Exotic meats are just the beginning of whats to be found at Philadelphia’s South 9th Street Italian Market, which is the nation’s oldest outdoor market. Seven days a year you can shop for kangaroo, rattlesnake, frogs legs, yak, turtles and many other rare meats, as well as everything you need to run your household. This place felt more like a wholesale market for restaurants because the prices were so affordable.
The stores were a hit or miss on pricing with most being on the affordable and reasonable side. I didn’t get into the house of cheese, because I was on a time limit (parking around the area is 2 hour limit) but it looked like a treasure waiting to be opened. Next time I’m beginning there first.
Thankfully we happened upon the Italian Market Visitor Center. On their wall hangs a map with pins, representing every visitor that comes from outside Philadelphia, so both of us added a pin to the hundreds of other pins already in place. To make them different, she added glitter to our pin heads ^_~
It took us just about two hours to do a quick dash and shop, but I definitely wish we could have had at least a couple more hours to see everything! A great sign was the fact that a few new stores were in the process of opening for business along South 9th Street in the Italian Market.
As we went from shop to shop we passed a few restaurants and coffee shops, without stepping in. They looked nice and quaint too. Vintage looking buildings housed a book shop, a candy stall with old school candies, a music store and a beauty supplies store among many other diverse businesses.
This is definitely a community that is thriving on variety and the desire to satisfy every need, instead of concentrating on the same type of businesses saturating the market.
You will find clothes, household necessities, plants, flowers, art, wine, food, toiletries and pretty much everything one might need to live a normal life. So if you’re in the area, you may just want to start shopping locally. If you’re not from the area you will definitely want to visit soon.
Every 3rd weekend in May they host a one-of-a-kind celebration. The streets are lined with italian delicatessen vendors for your grazing pleasure. They also have entertainment and contests lined up for the days festivities. On the Sunday of the 3rd week in May, they host a Procession of the Saints, a Roman Catholic Tradition, with a procession along 9th Street while the festival is going on. So you can imagine the laughter, fun and excitement in the air.
The food stalls are open 7 days a year all year long.
Tuesday through Saturday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Italian Market Visitors Center
919 South 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147