Cheesesteaks, donuts, dumplings, and pizza are just a few of the amazing foods you can find in Philly's Reading Terminal Market. Walk into RTM and see neon signs, chalkboard menus, and long lines for Philly's greatest food. 

What is Reading Terminal Market?

125 years ago, this enclosed market opened its doors to the public. Since 1893, Reading Terminal Market has been a food mecca for people in Philadelphia. Over 70 vendors occupy the market and offer a wide range of cuisine. Fresh produce, meats, poultry, and seafood are sold alongside 25 restaurants. Reading Terminal Market is also great for kitchen products and other houseware items. 

How did Reading Terminal Market start?

In 1893, the market opened and held space for 800 vendors. It was the "greatest food market in the world." Reading Terminal Market was built underneath the Reading Railroad. The Market changed according to the consumer environment, but started to decline in the 1970s and suffered damage from a leak in the roof. The railroad above the Market was no longer used after the Reading Railroad Company went bankrupt. In the 1980s, the Market was revamped and started recruiting vendors.

Must-eats at Reading Terminal Market

Entering a food market for the first time can be extremely overwhelming. Here are just a few of the foods you must try before leaving Reading Terminal Market. 

1. Beiler's Doughnuts

Jackie Heller

One of the first Amish merchants at Reading Terminal Market, Beiler's Doughnuts is overwhelmingly delicious. With almost 45 different flavors, you really can't go wrong. Beiler's is worth the wait, even when you can't see the doughnuts from the end of the line. No time to go to the Market? No problem. Beiler's can also be found in University City and Lancaster

2. Meltkraft Grilled Cheese

With cheese from Valley Shepherd as their main ingredient, Meltkraft sandwiches are fresh and delicious. Each sandwich is unique with handmade cheese, veggies, and some meat. If you're not in the mood for a sandwich, just order some cheese to go from Valley Shepherd. Meltkraft is also located in Rittenhouse.

3. Carmen's Famous Italian Hoagies & Cheesesteaks

Get your Philly on with hoagies and cheesesteaks from Carmen's. While you may not want to wait in another line, you'll be happy you did after the first bite. Try the famous Franklin, cheesesteak with American cheese as well as cream cheese. Carmen's is unique to RTM, so make sure to stop by on your visit. 

4. Famous 4th Street Cookie Company

Jackie Heller

Rainbow M&M, Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Macadamia, Snickerdoodle, and Chocolate Chip. The list goes on. Famous 4th Street offers up to 20 different cookies, each as delicious as the next. These cookies are conveniently placed by the entrance so you can't avoid buying one on your way in to start off the day. Visit the bakery for even more cookies. 

Want more RTM?

Each Wednesday and Saturday food tours are offered in the Market. You'll learn about the Philly favorites while seeing the whole market in just over an hour. Reading Terminal Market also offers music time for kids every Tuesday. 

Reading Terminal Market is a great place to visit during a weekend trip to Philadelphia. It can be hard to navigate such a large market, but once you start walking around you will immediately be mesmerized by all that RTM has to offer.