like the best bet for cheeses. I did, however, try Headhouse Market and enjoyed the experience. It's in a nice part of town. Also went to an Amish market in Fishtown, further north. I think the produce I got there was perhaps superior. They also sold me a gorgeous bouquet of colorful flowers for only $3. I'm starting to learn that the best way, although perhaps the most time consuming, to get groceries in Philly is certainly by breaking it down in to very specific categories...

                Mangoes, limes, avocados - I get at the Latin grocer in my neighborhood.
                Cucumber, summer squash, blueberries, cherries, green beans, herbs, flowers - I get from a Farmers' Market.
                All else I tend to get at Trader Joe's and then maybe at Whole Foods. I cannot resist white nectarines this summer. They have been divine but very expensive and only available at WF.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Neu FM

                  Sue's Produce at 18th and Sansom has white nectarines, and a lot of local produce this time of year. Thank you.

                  1. re: Neu FM

                    If you have a car and don't mind driving 15 minutes across the Ben Franklin Bridge, there is a Wegman's. It's a huge grocery store that offers a huge selection of organic produce. The meats, poultry and fish are fresh. Less expensive than Whole Foods.

                    1. re: Neu FM

                      They had white nectarines at the Passyunk and South st Farmers Market on Tuesday. $4.00/qt I think. The Reading Terminal is good for produce, aside from the local produce stands, Iovine's has pretty good prices on a wide variety of items with more specialty items costing more - but I can always beat the supermarkets $$ for lemons, limes and red peppers there.

                    2. I recall a storefront....Armenian Delight...in Broomall on West Chester Pike. I believe it is a grocery/dry goods...though have not been in...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: GBak504

                        Armenian delight has a case with prepared foods and cheeses and also a freezer case. I haven't been by for a long while, but I still think about how good the stuffed grape leaves were.

                        1. re: vicarious

                          Sadly, that store with the Armenian and Turkish specialties (for the record, called "Mediterranean Delight") succumbed to the crisis about a month or so ago. The search for an alternative purveyor of kashar cheese and pastirma continues...