You’ll love this 75-minute walking tour about Philly food favorites like cheesesteaks, hoagies and pretzels and the vibrant Reading Terminal Market where they’re sold. Leaves from the Market info desk, 12th and Filbert sts., at 10 a.m. every Wed. and Sat. (Group private tours also available). Only $15.95. Click here for information on booking Wednesday or Saturday tours.
The affordable Philly food tour led by the author of the definitive "Great Philly Cheesesteak Book"!
Recession-busting Philly Travel Tips
from the Owner of Philly’s Most Affordable Food Tour
1. When you take the tour this holiday season plan some extra time to visit the giant model train display in the Market’s Piano Court area. Almost a third of a mile of track and 17 train lines run through a mini Philly in the train display, which is up and available for viewing daily through Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. to Market close. (My story about this train display is here.) There are also four free holiday light shows now in Center City Philly. They include the time-honored organ-accompanied light show and animated “Christmas Carol” diorama at Macy’s (just three blocks away from the Market) and the comparatively new 3-D holiday show on the giant video wall at the nearby Comcast Center (1701 JFK Boulevard). Both these shows run on the hour from 10 a.m. to at least 5 p.m.(and often until as late as 8) through New Year’s Eve or Day (every other hour at Macy's and every hour at Comcast). There are also new free light shows this year at Penn's Landing from 5 to 11 p.m. on the hour as part of the Waterfront Winterfest ... read more
How to Order a Cheesesteak:
A Guide for Tourists
There is a protocol to ordering a cheesesteak at the cheesesteak epicenter of Ninth and Wharton, which, if not followed, can result in being sent to the back of the line Soup Nazi–style, or even worse, getting less meat.
At Pat’s and Geno’s, you must order by saying the name of the cheese you want and then “with” or “without” (or as it is often pronounced in South Philly, “wit” or "witout"), which means with or without grilled onions.
A correct and traditional order there would be “Whiz wit.” “Mushrooms witout” will get you a steak sandwich with mushrooms but no onions or cheese. You order and pay for your drinks and fries at a separate window.
This ordering system is chiefly used at high-volume shops, which need to keep their lines moving quickly, or other places (many out-of-town) who are trying to provide an “authentic” Philly cheesesteak experience. Slavishly adhering to the “wit or witout” phraseology at a more low-key neighborhood joint in Philly will mark you as a nervous tourist. Many of these out-of-the-limelightplaces don’t even offer Cheez Whiz. White American is the more common cheese default regionwide, along with provolone and mozzarella.
Acceptable cheesesteak condiments include peppers of all kinds, hot pepper relish, hot sauce, ketchup, dill or sweet pickles but not mustard and mayo ...read more
Give the Gift of a Food Tour
Tour gift certificates make great presents for foodies. Click here for info on ordering tour gift certificates.
It's Never Off-Season for the Taste of Philly!
Next tours leave the Info desk at the 12th and Filbert corner of the climate-controlled, indoor Reading Terminal Market at 10 a.m. this Wednesday and Saturday. Click here for reservations info.
'Tis Chocolate Chip Cookie Book-Buying Season
My brand new Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book could be the answer for some of the most difficult folks on your holiday gift list. Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies, and, by extension, a book about them?
It's Not Just About the Food
Of course the Market's focus is food. But it's also home to stands selling everything from books to tablecloths to jewelry, or many potential great holiday gifts, as this story I wrote as Market news correspondent details.
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