Situated on the Delaware River waterfront, Philly’s largest open–air market has over 50 food, drink, and retail vendors, locally made art, and live music every Saturday through Nov. 16. With roots in the classic idea of a local farmers market, the Cherry Street Pier version, sponsored by The Food Trust, turns grocery shopping into an experience.
The market is free to enter, making it a fun place to go check out the views or just walk around and talk to the artists and retailers. A lot of the vendors also offer free samples of everything from guacamole to ice cream to cauliflower fried rice.
Half–indoors and half–outdoors, the space was massive and offered breathtaking views of the river and the Ben Franklin Bridge. Food trucks and tents with hot food lined the front of the venue, with even more inside and overlooking the water.
It felt almost like a block party, with people wandering around, playing badminton, or relaxing in one of the many colorful hammocks.
After taking a lap to see all of the food options and admire the artwork and ornate antiques for sale, I settled on a Caprese sandwich from Big City Trolley. The combination of fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, and a balsamic reduction on ciabatta bread created the perfect symphony of tastes. It was textbook Italian—simple and filling.
Next up, it was time for some tacos, chips, and guac. I ordered the Chicken Tinga and Al Pastor tacos from Philly Tacos. The chicken was a bit dry, although throwing some guac on top helped to make up for it. I preferred the Al Pastor, which was more flavorful, thanks to a fantastic pineapple salsa.
Of course, you can’t have tacos without guacamole, so before digging into my tacos, I picked up a small container of guac from the Guacamole Specialist, which was conveniently located right next door. A niche vendor that specializes in solely authentic guacamoles and salsas, it represents the beauty of the Cherry Street Farmers market: it's full of the delightfully unexpected. They loaded me up on samples of mild, medium, and pineapple salsa as well as guac. All were made right in front of my eyes, with the perfect amount of fanfare.
Lastly, I sipped on a warm apple cider from Cherry Street Cocktails. Full of cinnamon and spice, it kept me warm and perfectly toasty while I did another lap around the venue and examined all of the vendors’ work. Highlights included old school records, handmade jewelry and vintage clothing, with Halloween–themed items sprinkled in the mix.
Although I initially came for the food, The Food Trust Market offered more than just spicy tacos and well–crafted sandwiches. With live music, shopping, and of course some good eats, the market provides a good reason to get away from campus and explore a new part of the city.