A quick skim at our client list makes one thing immediately clear: our passion for digital marketing is only matched by our love of food. And I am definitely no exception. Making food, eating it, watching food-related TV shows—if it’s about food, I’m all over it. So it goes without saying that one of the best perks about working in Philly is all the amazing lunch options within walking distance of our office.

But you can’t talk about food in Philly without noting the mecca of good eats: Reading Terminal Market. A true gem of our city, it’s a mere ten-minute walk for us and we couldn’t be luckier.

Of course, there’s one caveat: if you try to go there during lunch time or rush hour, good luck. Doing so is like walking into The Linc 20 minutes before kickoff—lines of people not moving fast enough. But hey, a man’s gotta eat, right? So here are some tips on navigating the market.

Have A Plan

The key to not getting stuck in long lines and wasting your time is knowing what you want before going there. The options are pretty endless: from noodles, fried chicken and corn dogs to oysters, beef jerky and ribs. And of course you can’t forget about dessert, whether it’s doughnuts, cookies or ice cream. There’s no doubt there’s something for everyone. But knowing what you want before entering will save you a lot of time. Plan ahead and use the map from their website to forge a path so you know where you’re going.

For example, if I’m craving a roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone from DiNic’s, I’ll make sure to enter from 12th and Cuthbert. Afterward, I’ll pick the path of least resistance for dessert: either Bassetts for ice cream or an Elvis Delight doughnut from Beiler’s.

Don’t Get Distracted

Another important thing to remember is once inside, stick to your plan. You will be tempted to follow your senses, but don’t do it. This is not the time to explore the market and wander. The combined number of locals and tourists during peak hours is reason enough to avoid loitering and get what you came for.

Be Prepared

Source: GIPHY

If you are going with other people, set a place and time to meet after everyone gets their food. The chance that you’ll all want the same thing is unlikely and setting a deadline is always good practice so no one is waiting on anyone else. A simple “Let’s meet by Meltkraft in 15 minutes” will do. Also, always bring cash just in case: most lunches will be around $10 depending on your appetite and paying in cash usually helps speed up the process.


Photo by J. Smith. Source: Visit Philadelphia

Whether you eat there or take it back to your office, enjoy the food you are eating! Don’t know where to start? Here’s some of my favorites to try ASAP.

What are your all-time faves at Reading Terminal? Let us know!