No trip to Philadelphia is complete without a stop at the Italian Market, one of the oldest open-air markets in the country. This South Philadelphia landmark is not only home to endless vendors hawking spices, fish produce and cured meats from their stalls, but it’s also home to two legendary Philly cheesesteak locations: Pat’s and Geno’s. And while the Italian heritage of the market still underlies the area, it’s far from Italian-only as many shops also cater to Philadelphia’s many diverse ethnic populations. Today the Italian Market is the perfect place to find everything from Vietnamese banh mi, to Korean barbeque and authentic Mexican food.
The Italian Market is at the heart of South Philly, about 8 minutes by car or 20 minutes on foot from the historic sites of downtown Philadelphia. The market itself occupies about ten blocks on either side of Ninth Street, from Christian Street to Washington Avenue. The market is open 7 days a week, though hours can vary among vendors, and some close on Mondays.