By Cassie Helper, Examiner.com
It’s right around the corner and ready to gobble you up. That looming Thanksgiving list is still sitting on the counter and is beginning to grow at the same rate as your guest list. Don’t despair; these great Philadelphia-area food markets have the perfect ingredients to make your loved ones go gaga over your culinary prowess. Just make sure to not gobble it all up before turkey day.
The one-stop Thanksgiving shop
Reading Terminal Market
12th & Arch Streets
The Reading Terminal Market is one of the oldest markets in the city, located right above the main downtown Septa stop. The easy-to-find location and no-fuss parking makes it a great market for those trying to get their holiday shopping done in a rush––you can find almost every item on your list here. Organic meats and poultry, fish markets, bakeries, a small grocery store, Blue Mountain Vineyards Cellars and more await. Let the delicious smells wafting through the air be your guide, leading you to places like Profi’s Creperie and The Famous 4th Street Cookie Company. Just make sure you maintain focus and don’t get lost in the samples.
Fresh, hard-to-find ingredients
949 South 9th St.
The place to find those off-the-grid items that you can’t find fresh at the grocery store can all be found at the Italian Market. Delighting in the ambiance of the market itself is a treat as you stroll past the fresh fish, oysters, meats and cheeses. Home of the Dibruno brothers House of Cheese, you can sample and purchase fine cheeses, oils, vinegar, pasta and sauces. Perhaps some cannoli is a nice addition to the pumpkin pie as well. An eclectic mix of foods and people, it is an experience to savor in all of the flavors found at the Italian Market.
Organic meats and poultry
Whole Foods Market
929 S. St.
Whole Foods deserves an honorable mention for owning and operating a chain of natural foods. They only sell meat and poultry free of growth hormones and antibiotics, unprocessed grains and cereals and more. This green powerhouse is much like a supermarket, except with amazing deals and fine cuisine. From produce, meats and cheeses to a large beer section and sampling areas, you can probably find every single thing on the Thanksgiving list, and it will all be organic.
Vegan and vegetarian options
2121 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Beware last minute shoppers: Trader Joe’s will be closed on Thanksgiving, so get your shopping in early (or late the night before, as the store is open until 10 p.m. on weekdays) Your guest list this year includes a few meatless holiday diners, vegans and vegetarians. What to do? Pick up Trader Joe’s turkey-less stuffed roast with gravy, made with seasoned soy protein and organic ancient grain flour. Also entertaining guests who love their meat? Not to worry; Trader Joe’s still has all the fixins with turkey, cheese, pies and more. People travel from all over the tri-state area to shop at Trader Joe’s, and there’s most definitely a good reason for that.
Essene Market & Cafe
719 S. 4th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Going with the organic and natural theme for your holiday meal this year? Stop by Essene Market & Café. A natural food store since 1969, this boutique was green before it was trendy. With organically-grown produce, a natural foods deli, gourmet treats and an on-site bakery that is dairy-free with no refined sugar, you’re sure to find something that fits the Thanksgiving bill. While shopping, feel free to browse the vitamin and beauty section to stay healthy on the inside and outside – organically.