If the current food hall boom around the nation is a trend, then Philadelphia has been ahead of the curve since the late 19th century, when Reading Terminal Market and the 9th Street Italian Market first fed the city’s quick-service customers. Of course, the new wave is in full effect here as well: This summer, the historic, open-day-to-night Philadelphia Bourse, within view of Independence Hall, will reopen as a food hall with an emphasis on independent purveyors. The recently opened Franklin’s Table Food Hall offers a well-curated selection of area favorites under a single roof on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus. Spontaneous, indecisive and/or extra-hungry eaters will find plenty of delicacies to sample in this roundup of Philly food halls and markets:
- The Philadelphia Bourse – Later this summer, the Historic District’s circa 1895 commodities exchange will transform into an artisan market in the style of Chelsea Market. The burnished, Victorian-era member of the National Register of Historic Places across the street from Independence Mall was most recently a food court. The Bourse’s new incarnation promises an experience befitting Philadelphia’s current and centuries-old reputation as a city of makers. Among the 29 tenants in the mix: Mighty Melt (grilled cheese), Scoop de Ville (ice cream), Bluebird Distilling, Prescription Chicken (soup), Chaat and Chai (Indian) and Chocodiem (chocolate). 111 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 625-0300, theboursephilly.com
- Chinatown Square – This two-story hub houses cuisines from Korea to Cambodia with an emphasis on fun and stylish street food. It’s not just a lunchtime spot, however—the Square stays open until well after midnight with nighttime cocktails and karaoke. 1016-18 Race Street,
(267) 758-6118, chinatownsq.com
- Franklin’s Table Food Hall – The new food hall on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus keeps a local focus, with DK Sushi, Pitruco (pizza), Goldie (vegan falafel), KQ Burger, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, High Street on Market (sandwiches and baked goods) and The Juice Merchant all representing serious Philly flavors. The food hall seats about 170 people in a cafeteria-style setting and offers breakfast through dinner options. 3401 Walnut Street
- 9th Street Italian Market – Not quite a food hall by the strictest definition, this outdoor market has always hosted restaurants in addition to merchants. These days, the choices are just as likely to be Southeast Asian and Mexican as Italian, with plenty of cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches thrown in for good measure. 9th Street between Wharton & Fitzwater Streets, (215) 278-2903, italianmarketphilly.org
- Ardmore Farmers Market – Ardmore’s well-heeled Suburban Square treats its shoppers to a diverse fast-eats destination. The spread includes Middle Eastern, seafood, sushi, Thai, baked goods, Saxby’s coffee, a full array of DiBruno Bros. made-to-order and grab-and-go items and flowers (to ensure a perfectly set table, of course). 120 Coulter Avenue, Ardmore, (610) 896-7560, suburbansquare.com
- The Market at Liberty Place – In downtown Kennett Square, a 10,000-square-foot indoor market houses a smorgasbord of treats. Among the selections: burgers, tapas, breakfast sandwiches, tacos, pizza, ice cream and even wine and cider by the glass, courtesy of Paradocx Vineyard. 148 W. State Street, Kennett Square, (610) 925-3411, themarketatlibertyplace.com
- Reading Terminal Market – Set below a former railroad terminal that’s now a National Historic Landmark building, Center City’s 125-year-old Reading Terminal Market serves as both a dazzling tourist destination and a source for fresh produce, seafood, meats and cheese for locals. Dozens of restaurants dish up breakfast and lunch daily, with the choices spanning from Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine to Thai curries to fancy corndogs. Retail merchants sell housewares, jewelry, linens and more. 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 922-2317, readingterminalmarket.org
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