Philadelphia’s Italian Market, which runs along approximately ten city blocks of Ninth Street in South Philadelphia, is one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in America. You can literally find almost anything at the market. Dozens of vendors line the street, selling the freshest vegetables, fish, meats, spices and produce from their stalls, while gourmet shops and restaurants occupy storefronts in between.
These butcher shops, bakeries, and other specialty shops are throwbacks to another time, long before the advent of super markets. Stepping inside one of these establishments, you will truly marvel at the amazing array of products on display — and at the whole experience of it all. In addition to the vendors and shops, countless mouth-watering restaurants have located (very wisely, one might add) either along the market itself or within a stone’s throw of it. So there’s absolutely no chance you’ll leave hungry.
And while the Italian Market has an incredibly strong Italian heritage — which can still be seen today throughout the stores, restaurants and neighborhood in general — an exciting surge of international flavors has given the Italian Market new life over the past decade.
Now, just as many people visit the market for Mexican food (there are several delicious taquerias as well as a few bodegas), Vietnamese fare (pho [soup] and banh mi [hoagie] are very popular), Korean barbecue and other cuisines from Asian countries like Thailand, China and Laos. Oh and did we mention cheesesteaks? The Italian Market is home to the two most famous purveyors of cheesesteaks in the world: “(external)Pat’s” and “(external)Geno’s.”
There are so many more great places to mention by name, but we simply don’t have enough space. But just know that wherever you visit on your trip to the Italian Market, you will leave you with a very memorable taste in your mouth.
The South 9th Street Italian Market runs along 9th Street from Wharton to Fitzwater Streets. The market began in the mid-to-late 1880s when Antonio Palumbo, an Italian immigrant, opened a boarding house in the neighborhood for other Italians. Businesses sprang up to serve this growing community and began to form the largest, outdoor, continuous market in the country. Food stalls began to occupy the East side of 9th Street, where merchants sold fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. A number of butcher shops began to offer the highest-quality cuts of meat. Cheese shops, restaurants and bakeries filled the West side of 9th Street.
Today, while the outdoor vendors and many of the original Italian businesses remain, the market has diversified to reflect new waves of immigration. The market boasts some of the most authentic Mexican fare in the city and the surrounding neighborhood is home to a number of Asian eateries and grocery stores, featuring delicacies such as Korean barbeque and Vietnamese Pho. Additionally, a number of unique gift and service providers provide a well-rounded shopping experience.
Tuesday through Saturday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
9th Street and Washington Avenue
(Along 9th Street between Wharton and Fitzwater)
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