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Italian Market question

So I am visiting Philly in a couple weeks with my boyfriend and would like to check out the Italian Market. However, while the BF likes to eat he is by no means a gourmet or a chowhound. Is it worth it to walk around and check out the italian food stuffs? Will he be totally bored? Is there a great lunch place nearby that I can tempt him with?

On another note - thank you all for your helpful posts. I have made a reservation at Matyson and have plans to visit Tria and Alma de Cuba because of your posts and I am sure they will all be great! Hope to return the favor if you all visit DC anytime soon. Thanks!

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  1. I think the Italian Market is ok to visit if you are a chowhound or not. There are a few great Italian places like DiBruno's and Fante's that are a lot of fun to see, but many, many produce markets and meat markets that may seem monotonous to the out-of-towner. There is also Pat's and Geno's down the street if you want a toursity sandwich.
    Personally I find the Italian Market to be so-so. While I love going to the Italian Market Festival they have every year (and I would go more often if they have it), the market can seem dilapidated, dreary, and boring unless you know what to look for. That said, you may want to consider seeing Reading Terminal Market http://www.readingterminalmarket.org. It's fun for toursists and city dwellers, and best seen on Wednesday through Staurday when the Amish section is open. Think of it as Eastern Market on steriods.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bluehensfan

      COMPLETELY agree bluehensfan! I think the market is not as good as it used to be. But if you're visiting Philly anyway, what visit is complete without a Philly Cheesesteak ("wit")?! And my most favorite place and one I visit whenever I go back home is the Terminal. For the people alone! Enjoy!

      1. re: SweetLisa

        If you go during the summer, be sure you go EARLY in the day -- can get smelly later on. But well worth the trip.

    2. Believe me, if he likes to eat he'll be happy there. It's traditionally called the Italian Market, but these days it's the Italian, Mexican , Vietnamese, etc. Market. You can nosh along having tacos, fresh bread, cheese, pastries (Italian or Mexican), etc. And there's fun people watching too. Thank you.

      1. thank you everyone for your insight - i think I may go with the Reading market instead. Eastern Market on steriods sounds fantastic especially since EM has been smaller since the fire. Thanks!

        1 Reply
        1. re: anunez

          Have fun! And try the pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place and a roast pork sandwich with greens and rabe at DiNic's!

        2. Stop in at Claudio's cheese, Anthony's coffee house, Isgro pastries, Sarcone's bakery for bread and pizza, and Sabrina's for lunch! Lots to see and eat!

          1. 9th Street/Italian market is much more interesting and a real Philly experience. the reading terminal is nice but pretty touristy / sanitized these days. I think the addition of mexican & asian stuff on 9th street has only made it better. And rocky didn't run through the damn reading terminal market.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Bride of the Juggler

                Rocky gets my vote. The Reading Terminal is great, but I think the Italian Market has better food and much more character.

            1. Italian Market is fine, but I would steer you towards Reading Terminal Market. It can get crowded, but there's more diversity in choices. Plus, in Italian Market you have to tend with bulk pricing, whereas in RTM you don't.