Most people don't come to 9th Street for the books and records. They come for the food or for the experience and discover us here. 9th Street, aka The Italian Market, is the oldest continuously running open-air food market in the United States. Established in the late 19th century as a place for Italian immigrants to get a foothold, the market operates much as it did back then, with hucksters manning produce stands under canvas and corrugated awnings, from dawn till dusk, winter, spring, summer and fall. It remains an authentic immigrant market, providing a place for Vietnamese and other Asian immigrants to land in the 1970s and, more recently, for the Mexican community. Even when these new neighbors get established and move on, they leave their food behind. Come for the incredible bargains or for the sheer depth of cuisines: Butchers, fish and cheese mongers, a tortilleria, freshly cut pasta and baked bread, spice shops, and just to the east and west, full-blown Asian supermarkets. Politicians, filmmakers, art students all.
Whether you live in Philly or just visiting, if you love to cook or eat, you have to make it to 9th Street. It's real living history. Check out www.italianmarketphilly.com to learn more or for Molly's personal history in the Market click on The Only Street in the Universe.