Philadelphia is a hot spot for locally grown food and for local markets selling produce, meat and dairy produced by regional farms. Local markets played a key role in the formation of the city, so much so that what was originally called High Street changed its name to Market Street due to the number of stalls and booths set up along it. Farmers’ markets and locally owned stores are located throughout the city. Some of the markets are only open during the warmer months while others remain open year-round.
Reading Terminal Market
Reading Terminal Market has been open for more than 100 years and has more than 100 vendors selling everything from prepared foods to locally grown produce. There are also merchants specializing in Pennsylvania Dutch specialties, such as pickles, pretzels, and jellies. The market is indoors and open year-round. It’s located just behind SEPTA’s Market East station, so it’s easy to get to by trolley, train or subway.
Headhouse Square Farmers Market
Headhouse Square Farmers Market is one of the largest outdoor, local markets in the city. It’s open from May until just after Thanksgiving each year. The market is situated in the historic Headhouse Shambles. The Shambles date back to the 1740s, when it also operated as a marketplace. In the 1960s, the area was restored and the current farmers’ market opened in 2007. The market operates on Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. It has more than 40 vendors who sell fresh, locally grown produce, meats, ice cream and even wine.
Clark Park Farmers Market
Located in Clark Park, in West Philadelphia, the Clark Park Farmers Market is another one of the largest in the city. It’s also one of the oldest farmers markets, as it opened in 1998. The market operates year-round on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s also open on Thursday afternoons from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. from June until October. Along with vendors selling produce, meats and baked goods, the market is also home to a number of roving food trucks and carts selling everything from artisanal popsicles to Trinidadian food.
Weaver’s Way Coop
Weaver’s Way Coop has three stores in northwest Philadelphia—two in Mt. Airy and one in Chestnut Hill. The coop also operates two farms and makes appearances at local farmers’ markets, including Headhouse Square. The market is truly locally owned. As a coop, it has 10,000 members, who each own a part of the market. The stores are open to nonmembers but being a member of the coop means you receive a discount when shopping.
The coop offers locally grown and organic produce, locally produced dairy products and meats. The “Across the Way” store features a wide selection of pet food and accessories. The original store, in Mt. Airy, boasts the area’s largest bulk food section, with food items such as olive oil, honey and grains.
South Street and Passyunk Avenue Farmers Market
The farmers’ market located at the corner of South Street and Passyunk Avenue is on the small side. It usually only has a few vendors selling vegetables, produce and breads. If you get there early enough, you can purchase both chicken and duck eggs. The South Street market can boast that it is the oldest currently operating farmers’ market in the city. It first opened in 1996. At first, the market operated on Tuesday afternoons. In 2013, it moved to Saturdays and is open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. from June until November.