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Reading Terminal Breakfast

Okay everyone, I'm going to be in Philly this weekend, staying pretty much next door to Reading Terminal. I'm usually up for my run and then ready for breakfast far ahead of everyone else so what is available there in the way of an early meal? Thank you!!

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  1. The market opens at 8 on Saturdays. The best bet is the pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place with bacon or scrapple.

    1. In addition to Dutch Eating Place (which is great), there is a good smoothie place (I never remember what is is called, but it isn't far from Bassetts ice cream.

      1. Beck's Cajun Cafe breakfast po boy- eggs, cheese and andouille on a baguette. It is my favorite in RTM.

        As an alternative, coffee at Old City Coffee coupled with various baked goods of your choice from several places in the market.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RC51Mike

          Beck's also does beignets on Sundays. Perfect for that post-run nourishment.

          1. re: RC51Mike

            Was gonna suggest a Beck's egg poboy. Don't know if this will be needed but it's a magic hangover cure.

          2. Jack McDavid's Down Home Diner is one of my favorite breakfast places. Basic southern and comfort breakfasts. Recommends - scrapple and eggs, corned beef hash and eggs, SOS and biscuits with sausage gravy.

            Another plus, they open at 7AM meaning you can get an early breakfast before shopping the market.

            1. Blueberry pancakes at Dutch Eatting Place ROCK! I love their food!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Prettypoodle

                I actually had the pleasure of having banana pancakes there once. The owner let me bring in my own sliced very ripe bananas on snowy morning over the winter and they cooked them up in the pancakes. Talk about good!

              2. go for the Dutch Eating Place and get a breakfast sandwich...it is amazingly good...and an incredible value...

                1 Reply
                1. re: cook262

                  It really doesn't seem like they go wrong. Had the apple dumpling there with heavy cream and that was amazing. I guess it depends on whether you want sweet or savory, but you really can't go wrong.

                2. Keep those suggestions coming everyone! I'm leaning towards Jack McDavid's as they open at 7 but will continue to consider any and all options! Thank you so much!!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: eenie1

                    The down home diner as Jack's place is known is ok. I would suggest if you could do it go to the Dutch Eating place. Its a bit more of a unique Philadelphia experience. The down home diner is just that..... a diner experience with an emphasis on the Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine.

                    You might enjoy the following article talking about one person's experience...


                    1. re: cwdonald

                      I'd personally wait the extra hour and go to the Dutch Eating Place myself. I go there on a weekly basis, driving 45 minutes to get there, and see some of the same people eating breakfast there every week.

                  2. DiNic's sells roast pork sandwiches pretty early. Hard to pass up anytime. I've had them for breakfast and was never alone.

                    1. Hmmmm...since opinions seem so strong...maybe I'll have a little snack and hold off on breakfast until 8 so I can go to DEP =)! Decisions...decisions!!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: eenie1

                        DEP is that good (look at a place like Yelp if you don't believe us!) Especially the pancakes and the apple dumplings. I know I will be there for my weekly pilgrimage at 8!

                      2. Okay, just saw a few exceptionally bad reviews on Yelp about McDavid's so moving thoughts to DEP. Now, since you've all been so helpfull thus far, how about other area places? South Street? Any other suggestions? I love to get out and walk, even after running, so let's have some suggestions!! THANK YOU AGAIN!

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: eenie1

                          Eenie are you speaking specifically about breakfast?

                          1. re: eenie1

                            Are you asking where to walk, what to eat, or what to do? There are a lot of things going on this weekend in town. Pleanty of good places for lunch and dinner too (despite the fact that a lot of really good places aren't open for lunch on Saturdays).

                              1. re: eenie1

                                Well.. within walking distance from the Marriott... Kannella is an interesting Cypriot inspired restaurant that does a great breakfast and lunch. 10th and Spruce.

                                Honey Sit n Eat in the Northern Liberties is a fun place. Cafe La Maude in Northern Liberties does great coffee and french/lebanese inspired breakfast food.

                                Headhouse Square (South Street) has a great farmers market on Sunday from 10-2

                                1. re: cwdonald

                                  Near Headhouse, Famous 4th St does good Jewish deli, I like it a lot for breakfast. Top quality smoked salmon (nova), great breakfast sandwiches, and very good corned beef hash (the latter is an insanely large portion however--would easily feed 4 people if not more).

                                  1. re: barryg

                                    Cafe Estelle is OK too. I like Kanella and Honey's but find the former to be a bit too salty for my liking.

                            1. re: eenie1

                              So I checked the Yelp reviews for the Down Home Diner. Such a difference from my experience. My only explanation is that these are people who don't understand the southern breakfast. The foodie correct. They consider the Down Home Diner like I would view a breakfast place that steams seitan scrapple.

                              Not to worry though. The Dutch Eating Place is great. You'll get a gut Pennsylvania breakfast. In the future though, take Yelp reviews with a grain of salt and a dash of nitrates.

                              1. re: Holly Moore

                                Scanning the Yelp reviews... if moldy bread. undercooked eggs and cold potatoes are part of the "Southern breakfast," I'm glad I don't understand it. I had a couple meals at Down Home Diner a few years ago and didn't care for it either, the food was just not great quality and the the preparation overall poor, with prices way out of whack given that. It's pretty much the only place I tell people to avoid when visiting RTM... the other options are just so much better.

                                1. re: barryg

                                  Having been born and raised in the South I'm pretty confident in saying Down Home Diner isn't especially "southern" Looking at their menu, I wonder where the biscuits are. No ham biscuit? No biscuits & gravy? Not even a simple plate of grits & eggs. Not so southern. (I also don't think it's very good but I've only been once, years ago, so I'm not the most qualified judge...)
                                  I would kill for a real biscuit place - even a truck.

                                  1. re: caganer

                                    The menu on menupages does have all of those things, and also Souther cornmeal mush.

                                    1. re: barryg

                                      right, didn't scroll down past sandwiches. I take it back.

                                      1. re: caganer

                                        As a native of Lancaster County, I actually prefer the Down Home Diner because it has items I can't get without going South

                                        On the other hand, the Dutch Eating Place while excellant is, except for the Apple Dumpling which is the best I have had, not any better than a number of places back home, which are cheaper and less crowded.It has therefore been a number of years since I have had anything other than the AppLe Dumpling at DEP

                                        1. re: brookquarry

                                          Brook .. what items do you think are done well at DEP? And what places would you compare it to in Lancaster County?

                                          1. re: cwdonald

                                            As noted I have not had anything other than the dumpling for some years, but the sausage, pancakes and french toast were always excellant.

                                            My favorite Lancaster County breakfast places

                                            1. Oregon Dairy Family Restaurant Route 272 Northeast of Lancaster.

                                            Everything is very good, particularly the sausage which I believe they make themselves. You get a complimentary glazed donut from their bakery and a complimentary glass of milk from the dairy on their adjacent farm both of which are excellant. They have a small buffet, but you are better off ordering from the menu.

                                            2 Country Table South of Mount Joy on Route 230.

                                            Again, everything here is very solid. Their real strong point sare the stickey buns and muffins from their bakery.

                                            3 Gus' Keystone Route 230 between Elizabrethtown and Mount Joy. A classic Greek diner. Really like the feta cheese omelet here, although again all breakfast items are quite good.

                                            In the tourist area., Shady Maple is surprisingly good for a buffet, mostly because they have omelet and pancake/waffle stations where things are made to order while you wait with your plate. Even though they have their own bakery, I believe their donuts sticky buns etc are not their strong suit. I also do not reccomend Shady Maple for Lunch or Dinner, where I think it is no better than average.

                                            Dienners, which used to be a locals secret but now is increasingly populated by tourists is also good although with much less selection than Shady Maple.

                                            Finally, in general the quality of sausage (and to a lesser extent bacon) at even an ordinary Lancaster County diner exceeeds that in the Philadelphia (or for that matter New York) region.

                                            I come from a Family of breakfast devotees. My Dad brings his own maple syrup when he eats breakfast out.

                                            You can't find a good roast pork sandwich though.

                                    2. re: caganer

                                      As far as biscuits in town go, the drop biscuits at Percy St. BBQ are really good. They are tiny and I think about 4 or 5 of them are served with ham in a platter.

                              2. I cannot get over the overwhelming response to this post!! Thank you all so much and please keep the suggestions coming if you have more! I'll be sure to post where we wind up eating and will include pics when possible!!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: eenie1

                                  I know you have limited this to breakfast only, but you should definately get a roast pork sandwich during your stay.

                                2. I have been disapointed with breakfast at Down Home Diner a couple of times. Pancakes are supposed to be cooked all the way through. You can do better with the other suggestions many have made here.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: lancastermike

                                    Saturday morning breakfast worked out to be a smoothie from the place at Reading that is all veg juice...banana, carrot, kale, spinach, and apple, and oatmeal. Sunday morning was a different story!!! Sabrina's Cafe was fantabulous! I had an egg white omelette with apple, tomato, spinach, and avocado and a side of collard greens braised in balsamic with green onion, roasted red peppers and corn. It was ridiculously delicious!!! Thank you all again!!