I first visited Philly’s Italian Market as a kid, and that day is one of my most vivid memories. I remember the sights, sounds, vibrant colors, and most of all, the combined aromas of spices, coffee and freshly baked bread. The first vendors set up shop here in the mid to late 1880s, and the present-day Italian Market runs along 9th Street from Wharton to Fitzwater streets in Philly’s residential Bella Vista neighborhood.
There is something for everyone here—fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, fish, seafood, meats, cheeses, pastries, bread, homemade pasta, ice cream, chocolates, spices, coffee, tea. And a great variety of restaurants, featuring cheese steaks, pizza, Mexican, Middle Eastern, French, American, and of course, Italian food. If you find the choices overwhelming, stop at the Visitor Center for suggestions.
The market is open all year round. The food stalls are open Tuesday to Saturday, 8-4, and Sundays 8-1. However a few food stalls and the majority of other businesses stay open on Mondays, which makes Monday a great day to visit and avoid crowds. Private tours are available from one of the market’s longstanding merchants—a rare chance for an insider look at the market’s history and to sample foods from several iconic food shops (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The annual Italian Market Festival is held on the third weekend in May, during which the streets are lined with vendors offering many traditional Italian delicacies.
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A visit to Philadelphia for a foodie would be incomplete without a visit to the city's Italian Market on 9th Street in South Philly. Cheese, meat, fish, vegetables, and more, such as specialty stores specializing in Italian delicacies and cooking equipment. This mural of former Mayor Rizzo fills the wall of one of the market buildings. Buy some parmesan cheese to take home.