The Italian Market is overflowing with amazing foods and drinks with a variety of cultural influences. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to decide the best places to eat and how to budget yourself throughout a day trip, so I have narrowed it down for you!
Here is a selection of the most crave-worthy indulgences found on 9th Street, from breakfast through dinnertime – and everything in between.
1. COFFEE OF THE DAY – Fante’s Kitchen Wares Shop, 1006 S. 9th St.
Nestled in the righthand side of the sprawling kitchen store lies an aromatic shop chock-full of enticing coffee beans. The best way to try them all is to stop by for the Coffee of the Day, a rotating menu of the many flavored beans available at Fante’s. Get your morning caffeine fix and try out some incredible flavors for under $2 a cup.
2. THE HOLY DIVER BREAKFAST SANDWICH – Gleaner’s Cafe, 917 S. 9th St.
The Holy Diver is a breakfast delight, especially for those of us who would rather skip right to lunch! This hearty bagel sandwich is comprised of roasted peppers, onions, provolone cheese, and spicy mustard on a wheat bagel and costs about $5.
Bonus: Answer the question of the day, written on the wall behind the counter, for a discount.
3. ITALIAN MARKET HOAGIE – Sarcone’s Deli, 734 S. 9th St.
Everyone has heard of Sarcone’s Bakery’s famous bread that sells out early every day and fuels many sandwich shops in the surrounding area. In Sarcone’s fashion, their hoagies are just as delectable! Try the Italian Market hoagie with hot capicola (“gabagool” to fans of The Sopranos), fresh turkey breast, roasted peppers, sharp provolone cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, oil, vinegar, and herbs for about $9.
4. WHITE PIZZA – Lorenzo’s, 900 Christian St. (corner of 9th & Christian Streets)
Pizza is a heavenly treat and a staple of the Philadelphia food scene. When you’re in the mood for something cheesy and garlicky (for me that is most of the time), the best slice of white pizza that you’ll be dreaming about for days after can be found at Lorenzo’s Pizza, where a slice is $2 and a large pie is $12.50.
5. PESTO AGNOLOTTI SALAD – Talluto’s, 944 S. 9th St.
A great lunchtime side dish or in-between snack is the cold pesto agnolotti pasta salad from Talluto’s. The agnolotti pasta is stuffed with pesto and accompanied by grape tomatoes and plenty of minced garlic! Sprinkle a little grated parmesan on top and enjoy a half pint for about $4.
6. STEAK SOPECITOS – Blue Corn, 940 S. 9th St.
Blue Corn is the new kid on the block in the Italian Market, having only opened in 2014. They have earned a spot in my heart with their steak sopecitos: julienned steak served over queso fresco (fresh, mild Mexican cheese), sour cream, and refried beans on a small corn round. You won’t regret trying this fresh, flavorful dish with some of their homemade sauces on top. Three sopecitos come in an order and cost about $8.
Bonus: Read this review from City Paper for a glimpse into the ambiance and and experience of Blue Corn.
7. THE ARISTA – Paesano’s Philly Style, 1017 S. 9th St.
You will not find a more flavorful sandwich in the universe, let alone in the city of Philadelphia. My most-craved sandwich of all time is the Arista, full of shredded, whole roasted suckling pig, sharp provolone, spicy Italian long hots, and bitter broccoli rabe on a seeded roll. Do yourself a favor and pick one up at Paesano’s for $9, but be warned – you’ll crave this sandwich for all your lunches to come!
8. RICOTTA CANNOLI – Isgro Pasticceria, 1009 Christian St.
After visiting the Italian Market and sampling every possible cheese, olive oil, and sandwich you could muster, you will STILL have room for dessert – it’s science, people. The best way to satisfy your sweet tooth is with an incredible ricotta cannoli from Isgro’s, who have been in business for over 100 years. Yup, they know what they’re doing! Two of these award-winning cannolis cost about $8.
Bonus: check out this video for an inside look at Isgro’s history and how their cannolis are made. Video by 6 ABC News on Isgro’s website.
What are some of your favorite things to snack on in the Italian Market?
Let me know in the comments!